One of my favorite spring flowers is heal-all (Prunella vulgaris).  Over the years, whenever I have participated in the Annual Spring Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge/Rum Creek Wildlife Management Area Butterfly Count my count team always find butterflies nectaring on this stunning wild plant.

       Two years ago, I rescued a few plants from a spot that stood the chance of soon being destroyed by a bulldozer.  I rescued a few of these plants and my wife planted them in a large container.  Under her skillful care, the plants survived and flourished. 

       The next year the plants sprouted and grew far larger than they had been the previous year. In fact, they spread and filled the container. To top it all off, they bloomed creating an incredibly beautiful bouquet of light lavender blossoms. The flowers also attracted butterflies. 

      When the flowers and plants eventually withered during the summer, she scattered seed she had collected from these plants and scattered them in another container.


       This spring heal-all plants reappeared in the original container.  In addition, the seeds sown in the second container sprouted.  Those plants are rapidly growing. We hope that they will bloom this year.  Meanwhile, some of the plants growing in the original container are already beginning to bloom.

       It does appear that heal-all is one of the many wild plants that thrives in containers.  By growing them in pots, my wife and I have enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about the plants themselves, as well as the butterflies, and other pollenators that visit them.  This would have been much more difficult if we had to rely on occasional observations made when stumbling across heal-all in the wild. 

       Our next experiment is to see if we can establish a stand of heal-all on our property.  I hope I will be able to report the success of our efforts next spring.

       For more information on this fascinating plant, go to the search engine bubble on the right side of the blog page and type in Heal-All.  Immediately the blog I wrote concerning this plant will immediately appear.


  1. I love the heal-all plant but have found it somewhat quirky to establish. I saved seeds from two plants growing in part of our yard that did not get mowed. The following year I grew them, then planted the seedlings outside; they bloomed the first year! I loved them. Once again, collecting some, but not all, of the seeds. I did the same process again but planted the seedlings in another area. They did wonderfully there last summer. Now, there are no plants in the original place where they were planted, the second area planted is about half, but the walkway, which is wood chips, next to both plantings is loaded with plants! It might not be able to compete with other plants well.

    • mmolyson,

      Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with heal-all. You obviously have a lot more experience with the plant than I do. If you don’t mind, I would like to write a blog and share your experience with others.

      Thanks again. I really appreciate it.


      • Sure, I’d be honored. I think it probably doesn’t like crowding. I’m trying to do the “green mulch” thing, but I’m finding out there are at least a couple of natives known for not being competitive enough in a crowded garden. I almost wiped out my cardinal flower, and now I’m discovering that might be the problem with Eastern red columbine and maybe heal-all.

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