How to Grow Arnica Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Mountain Tobacco and Mountain Snuff

The common names for the Hardy perennial Arnica include Mountain snuff, Mountain tobacco and Mountain Arnica.

The plant typically flowers in the Summer.

Description of Arnica

Arnica plants are variable in size, the smaller ones are low growing and can be used in rockeries.

Heart Leaf Arnica
Heart Leaf Arnica by Pellaea.

The flowers are daisy like in nature and have large yellow or orange flowers with prominent centers.

They have narrow grey aromatic leaves.

Arnica sororia
Arnica sororia by Matt Lavin.

How to Grow Arnica

Arnica Growing Guide and Facts

Common Names: Mountain Snuff, Mountain tobacco, Arnica (Mountain, Orange, Hillside, Alpine, Leafy, Heart-leaf, Snow).
Family: Asteraceae.
Life Cycle: Hardy Perennial.
Height: 12 to 24 inches (30 to 60 cm).
Native: Europe, North America.

Growing Region: Zones 4 to 9.
Flowers: Summer.
Flower Details: Yellow or Orange. Fine bristles. Daisy like.
Foliage: Downy leaves, Ovoid leaves, Green or Grey.

Sow Outdoors: Cover seed. Late Summer. Use fresh seed. Spacing 12 to 15 inches (30 to 40 cm).
Sow Indoors: Grow in pots. Germination time 3 to 4 weeks. Temperature 55°F (13°C), Grow indoors for one year before transplanting outdoors after the last frost.

Requirements: Full Sunlight (can be grown in partial shade in hot areas). Good drainage. Soil pH 5 to 6.5. Moist soils. Low nitrogen soils. Propagate by taking cuttings in summer or divide in Spring or autumn.

How to Grow Arnica

It is best to sow fresh Arnica seed outdoors as soon as it is available in the late summer. The seed should be covered.

If you intend to start the plants indoors, then they should be grown for a full season before transplanting outdoors.

The seeds should be planted into individual pots and lightly covered with soil; they should then be germinated for about a month at a temperature of 13 degrees Celsius.

Seedlings should be planted out at a spacing of 30 to 40 cm in an area that will be subjected to full sunlight after the last frost of spring.

They should be planted into a soil that is both moist and well drained, ideally with a pH of between 5 and 6.5. Mountain tobacco does not like highly nitrogenous soils.

Caring for Arnica - Mountain Tobacco

Arnica species such as Mountain tobacco and Mountain snuff plants are easy to look after. The most important thing is not to give them too much nitrogen as this will result in leggy plants.

They can be propagated by division in the spring or autumn; alternatively cuttings can be taken from Arnica in the summer.

Common Questions

How many members does the Arnica genus have?

The Arnica genus includes about 30 species of perennial plants known for their medicinal properties.

Do members of Arnica make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Arnica is valued more for its medicinal qualities than its landscaping appeal, but it does produce attractive yellow flowers.

Which Arnica species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

Arnica montana, also known as mountain arnica, is often grown for its medicinal use and bright yellow flowers.

Are members of the Arnica plant genus fragrant?

Arnica plants are generally not noted for their fragrance.

What is the perfect location to grow Arnica?

Arnica prefers a well-drained soil and can tolerate both full sun and partial shade. It often grows in mountainous regions.

Is Arnica invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Arnica is not generally considered invasive in the USA. It's a native plant that grows in the wild, particularly in mountainous regions.

How do I remove Arnica plants from my garden?

To remove Arnica, pull up the plants or dig them up, making sure to remove the entire root system.


The Arnica genus, part of the Asteraceae family, includes around 30 species of perennial plants known for their medicinal properties. Native to the mountainous regions of Europe and North America, Arnica species produce daisy-like, yellow to orange flowers on top of long stems, standing out against a backdrop of green, hairy leaves.

Arnica plants prefer full sun to partial shade and require well-drained soil. They do well in meadows and woodland gardens where they can spread naturally. As they have a deep root system, they prefer not to be disturbed once planted. Arnica plants are not typically grown in home gardens due to their specific growing requirements and because all parts of the plant are toxic if ingested.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on Arnica. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Pyrethrum and Gerbera plants.