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.

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.