Like vervain, this magick herb is
often incorporated into Midsummer celebrations. It has many
associations with the heart: it is traditionally used in love charms,
an infusion of the herb was said to mend a broken heart, and the
flowers were once a remedy for heart disease. For me, though, the name
refers to how I feel when I come upon one of these cheerful little
guys. Just seeing them eases the heart. In terms of
how this herb works--on the heart and skin--this is a Sun plant, but in terms of
its use in love and its small but lush beauty, it is all Venus, which is
reflected in many of its common names: Love-in-idleness, Cuddle me,
Call-me-to-you, Jack-jump-up-and-kiss-me, Meet-me-in-the-entry, and
Kiss-her-in-the-buttery. This annual was a staple in medieval gardens.
It likes to grow with cultivated plants and blooms spring through fall.
Sprinkle it between other larger plants or grow it alone in a pot. Top
to grow Heartsease. Plant in spring (or in fall in a cold frame).
Barely cover the seed. It will germinate in 10-14
days at 65-75F. Too much sun kills the seedlings. This plant likes the
cool weather of spring best and needs shade and moisture in the heat of
summer; a place with afternoon shade and rich soil is good.
Picking off dead flowers to get more, or leave them on to get
seeds. Mature plants are 6-10 inches high. This
plant self-seeds easily and grows well in pots. General
100 seeds $3.25
Medieval Garden Plant
in Witchcraft & Magic:
2004, 2015 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission