How to Grow Cimicifuga Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Black Cohosh, Snakeroot, and Bugbane

Plants of the Cimicifuga genus are hardy perennials that flower from the middle until late on in the summer.

Cimicifuga by Lilli2de.

They have brush like blooms with tiny white flowers.

Common names for members of the genus include Bugbane, Black cohosh and black snakeroot.

Latin names include Cimicifuga racemosa, Cimicifuga foetida, and Cimicifuga ramosa.

Cimicifuga simplex
Cimicifuga simplex (Black Snakeroot) by Green Garden Vienna.

Cimicifuga racemosa
Cimicifuga racemosa by Homer Edward Price.

Commonly Grown Cimicifuga Species

Cimicifuga ramosa

Cimicifuga ramosa
Cimicifuga ramosa (Brunette Cultivar), photograph by Ivan Forsman; CC.

Cimicifuga racemose Syn. Actaea racemosa

Cimicifuga racemosa
Cimicifuga racemosa (Black cohosh / Black bugbane / Black snakeroot Fairy candle), picture by Homer Edward Price; CC.

Cimicifuga Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Black Cohosh, Snakeroot, Bugbane, Fairy Candle, Black Snakeroot.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial.
Height: 10 to 24 inches (25 to 60 cm).
Native: Northern Hemisphere – Temperate regions.
Family: Ranunculaceae (buttercups).

Growing Region: Zones 3 to 9.
Flowers: Second part of summer.
Flower Details: White. Tiny. No petals. Bottle-brush. Fragrant.
Foliage: Broad. Long. Green.

Sow Outside: Cover. Autumn from fresh seed. Spacing 24 to 36 inches (60 to 90 cm).
Sow Inside: Autumn. Germination time: one month to one year. Temperature 60°F (16°C). Keep seeds at 60°F (16°C) for about two weeks; place in a freezer bag, then stratify by refrigeration for two months. Transplant outdoors following the last frost or in autumn.

Requirements: Best results in partial shade, can also grow in full shade. Soil pH 5.0 to 6.0. Humus rich soil, moist soil. Leaf mold or compost mulch. Propagate: by dividing in the spring in very cold areas or the autumn.
Miscellaneous: Cimicifuga plants have many uses in alternative medicine, especially with regards to treating menopausal problems.

How to Grow Cimicifuga

If planning on growing Cimicifuga from seeds outdoors, then fresh seed should be sown in the autumn.

Sow the seeds into a partly or fully shaded area of the garden, that has humus rich soil and a pH of 5 to 6.

If you plan to first grow seedlings indoors, then you should first store the fresh seed for two months at 13 to 15 degrees centigrade (55 to 59°F).

The seeds should then be put into a bag in the fridge for a further two months. Seeds can then be sown for germination at 15 degrees (59°F).

Germination of Cimicifuga can take anything from one month to one year.

Seedlings should be planted out in mid-spring or autumn. Use a spacing of 60 cm to 1 metre (24 to 40 inches), dependent upon the size of the species.

Caring for Cimicifuga plant species in the Garden

Cimicifuga should be fertilized in the spring, and require watering during prolonged dry spells.

If you require more plants then they can be divided in the autumn.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Cimicifuga plants. Other members of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae) that you may be interested in growing in the garden inckude Buttercups, Columbine plants, Globe flower, and Pasque flowers.