How to Grow Dream Herbs

Updated July 19, 2017

Calea zacatechichi, also called Aztec Dream Herb, is a woody perennial herb traditionally used by the Chontal Indians of Mexico as a dream-inducing hallucinogen. Officially, it is classified as an "unscheduled substance" in the United States, meaning it is completely legal except in Louisiana, where you may not grow or sell it if it is intended for ingestion. A hardy plant, Calea zacatechichi grows in a variety of conditions and can be cultivated from seed without much problem.

Place the tiny seeds into a bowl, then cover them with room-temperature distilled water. Let this sit overnight covered by a cloth where it will not be disturbed.

Prepare a pot or seed starter with soil that drains well. Calea zacatechichi grows well in poor soil conditions and you do not need to worry about having the right type of soil.

Plant the seeds no deeper than 1/16 of an inch deep. You may also be able to simply sprinkle them on top of the soil.

Place the pot or seed starter near a window that faces west or south, but not in any direct sunlight.

Mist the soil using a spray bottle and room-temperature distilled water. Do not overly soak the seeds.

Cover the top of the pot or the seed starter with a plastic bag or cling film to create a greenhouse-like effect. Secure it firmly with tape or rubber bands, but make sure it can still be easily removed for daily watering.

Continue watering each day to prevent the soil from drying out.

Transplant the herb like other herbs when it has reached 3 to 4 inches or it needs more room. This step is optional. Make sure to transplant it with ample soil around it to prevent damaging the roots.


Calea zacatechichi may grow up to 10 feet tall. If you plan on keeping it in a pot, start in a large pot and plant only a few seeds in this pot. Water is critical at the seedling stage, but once it has matured and established itself, this plant can handle periods of drought.


Keep this plant away from pets or small children. Hallucinations and bad dreams may occur if ingested.

Things You'll Need

  • Calea zacatechichi seeds
  • Bowl
  • Distilled water
  • Cloth
  • Seed starter or pot
  • Potting soil
  • Spray bottle
  • Cling film
  • Tape
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About the Author

Chelsea Rose began writing professionally in 2009. She has written veterinarian articles for and private clients. Currently a full-time student, she is finishing an associate degree in preparation to major in international studies and receive a minor in Mandarin Chinese through Portland State University.