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Medicago sativa

  • 20 plantings
  • 5 for swap
  • 5 wanted
  • 37 stashed

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.

Alfalfa needs a moderate amount of maintenance, so some level of previous experience comes in handy when growing this plant. Ensure that you are aware of the soil, sun, ph and water requirements for this plant and keep an eye out for pests.

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

  • High

Try to plant in a location that enjoys full sun and remember to water often. Use Zone 5 - Zone 11 as your guideline for the appropriate climate for this plant. Alfalfa needs a loamy, sandy and clay soil with a ph of 6.8 to 7.5 (weakly acidic soil - weakly alkaline soil). Keep in mind when planting that Alfalfa is thought of as half hardy, so protect with a row cover whenever the temperatures drop.

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

Ensure that temperatures are mild and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Alfalfa is a half hardy plant.

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.

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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

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