Germinating Lemon Verbena Seeds
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Marg Oshelanyk
Posted on: September 24, 2006

Thanks for being there. I purchased lemon verbena plants from you two years ago and wintered one indoors, as it was blooming. I placed it outside all summer and have now returned it indoors in the green house. it is now about four and a half feet tall,and still blooming It seems to have made seed for me and I am wondering how to plant this seed. What are the requirments etc.? I am very excited to get this seed, and could really use your input.

It is exciting to get seeds from one’s own herbs! However in the case of lemon verbena we have always found that the flowers either do not produce seeds at all or if they do the seeds are inviable. We have never managed to produce a plant from any seeds that our plants have produced. As strange as this may seem -- after all how can a plant invest resources into flowering and not produce viable seeds -- it does happen with quite a number of common herbs. Peppermint, for example, does not produce viable seeds. Stevia produces viable seeds but only when the right pollinators are around. Sweetgrass produces seeds also, but there seems to be a limit of 5% to the number of viable seeds that are produced. I have heard that some people have managed to get lemon verbena seeds to germinate but the rate was very low.

I would certainly try to germinate any seeds that my plants produced but my expectation of success would be low. If I ever did manage to get some seeds to germinate that would be very exciting indeed! If you get seeds give them a sterilized, well-draining sowing medium and cover the seeds very lightly, no more than 1-mm, and give them gentle bottom heat. If germination occurs it will likely occur within 30-60 days.

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