Learn how to grow mullein in your garden. Growing mullein is easy, especially in temperate climates, this medicinal herb also embellish with beautiful flowers.
USDA Zones— 5 – 9
Other Names— Verbascum, White Mullein, Torches, Candlewick Plant, Golden Rod, Velvet Plant, Rag Paper
The impressive wild herb mullein is cultivated for centuries, it is native to Europe and Asia. It is an undemanding plant, which also adorn itself with impressive, colorful flowers. Mullein is a medicinal plant and considered as an expectorant and antiseptic, thus used in bronchitis, asthma and cough and cold.
Mullein is now no longer viewed as a roadside weed, raising on wasteland and fallow land. This is one of the most important plants preferred by landscapers and garden designers who appreciate the extraordinary beauty of its many hybrid cultivars occurring in various colors– from white to yellow and pink to strong purple and light blue. There are about 250 species of mullein, which are either biennials or perennials.
How to Grow Mullein
It can be propagated from seeds and cuttings. For growing mullein from seeds, purchase them or if you are collecting them from plants, do it as soon as they appear.
Start mullein seeds indoors in the early spring. Sow seeds by scattering them at the top of the rich potting soil. They may take about two weeks to germinate. Divide the seedlings and transplant them into a larger pot or on the ground when they have grown their real leaves.
Particularly taller varieties are planted at a distance of about one meter, shorter varieties are planted 30 cm apart from each other.
Requirements for Growing Mullein
Mullein for luxuriant growth prefers full sun with dry and warm location. Plant mullein near the walls or large trees to provide shelter from wind, to avoid any damage to plant. You can grow mullein near borders, driveways and edges.
It grows in variety of soil types well-drained as well as in poor, calcareous soil. Soil should be dry and slightly alkaline for the optimum growth of the plant.
It has low watering requirements but at the time when it starts to flower you can increase watering. However, in any case never keep the soil constantly moist when growing mullein.
Mullein Plant Care
It is not necessary to fertilize it. Although you can fertilize it at the beginning of the growing season with slow release 10-10-10 fertilizer for fast growth and prolific blooms.
Mullein is frost resistant. It tolerates temperature as low as 5 F (-15 C). Still, mulching is required before frost. Cover the surface around the plant with a thick layer of twigs, leaves and bark to insulate the roots from cold.
The flowers are harvested between June and October, early in the morning and dried in shade. Leaves collected earlier in the day are richer in essential oils, if collected afternoon they contain more glycosides.
Pests and Diseases
Mullein is extremely resistant to pests. Even so aphids attack it but rarely. A heavily compacted soil that is not well draining encourages root rot.