Perennial Overview: Loosestrife


Discover how to grow Loosestrife with instructions on starting seed, transplanting, site selection, care and maintenance, water and fertilization requirements, and  pests and diseases.

Loosestrife Stats at a Glance

Botanical Name: Lysimachia clethroides

Common Name(s): Shepherd’s crook

Height: 2-3 feet

Soil Conditions:  Well-drained, fertile soil

Sun: Full sun/partial shade

Soil pH Conditions: 6.6-8.9

Planting Instructions

Can I Start Loosestrife from Seed?

Loosestrife can be propagated through seed and division.

Division. Loosestrife does not need to be divided often.  When necessary divide in the spring or fall. Under fertile conditions the plant may spread quickly and may need to be divided more often.

Seed. Seeds can be directly sown into the garden any time after the soil warms.

To start indoors, fill individual peat pots with a fertile commercial soil starter and moisten.  Sprinkle the seeds on the surface of the soil. Press them lightly into the soil to ensure contact with growing medium. Place in a room with a constant temperature of 65-70°F.  Cover with clear plastic wrap to maintain the soil moisture and temperature.  Keep the soil moist.  When seedlings appear, remove the plastic wrap and move to a sunny location.


Time to Germination: 15-30 days
Light/Darkness Requirements:
Optimal Temp. for Germination: 68°F


Note: If germination does not occur within three to four weeks at 68°F, move to a colder location (24-39°F) for two to four weeks.


When Do I Plant Loosestrife?

Loosestrife should not be planted until after the last frost and the soil has reached at least 65°F.

Soil Temperature: 68°F


Where Do I Plant Loosestrife?

Loosestrife plants perform best in loamy, well-drained soil high in organic matter but will grow in nearly any good garden soil that receives full sun and is well-drained. Incorporating several inches of organic matter into the soil when preparing the bed will improve growth and development.

Unlike many other perennials, loosestrife will tolerate wet soils.


Soil Conditions:  Well-drained, fertile soil
Sun: Full sun/partial shade
Soil pH Conditions: 6.6-8.9


How Far Apart Do I Plant Loosestrife?

3-6 feet.

Loosestrife Plant Care and Maintenance

Once established, most perennials require very little routine care and maintenance.

How Often Should I Water Loosestrife?

For many perennials, average rainfall is sufficient to keep the plants healthy.  Supplementation may be necessary in droughty conditions.

The key to watering Loosestrife is to maintain a consistent moisture level.  This is especially important during flower and fruit development. The soil should be moist to a depth of 6”.

Water the soil around the plant. Overhead watering will encourage disease.  Drip irrigation is best.

Mulch around the plant will help to lock in moisture.


Should I Fertilize Loosestrife?

Most perennials do not require a specific fertilization regiment.  Fertilizing decisions should be based on a soil test.  If a soil test cannot be obtained and you feel that your perennial bed would benefit from fertilization, keep it light.  Work in a small amount of a low nitrogen fertilizer, such as 5-10-5 around the plants in the early spring.

Fertilize the soil around the plant at least 6” from the plant base. Irrigate into the soil.


Additional Care Instructions

Deadhead spent flowers to discourage self-seeding and to encourage continual blooming.

Loosestrife Diseases

The most common diseases associated with this plant include: no major disease issues.

Loosestrife Pests

The most common pests associated with this plant include: no major pest problems.


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