The blooming season of the valerian plant starts at the onset of early summer. In the late afternoons, the flowers are best at endowing their sweet signature fragrance. The pollinating insects dive into action to formulate the process of pollination.
If the egg is successfully fertilized, then it results in the formation of fruit that contains one oblong seed.
The seed then serves as a medium for the continuation of the lifecycle for an endless provision of our very own garden heliotrope.
It is observed that it takes about a year or two for the valerian plant to show inflorescence. But whenever the plant blooms, it is considered to snip off those flowers to ensure better growth of rhizomes, a part for which the plant is grown. On the other hand, the plant can produce rich leaves in a luxurious amount while it’s not flowering.
The two-year-old plant is dug in the spring or fall (September or October). It is deemed to harvest the rhizomes after the first frost of two years.
The conical root or erect rhizomes of garden heliotrope are harvested with great care. The only thing that nags the senses of the harvester is the smell of it. The smell of rhizomes is nowhere near to the flowers of the same plant. It is compared to the stench of dirty socks but its benefits overrun the unpleasant smell.
The whole plant is dug up to get hold of the rhizomes. Initially, just a few amounts are cut to let it multiply for later use. The leaves are snipped and stems are cut only to be put aside. The hair-like roots or rhizomes are gently dug up and are rinsed with water.
The holes in the land are filled with nitrogen-rich compost for the nourishment of the persisting valerian plant.
The harvested roots of the valerian are dried with the help of lint-free towel. They are then dried in the sun or dehydrator. Its leaves can either be sun-dried or dried in a dehydrator to be used in making teas that possess a little lesser sedative effect than the roots.
The leaves and roots should be stored in separate airtight jars for later use.