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Help Growing Mugwort From Seed

Posted by vegetarianwolf Texas (My Page) on
Sun, Nov 27, 11 at 0:51

Hi everyone, this is my first post so bear with me if I've made any mistakes.

I have been trying to grow mugwort (artemisia vulgaris) for some time now, and I just can't get it to grow. I once knew someone who had a small field of it in her backyard, and would use it to make some nice tonics and add flavoring to food. She said it was easy to grow, so I ordered some seeds and decided to give it a shot.

Well, four months and two seed packets later I haven't had one sprout. I was informed by the seed dealer that the first packet might have been irradiated in customs, so I was sent another. It also didn't even sprout, and I have no idea what I'm doing wrong.

All the guides I've seen have made growing mugwort seem trivial- sprinkle the seeds on top of any kind of soil, water, and place in full sun. Tried that, didn't work. I also tried sprouting with paper moist paper towels, sowing indoors, sowing in partial sun, sowing in full sun, keeping the soil wet, and letting the soil dry between waterings.

Nothing worked. I don't want to spent more money on seeds without finding out why this plant won't even sprout.

So my question is: has anyone had this experience before? How can I go about making absolutely certain that I create the best environment (sun, temp, soil, ways of sowing) for this plant before just giving up on it entirely?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Help Growing Mugwort From Seed

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Sun, Nov 27, 11 at 13:22

Why don't you try either direct sow now, or sow and place the pots outside where they will be exposed to fluctuating temps with a major drop in F at night. Or giving the seeds - moist - a lengthy chill of several weeks in your refrigerator. Apparently these do develop a dormancy when dry that stratifying (damp chill) should overcome - and be patient, they can take quite some time to germinate.

RE: Help Growing Mugwort From Seed

Thanks morz8. I have ants out here that will carry away anything I put on the ground, so it would have to be planted in pots. How should I plant it? Just throw it on top of the soil? Also, what light levels are good for it, and how long should I wait for germination?


RE: Help Growing Mugwort From Seed

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Mon, Nov 28, 11 at 10:57

Surface sow or barely cover the seed, some light may be beneficial to germination. When surface sowing, its good to press the seed onto the soil, or mist it down with water so the seed makes good soil contact. It looks like germination of these is erratic, meaning not all seeds will germinate at the same time. The number of weeks could be highly variable, taking from less than a month after temps warm slightly from the moist chill, to several months. If you have a spot with bright indirect light for the pots, place them there.

RE: Help Growing Mugwort From Seed

Thanks again. I planted the seeds in a planter with a wide rim, and filled it with soil about an inch below the top of the pot, to avoid the seeds blowing away. I spread them on the soil, lightly pushed them in, and then watered with a spray bottle.

Trouble is, I can't even see them now. I have no idea whether they've blown away or not :P.

Anyway, should I continue to water using a spray bottle once or twice a day or is it acceptable to expose the seeds to rain?

Thanks again

RE: Help Growing Mugwort From Seed

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Sun, Dec 4, 11 at 19:28

Rain is perfectly acceptable - that's how the plant would plant them :)

I don't think I've ever had to water a pot placed outdoors in Fall or Winter here.

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