Calling Mrs P - or anyone who can grow Verbena bonariensis from seed

I know it seeds itself, and it has, but being a tender perennial as an insurance I've tried to grow it from packet seed myself the last 2 years. Not a one germinates- Zilch! Mrs P says in her review that it grows easily, so Mrs P can you give me advice on how you did it please? Or can anyone else who's grown it from a packet?

If I was queen of the world it would be compulsory to grow this plantimage

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Posts

  • curlyonecurlyone Posts: 31

    I grew some from a packet of seed and they took a hell of a long time to germinate.  When they did germinate they didn't do very much until I put them in a border.   I thought I'd used a bad seed compost but I've heard a lot of people say they have had trouble.

    The plants have surprised me in their hardiness as well, earlier this year we went down to minus 15 but all of my verbena bonariensis survived, great plants.

  • RobotRobot Posts: 137

    Same here.  We had a terrific frost following a hot spell which followed 3 weeks of snow back in Feb/March and I lost loads but the Verbena B's still popped up everywhere despite being slightly tender.  

    My garden book says you should sow the seed in early spring in a heated greenhouse and cover the seed finely with compost and then black polythene until they germinate.  Haven't tried that myself since I get loads of little plants appearing in the spring and I just dig them up and put them where I want them.

     

     

     

  • Thanks both of you, this gives me hope. I'll try the black polythene next year. I do have them self-seeding in the garden, but now it's a case of defeating the failure of the packets!

  • Sow seed from your existing Verbena plants in early spring in multi-purpose compost, covered with grit.  Water from below and keep in a sheltered, partially sunny spot.  Seedlings appear after approx 3 weeks.  Wait til approx 2" high then pot on or put in borders. 

     

    Good luck!

  • LeggiLeggi Posts: 489

    I absolutely love VB.

    I have a tray of seedlings taken from last seasons plant that I'm about to pot up, my question is will they flower this year or am I going to have to live in hope they survive the winter and flower next summer?

  • BerghillBerghill Posts: 2,826

    It is as tough as old boots. Cannot say we have ever lost one and believe me this is a COLD garden. We have had frost as late as July and as early as September. Did not lose any over the really terrible winter 2 years ago. And as for self seeding, they are worse than Cleavers.

  • LeggiLeggi Posts: 489

    And to answer the OP (like I should have done in my first post image)  I just used a seed tray scattered the seed over the surface of some compost, covered that with vermiculite and firmed it down. I left the tray in a not particularly sunny spot open to the elements and gave it no attention what so ever.

    This probably isn't the best advice but it's worked for me. image

  • pashpash Posts: 109

    Old boots is right, i potted a load of seedlings up last year into 1lt pots planted what i wanted, gave a load away, had about 20 plants left in pots going into winter, i'd put them in a tomato grow bag tray which filled with water and froze solid, all came up this spring??? They do need a lot of water thou, drying out seems to be the only way to hurt these plants

  • gardeningfanticgardeningfantic Posts: 1,019

    i must admit i had no trouble frowing mine from seed.. as stated above sow in spring.. just keep warm and they will grow.. most of mine did.. and they flowered next year..

  • curlyonecurlyone Posts: 31

    @Leggi - Mine flowered same year I sowed so you should get some!

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