United States Edition


Medicago sativa

Alfalfa is part of the Medicago genus. Its scientific name is Medicago sativa. The botanical name epithet for Alfalfa (sativa) means 'having been cultivated'.

Purple flowers are visited by several types of bees.2

It is a flowering edible herb / legume that typically grows as a perennial, which is defined as a plant that matures and completes its lifecycle over the course of three years or more. Normally grows with a forb habit. This plant is a great attractor for bees, so if you are looking to attract wildlife Alfalfa is a great choice.

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Alfalfa have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Alfalfa

  • Full Sun

Try to plant in a location that enjoys full sun. Alfalfa tends to grow best in a soil ph of between 7.0 and 7.5 meaning it does best in neutral soil - weakly alkaline soil.

See our list of companion Plants for Alfalfa to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.

Growing Alfalfa from seed

Transplanting Alfalfa

Common Alfalfa problems

These problems, diseases and pests are known to affect Alfalfa plants:

Many diseases affect alfalfa, including various rots, wilts, fungi, and rots.2

Many pests attack every part of the plant.2 Most notably are grasshoppers or locust.2

Alfalfa Folklore & Trivia

Medicinally it is used for hay fever, asthma, high cholesterol and poor appetite.1 Some sources say not to consume during pregnancy or lactation1 others report good results to the mothers health and improved lactation.3 It may increase the milk glands, increase milk production (through pituitary function) as well as improve fat content of the milk.3 It also is full of vitamins that are good for the mother.3

Other names for Alfalfa

Lucerne, alfalfa, common purple lucerne, common lucerne, purple alfalfa, purple medick

Alfalfa care instructions

How long does Alfalfa take to grow?

These estimates for how long Alfalfa takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world. Start logging and journaling your observations to participate!


Popular varieties of Alfalfa

View the complete variety list for Alfalfa »

Alfalfa Forums

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