Hypericum prolificum

Shrubby St. John's Wort

$3.00 - $25.00

1/8 oz.
1/4 oz.

Bare Root Plants
Out of Stock

3 Pack
Out of Stock

This shrub will naturally form a round-bush appearance but can be pruned early spring for a more mounded shape.  An absolute bee magnet that is not picky about its sun and soil needs. It is rare that you get such beauty out of something so hardy. Able to grow under just about any soil condition you could throw at it, this lovely shrub is also quite resistant to deer and rabbits. Its secret lies in the toxic substances within its tissues that irritate the gastrointestinal tracts of mammals. It is a host plant for a variety of caterpillars and very attractive to a wide array of pollinators.  Bumblebees are especially fond of the bright yellow flowers.  Check out the amazing buzz on a shrub here at Prairie Moon in this VIDEO.   

On the decline in some parts of its range, this species is actually considered threatened in New York and endangered in New Jersey. In the wild it can be found growing everywhere from stream banks to barren, rocky outcrops. This is a great addition to a native garden as it provides aesthetic appeal as well as ecosystem function.

Live Plant Shipping Table

Spring Fall Age/Size
Dormant Bare Roots
April/May October 3 years/12"
Potted 3-Packs May/June September 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep pots
Potted Trays of 38* May/June N/A 2" x 5" deep plugs
*This species is a choice in the Mix & Match - Create Your Own Tray!

Hypericum prolificum - Shrubby St. John's Wort

Map Key

Present in state
Present but introduced in county
Present and native in county; not rare
Not present in state
Present and native in county; rare
Species extirpated (historic)
State or county listed as noxious
Present in state; exotic

This map shows the native and introduced (adventive) range of this species. Given appropriate habitat and climate, native plants can be grown outside their range.

10 Questions asked on Hypericum prolificum

In zone 6 would this plant be a potential replacement for a 3-foot boxwood in landscaping? Does it hold at least modest winter interest? Thanks.
Thanks for writing, Chris. Its shrubby habit could make Hypericum prolificum an excellent substitute. Once the plant goes dormant, its dried growth does have visual interest and affords wildlife shelter and perches as well as seeds.
How aggressively does this spread? Is it suitable for use in a relatively small space or as a foundation planting? Thank you.
Hi Margaret. It is very well-behaved and would be a great addition to a small landscape. I know we say 5' but I've never seen them get that tall. It can easily be pruned just a bit and, when mature, will keep a rounded profile of about 2' wide and 2' tall. Although it is easy to start from seed (germination code A) you will not have seedlings everywhere, especially if you mulch around it.
Are hummingbirds attracked to this plant? Thanks, Jeff
Hi Jeff. No, I've not seen Hummingbirds go to it. But the bumblebees - wow! Have you watched the video? (link in product description).
Hello! I've started these from seed and was curious how long until they reach their full size and/or start flowering?
Hi John! Good for you! Yes, surprisingly this native shrub is quite easy to start from seed and fairly fast growing thereafter. But, given it is a shrub, and a perennial, plan on pampering your young plants for at least 3 years, possibly more, before you start seeing blooms.
Does this plant die back to the ground in the winter in Zone 5?
Hi Robin, This shrub typically will retain some woody growth throughout the winter.
Is this plant poisonous ? if ingested?
Hi Judy, We are not experts in plant toxicology. With that said, to our knowledge, this plant is not edible but it’s also not poisonous. You may be thinking of another, similar species called Hypericum perforatum.
How would this shrub do in an outdoor pot? Zone 5b for reference. Pot would be on a covered deck in the winter to start. Eventual plans would be to transplant, but would probably stay in a pot for at least one year.
Hi Esther, We do not recommend container growing because it is much harder to meet the plants' water and nutrient requirements. Roots in containers are also more exposed to winter temperatures, increasing the chances for winter kill. That said, some folks do experiment with growing natives in containers. You may be interested in this Wild Ones blog.
I am in zone 5B. I ordered these seeds from you and was planning on winter sowing them outside. The seed packet says needs light to germinate in a warm location. Would this seed be a candidate for winter sowing or should I grow inside under grow lights?
The germination code for the Hypericum prolificum is ‘A’ and ‘D’ meaning that it does not need an over winter period to germinate and that seeds should be surface sown due to their tiny size. You may sow the seeds now, an overwinter period will not impact the germination of seeds that are germ code ‘A’. If you wanted to bring up the plants indoors, just ensure they have consistent warmth and light. Seeds germinate when soil temperatures are around consistent ~55 degrees. You will not want to cover or bury the seeds any deeper than they are wide.
How difficult is it to move a St John's Wort plant?
Hi Kim. It's not impossible, but being a true shrub, it puts down some serious roots in just a few years.
Would this plant work in our rain garden?
Hi Susannah. Shrubby St. John's Wort makes an excellent addition in a rain garden!


Growing your own plants from seed is the most economical way to add natives to your home. Before you get started, one of the most important things to know about the seeds of wild plants is that many have built-in dormancy mechanisms that prevent the seed from germinating. In nature, this prevents a population of plants from germinating all at once, before killing frosts, or in times of drought. To propagate native plants, a gardener must break this dormancy before seed will grow.

Each species is different, so be sure to check the GERMINATION CODE listed on the website, in the catalog, or on your seed packet. Then, follow the GERMINATION INSTRUCTIONS prior to planting. Some species don't need any pre-treatment to germinate, but some species have dormancy mechanisms that must be broken before the seed will germinate. Some dormancy can be broken in a few minutes, but some species take months or even years.

Seed dormancy can be broken artificially by prolonged refrigeration of damp seed in the process of cold/moist STRATIFICATION. A less complicated approach is to let nature handle the stratifying through a dormant seeding, sowing seeds on the surface of a weed-free site in late fall or winter. Tucked safely beneath the snow, seeds will be conditioned by weathering to make germination possible in subsequent growing seasons.

To learn more, read our BLOG: How to Germinate Native Seeds

Dormant Bare Root Plants

We dig plants when they are dormant from our outdoor beds and ship them April-May and October. Some species go dormant in the summer and we can ship them July/August. We are among the few still employing this production method, which is labor intensive but plant-friendly. They arrive to you dormant, with little to no top-growth (bare-root), packed in peat moss. They should be planted as soon as possible. Unlike greenhouse-grown plants, bare-root plants can be planted during cold weather or anytime the soil is not frozen. A root photo is included with each species to illustrate the optimal depth and orientation. Planting instructions/care are also included with each order.

Download: Installing Your Bare-Root Plants

Potted Plants

3-packs and trays of 32, 38, or 50 plants leave our Midwest greenhouses based on species readiness (being well-rooted for transit) and order date; Spring shipping is typically early May through June, and Fall shipping is mid-August through September. Potted 3-packs and trays of 38 plugs are started from seed in the winter so are typically 3-4 months old when they ship. Trays of 32/50 plugs are usually overwintered so are 1 year old. Plant tray cells are approximately 2” wide x 5” deep in the trays of 38 and 50, and 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep in the 3-packs and trays of 32; ideal for deep-rooted natives. Full-color tags and planting & care instructions are included with each order.

Download: Planting and Care of Potted Plants

*PLEASE NOTE: we are a mail order nursery and have no retail facilities, but you may pick up your order if prior arrangements are made. Pick up orders are subject to **MN Sales Tax.

US Shipping & Handling Charges

SEED $100.00 and under: $5.00
Retail SEED orders over $100.00 ship free!

Custom seed mixes or discounted seed sales over $100, add 5% of the total seed cost
(for orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required)

BARE ROOT and POTTED PLANTS $50.00 and under: $9.00
over $50.00: 18% of the total plant cost. (For orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required.)

TOOLS and BOOKS have the shipping fee included in the cost of the product (within the contiguous US).

**We are required to collect state sales tax in certain states. Your state's eligibility and % will be calculated at checkout. MN State Sales Tax of 7.375% is applied for orders picked up at our MN location. Shipping & handling charges are also subject to the sales tax.

Shipping Season

SEED, TOOLS and BOOKS are sent year-round. Most orders ship within 1-3 business days.

BARE ROOT PLANTS are shipped during optimal transplanting time: Spring (April-May) and Fall (Oct). Some ephemeral species are also available for summer shipping. Since our plants are field-grown, Nature sets the schedule each year as to when our season will begin and end. We fill all orders, on a first-come, first-serve basis, to the best of our ability depending on weather conditions beyond our control.

POTTED PLANTS (Trays of 32/38/50 plugs and 3-packs) typically begin shipping early May and go into June; shipping time is heavily dependent on all the species in your order being well-rooted. If winter-spring greenhouse growing conditions are favorable and all species are well-rooted at once, then we ship by order date (first come, first serve). We are a Midwest greenhouse, and due to the challenges of getting all the species in the Mix & Match and Pre-Designed Garden Kits transit-ready at the same time, we typically can't ship before early May. Earlier shipment requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

*We are unable to ship PLANTS (bare root or potted) outside the contiguous US or to CALIFORNIA due to regulations.


We ship using USPS, UPS and Spee Dee. UPS and Spee Dee are often used for expediting plant orders; they will not deliver to Post Office Box numbers, so please also include your street address if ordering plants. We send tracking numbers to your email address so please include it when you order.



Germination Code
Life Cycle
Sun Exposure
Full, Partial
Soil Moisture
Medium-Wet, Medium, Medium-Dry
4 feet
Bloom Time
July, August, September
Bloom Color
Pollinator Favorite: butterflies, moths, bees, wasps, beetles
Bird Favorite: seeds, insects, fruit, nectar, nesting, perch
Deer Resistant
Highly recommended for home landscaping
USDA Zones
Plant Spacing
Catalog Code