Learning how to propagate verbena allows gardeners to choose from seeds or cuttings to propagate vervain. It’s easy to say that this perennial is a must-have for every garden because its beautiful and numerous flower clusters are enjoyable in summer or autumn. Knowing how to root verbena either from seeds or cuttings will put you at an advantage among other growers.
To further give you a head start, consider using a greenhouse to sow the seeds or grow the parent plant for propagation. A controlled and ideal environment will ensure the survival of your seeds and transplants. Additionally, starting verbena indoors should get them vigorous for outdoor transplanting.
2 Ways How To Propagate Verbena Correctly
Rooting verbena from seeds
Those who have existing verbena plants can get their seeds; otherwise, choose a trusted source. The process is similar to collecting calibrachoa seeds since you’re gathering the dead flowers’ seed pods. Let the flowers in your verbena plants dry and die on the stem, and later you’ll see the brown and small seed pods.
Timing is very crucial with seed collection because the pods can burst open when you fail to harvest the seeds soon. When you see that your flowers are fading, it’s time to collect the pods. On the contrary, the pods are green if they aren’t ripe yet, indicating that the seeds inside are not yet mature.
Upon collection, dry the pods further by putting them in a dark area that receives air. After a week, they should be dry enough that the gentle rubbing of the pods will release them. You can then use these small and light brown seeds until spring for germination.
Planting and germination
The best time to propagate verbena by seeds is in early spring or even autumn. You can use pots or sprinkle the small seeds over the soil without covering them. As with other seeds, the ground must be moist to help the seeds germinate.
With indoor sowing, use compartmented flats with a well-draining and moist potting mix. Contrary to the first tip, some gardeners swear in using black plastic to cover the flats, as darkness can help with germination. Later on, thin the plants after germination.
You can adjust the temperatures from 64.4 to 69.8°F in the greenhouse since they support germination in a few weeks. Using a greenhouse puts you at an advantage because the outdoor conditions can expose the seeds to very high temperatures. If you live in a cold region, you have no choice but to sow six weeks before the last frost date indoors.
Sowing seeds indoors at 12 weeks before transplanting them outside should solve your limitation if the weather outside is too cold or wet. Additionally, not all seeds will be the same, so you might need to do cold stratification to help them germinate. But what if you want to sow outdoors?
Sowing verbena seeds outdoors
The process of sowing verbena seeds outdoors is similar to what you’ll do in the greenhouse. You still have to wait for the frost to pass and use a fertile and well-draining medium. You can also cover the seeds with black plastic until they germinate, then thin the plants when they grow true leaves.
Overall, it’s more advantageous to start the seeds indoors, harden them, and then transplant them when the soil and temperatures are workable outside. Verbena will thrive in full sun or partial shade, and you can treat it as annual and perennial, depending on your location.
Rooting verbena from cuttings
On the other hand, propagating verbena from cuttings is more straightforward. Take your cuttings in late spring or summer in the morning when the plant shoots are firm. According to gardeners, summer cuttings are hardier for survival, but spring cuttings root faster.
A 3-inch cutting below a leaf joint should suffice, but remember to choose the non-flowering side shoots. Remove the lower leaves as you would with propagation by cuttings with other plants. Afterward, you can dip the bare end into a rooting hormone to support its development.
A moist, gritty, and well-draining soil should be ideal for the cuttings, and then you can seal the pot in a clear bag to help maintain moisture. The greenhouse can protect the cuttings from harsh heat, but remember to place it in a warm position still. The roots should start growing within six weeks, and when this happens, you can separate the plants.
Propagation of various plants is one of those gardening skills that you should equip yourself with. If you’re interested in flowering perennials and annuals, you can quickly learn how to propagate verbena. This plant is quick to root using seeds or cuttings, and both methods are relatively straightforward as long as you note verbena’s requirements.
Sowing the seeds in the greenhouse will guarantee germination because you’re avoiding the dangers of extreme temperatures. The same is also true to starting cuttings indoors since the plants can be strong enough for transplanting later on. Overall, remember that you’re not out of the woods yet after proper collection of seeds and cuttings.
Timing, from the collection of seeds and cuttings, planting or sowing, and transplanting is crucial, so mark your calendar accordingly.