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Andrographis Paniculata | A Medicinal Herb That Doubles As an Ornamental Garden Plant


Andrographis Paniculata | A Medicinal Herb That Doubles As an Ornamental Garden Plant

By J.M.Garg – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Andrographis (Andrographis paniculata)

Andrographis, also known as King of Bitters or False Water Willow, is an annual herb native to India and China.  The plants can grow hardly in USDA Zones: 10-12 and thrive in humid, hot climates. Although Andrographis is grown mainly for its medicinal properties in South Eastern Asia, it is also a gorgeous ornamental plant.

By H. Zell – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Andrographis prefers full sun and average, well- draining soil but can tolerate poor soil conditions. The plants can reach a height of 1-3 feet and a spread of 2 feet. The plants produce small, dainty flowers range from white to pale lavender in color. As an annual, they grow readily from seed but will not reach maturity until 160 days. Starting the seeds indoors is recommended and will need a sandy, seed starting mix. The seed should be pressed gently onto the surface of the soil as they need light to germinate. After watering gently, the seed tray should be placed on a seed mat for bottom warmth. Keep the medium moist and seeds will germinate in 8 to 10 days.

Once reaching maturity, Andrographis can become a bit bushy. It is also common for the plant to go dormant after flowering early in a growing season and begin flowering again later in the season. When the plant begins seeding, the pods will turn brown and once completely dried will spit out it’s seeds onto the ground at a distance.

With its dainty purple flowers and dark evergreen leaves, Andrographis would be a wonderful addition to any herb garden.

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