How to Grow Toothache Plant (Spilanthes)

Last Updated on April 9, 2024 by Real Men Sow

Toothache plants contain a natural analgesic in their bitter-tasting, spicy-tasting flowers and leaves. 

Planting The Toothache Plant

There are two options for starting to grow this herb. There are two options for starting this herb: direct sowing or indoors.

Sowing Indoors

You should start seeds indoors at least six weeks before the last frost date. Place two seeds per cell into the grow trays by filling them with good soil. Because seeds need light to sprout, don’t cover them with soil after germination.

It’s an insurance policy to place two seeds in each cell. You’ll always have enough seeds to replace any that don’t germinate. As they grow, take care of the plants.

Seedlings require warmth and water to become strong enough to withstand the elements. To germinate, Toothache plant seeds must reach 70°F. The tray can be placed in a warm place or on a mat to increase the rate of germination.

Before you transplant the plants into your garden, make sure they are properly dried. When there is no threat of frost, it will be time to transplant. Seedlings should have two leaves each. To allow for adequate growth space, place the plants about one foot apart in your garden.

Direct Sowing

Wait until your soil is warm enough to work in your garden. You must also eliminate all frost danger. Place the seeds 1 inch apart in the rows of your grow space. After the seeds have sprouted, place them one inch apart in your growing space.

These planting techniques can help you start growing toothache plants in your garden or herb garden. Pick the one that suits your needs and start a new gardening journey.

Notes/Reminders When Growing Toothache Plants

Make Sure to Plant at the Right Time

Toothache plants love warm weather. Planting should be done after frost danger has passed in spring. Planting soil should be between 65 and 85°F. Spilanthes can be started indoors up to 6 weeks before the last frost date.

Plant Toothache Plant Correctly

You should choose an area where Spilanthes can be planted that gets plenty of sunlight. In hot summer regions, afternoon shade is acceptable. Spilanthes transplants should be spaced 6-12 inches apart. The Toothache plant is 12 inches tall, 12-18 inches wide.

Sprinkle 2-3 seeds per 6 inches on top of the soil to plant Spilanthes. When seedlings reach a few inches in height, thin to one plant every 6-12 inches

General Care Guide

The toothache plant requires very little maintenance. It’s also a dream plant for gardeners.


Your toothache plants should be given water as their most basic need. You must ensure that your toothache plants don’t get too much water or are planted in a way that the soil drains properly. Root rot can be caused by soggy plants. Deep watering is a great way to prevent overwatering.

Deep watering refers to a method where plants are heavily watered a few times a week. This will ensure that the roots get adequate moisture. It also allows the plants to absorb the water before adding more. This watering method ensures that the plants don’t get too wet or submerged.

If in doubt, you can use the knuckle check. Your index finger should be inserted into the soil near the plant. The plant doesn’t need water if the soil is moist at the first knuckle. It’s time to water again if the soil is dry.


Next, you need to control the weeds around the toothache plant. This can be done by either handpicking them or placing mulch around the plants.

Mulch can also be used to discourage weed growth and retain the necessary moisture. Other forms of protection against weeds include newspaper, straw, grass-clippings and weed-barrier.


Avoid fertilizer as the last step in caring for this plant. It is not necessary for the toothache plant to have fertilizer. To ensure that the plant has an extra boost of nutrients, add compost to the area around the root of the herb.

For perennials, you can add new compost each spring to the root of the toothache plant. This will replenish any nutrients that the herb might have used previously.


To grow well, Toothache plants need warm weather. You may be able to overwinter your Spilanthes in mild winter regions like the low desert of Arizona by mulching well and covering them during frost events.

Dig up toothache plants in cold climates and place them in a container. You can overwinter the Spilanthes indoors, and then plant them outside in spring.

Garden Pests And Diseases

The toothache plant is a wonderful idea. However, there are no diseases that you need to be aware of when you grow this herb.

Slugs are the only pest that can make an appearance on your toothache plant. These pests will usually appear around dusk, and can cause damage to your plant’s foliage. Slugs can be seen on plants, but you may not see the actual pest. Slugs leave behind a slimy trail that tracks their journeys.

Prevention and Clearing

There are a few options for you to eliminate the problem if you spot them or evidence of their nibbling. At dusk, you can leave your plant alone. Start hand-picking the slugs as soon as they appear. If you don’t like touching bugs, you can sprinkle any brand or coffee ground around the base. Coffee is not a good choice for slugs, so the diatomaceous earth provides a hard surface for them to crawl on.

Harvesting the Toothache Plant

Once it has reached three inches in height, the toothache plant can be harvested. It can be harvested throughout the growing season. The flowers and the leaves of the toothache plants are both edible. The flowers’ ability to fight bacteria, viruses, and fungal infections is why they are so popular. The leaves are often used for culinary purposes.

There are two options when harvesting leaves in small amounts. There are two options when you want to harvest the leaves in small portions. You can either use scissors or your thumb and index fingers to gently pick them.

You can harvest flowers and larger quantities of leaves by cutting the plant in half. Harvest bulk quantities of the flowers twice per growing season. When the plants have been harvested, you can remove the flowers and leaves from the stems with scissors.

Both the flowers and leaves can be used fresh. Dehydrate the leaves and flowers if you want to keep them for a longer time. Keep them in an airtight container until you are ready to use them.

Note to Harvest Spilanthes Often

Once the plant has reached several inches in height, you can harvest the leaves. Fresh leaves are the best.

Flowers contain the highest concentrations of the anesthetic effects. Spilanthes flowers can be harvested at any time. Then to encourage more flowers, keep them deadheaded. Flowers can be numbing when they are dried but most potent when fresh.

Real Men Sow
Real Men Sow

Hello, I’m Pete and I’m currently based in the west of Scotland, in a small place called Rosneath, where I’m exploring my garden adventures. I personally started gardening around 6 years ago and initially, I started out by growing my favorite fruits and berries, such as strawberries, Raspberries & Gooseberries. Since then I’ve added a lot of vegetables and working closely with my neighbor, it’s been a lot of fun.