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Winter sowing Verbena bonariensis

bella rosa
February 16, 2018

Has anyone had any luck winter sowing Verbena bonariensis and if so, what's your secret? I can never get this plant to grow. What am I doing wrong?

Comments (17)

  • whatis123 Mo.(6)

    Thanks for asking bella, I would like to know too.

    So far I am WS some in jugs and saving half for direct planting later.Zone 6

  • mnwsgal

    Yes, it germinates well in ws containers. It also self seeds in gardens. I ws one year and always had vb every year afterwards from self sown plants. In my z4 garden self seeding was not a problem. Seedlings were easy to pull or hoe out and easily transplanted to other areas.

    bella rosa thanked mnwsgal
  • bella rosa

    mswsgal, did you cover the seeds with soil?

  • whatis123 Mo.(6)

    Thank you mnwsgal. Good to know.

  • deannatoby

    Just saw this post, but I WS Verbena last year and it did very well. Got my seed from SwallowTail Seeds. I don't cover any seeds unless they are huge, which means they are outright in obvious need of cover. Huge seeds are things like Nasturtium and Sweet Peas. All other seeds regardless of sowing directions gets sprinkled on top. This may not be the best in way in many people's eyes, but the moisture trapped in the jug seems to encourage germination for them all. Anyway, my V bonariensis germinated very well. Wish we could figure out why yours didn't.

  • mnwsgal

    I also did not cover small seeds. Sprinkled them on top of moist mix and pressed them down with a plastic spoon to be sure they had good soil contact.

  • deannatoby

    Thanks for the confirmation, mnwsgal. I should have said one reason I only surface sow is because I believe that as the seeds sit they often "settle" into the soil, especially as it goes through freeze/thaw cycles. All seeds seem to settle into the soil well and get light if they need it, and something like cover if they need that. Not sure why it works that way, but Ma Nature sure is persistent to make things happen!

  • ladyrose65

    I got them to germinate; however they did not come up the following year. Their like Annuals for me.

  • docmom_gw

    They are annuals.

  • deannatoby

    They’re hardy to zone 7, so a definite annual for me.

  • deannatoby

    We had a brutal winter, but snow cover. That was good for plants. But April was a dandy and some things didn't survive the cold snaps while coming out of dormancy. Amazingly, some of my Verbena bonariensis survived and have excellent shoots coming up from the root. I can't believe it! No, they are not seedlings. The roots survived!

  • Cathy Kaufell

    I have a large section that
    reseeds itself every year. I grew
    one plant many years ago. After it’s
    done blooming around late August I try not to deadhead it and it will reseed
    itself during the summer.

    bella rosa thanked Cathy Kaufell
  • Campanula UK Z8

    For some reason, while VB seeds about (although will often be too late to do much in the first year) , I have no luck sowing seeds in pots. However, I find this is one plant which is so amenable to vegetative propagation, I have not bothered sowing seeds for years. The lateral side shoots (nipped out before flowering) will root in mere days and can be harvested all summer. One plant will yield dozens of vigorous plantlets which are guaranteed to flower the same season as rooting (as cuttings are already 'programmed' in a more mature mode for early flowering).

  • bella rosa

    I was able to WS this plant successfully. Thanks everyone.

  • alenm3

    bella rosa, I know this thread is a few months old, but did you do anything differently to get them to germinate and grow this time?

  • bella rosa

    hi, I think the only difference was that I didn't cover the seeds. I was pleasantly surprised when they finally germinated. I planted them and the butterflies LOVED them.

  • alenm3

    Thank you! I'm going to try and scatter some seeds in my garden this Spring. Hopefully I'll get a lot of them everywhere!

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