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Verbena Bonariensis Germination

Posted by newbie_in_nj 6b E/Central NJ (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 22, 09 at 14:32

I forgot to wintersow Verbena Bonariensis seeds and out night temps are fluctuating between 22-40F. Don't think that's sustained enough fluctuation between day/night temps.

Have searched for germination methods and came up with different methods from both seed vendors and GW members. All mention irregularity of germination.

1) Baggie method - soak & wring out coffee filter with very light Hydrogen Peroxide/water solution, fold up with seeds, place in fridge 2-4 weeks until sprouted and then pot up at around 68F.

2) Sow in containers, need dark to germinate, alternate placement of containers from heat to cold (mat to cold basement floor) to simulate spring temp fluctuations.


Some say don't need cold strat but just temp fluctuation.

Some say they don't need dark to germinate.

Some say cover with soil/vermiculte others say cover with cardboard to maintain darkness.

HELP me choose method before I end up wasting my seeds.

Don't have enough seed to try all variations on sowing methods I've found so any dependable experience would be greatly appreciated. I know I'm looking for iron clad instructions and germination is somewhat trial and error but I'd like to have at least some VB plants this year.

Thanks. Remember...if you help me you're helping the hungry Butterflies. :)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Verbena Bonariensis Germination

A master gardener I know has tried many, many ways to germinate these seeds, seeking advice from far & wide. She says this method yields the best results: barely cover seed and keep in 70-80F temps--sprout time 10-30 days. Good luck!

RE: Verbena Bonariensis Germination

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 22, 09 at 17:49

Newbie, they self sow so wildly here I've pulled a lot more seedlings than I've sown seeds in recent years - I think you can put your concerns about light/dark to rest, they aren't all that choosey. Self sown seedlings appear while our temps are still cool in earliest Spring, and they've been exposed to a wet chilly period.

The suggestions on the Clothiers site are reliable and are most often for commercial and/or seeds that have been stored and dried as opposed to freshly harvested.

Clothiers: Verbena bonariensis, rigida, and stricta, Sow at -4 to +4C (24-39F) for 4 wks, move to 20C (68F)for germination

RE: Verbena Bonariensis Germination

Thanks very much for answering.

Jaynine, should I keep them under lights or does that defeat the purpose of covering lightly with mix?

Morz8, I got the seed from Diane's Seed. Lord, are they tiny but not nearly as bad as Lobelia!

If these germinate I'll happily take the reseeders so I get more butterflies. I'm going to pair some VB with tropical Milkweed in very large containers. Hoping to do the same with Bronze Fennel.

Trying to get mama Black Swallowtails and Monarchs to lay eggs again this year. Raised them both last year. What a thrill to raise them but I'm just as happy just to see them flitting around my father's property checking here, there and everywhere for nectar.

Thanks again. Off to sow those seeds!

RE: Verbena Bonariensis Germination

I had the same problem and asked a mastergardener. Her advice is to use the baggie method and to put the seeds near a warm area. She'd suggested setting the seeds ontop the fridge because this is a warm area and I did until I realized my new modern fridge isn't giving off any heat. So I thought to use the top of my growlight and it seems to have worked.....


RE: Verbena Bonariensis Germination

Ianna, every time I read the suggestion about putting the seeds on top of the fridge I realize the same thing...LOL.

Same deal on water heater...insulated to within an inch of its life!

My father got rid of the old Frigidaire he and Mom bought when they got married in 1951. All the lights in their current house would dim momentarily when it went on in the basement. Used to freak out guests who didn't know about the old electricity hog in the basement. Old faithful was still working when Dad got rid of was like an old friend.

Have a feeling I'm going to be trying a few different ways to germinate these seeds.

Thanks for your input. Guess if different master gardeners use different methods the seeds may not be as picky as all the instructions say. I'm prepared for them to germinate erratically but that's fine as long as they germinate.

RE: Verbena Bonariensis Germination

newbie, If none of your trials work I have plenty to pass on to you. They reseed all over my property. I would be happy to send you some bare root plants. They are emerging now & I can tell there will be many more than I need. Good luck!

RE: Verbena Bonariensis Germination

Oh Wingward, that's so kind of you.

I may need to take you up on that offer if one of these germinating methods doesn't work.

I'll make a note of your offer and let you know if I need those plants for my Butterflies!

Thanks very much.

RE: Verbena Bonariensis Germination

Hi Newbie,I see your last follow up was a while ago, but I'm wondering, did they germinate? Which method did you end up using. I'm trying to grow some from seed too, as no local nurseries ever carry this around here.

RE: Verbena Bonariensis Germination

I sowed my Verbena Bonariensis on january the 4th outside via winter sowing and I am not sure on the germination date but it was last week sometime.

I did nothing special prior to wsing, I surfaced sowed, I didn't even press them in the dirt.

This was taken just a few minutes ago.

Verbena Bon.

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