St. John's wort grows well in the summer meadow and is a useful plant for attracting insects.
St. John's wort has a long history of herbal use. It fell out of favour in the nineteenth century but recent research has brought it back to prominence as an extremely valuable remedy for nervous problems. In clinical trials about 67% of patients with mild to moderate depression improved when taking this plant.
Yellow, gold and brown dyes are obtained from the flowers and leaves. A red is obtained from the flowers after acidification.
Easily grown in any reasonably good well-drained but moisture retentive soil. Succeeds in dry soils. Plants grow well in sun or semi-shade but they flower better when in a sunny position.
Sow in a greenhouse in the autumn or in the spring. It normally germinates in 1 - 3 months at 10°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer.
The herb and the fruit are sometimes used as a tea substitute. The flowers can be used in making mead.