Growing Feverfew, Yarrow and Lady’s Mantle from Seed
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Grace Tijan
Posted on: October 05, 2004

I have been trying to grow the above from seeds for a few months but they don’t seem to be taking. I can’t seem to find any specific information on them. What kind of soil do they need? How much water do they need? Do you recommend using a spray nozzle or letting it soak up from a tray? How much light do they need?

Feverfew and yarrow will eventually have to be kept a little drier than lady’s mantle, but to sow the seed a sterilized well-draining mix, kept moist at all times, but not soggy wet, will do for all. I find that an aluminum baking tray filled with dry Pro-Mix (a mix of peat moss, perlite and slow release fertilizer, plus some lime to reduce acidity) works best. Wet it with boiling water, allow to cool (covered ) and then surface sow the fine seeds, spinkle a bit of sand (also sterilized by boiling water and then dried) over it, cover with a clean plastic bag held off the soil with plastic -not wood- sticks and in the case of feverfew and yarrow, place in a warm spot out of direct sun until seeds germinate.

To germinate lady’s mantle keep the seed tray 2-4 weeks moist at 20C, then 4-6 weeks at -5C, then change the temperature to 5-12C to have the seed germinate. Seed dies after 1 year of dry storage. Another method to germinate it, according to Norman C. Deno, is to keep the seed tray 3 months at 21C + light followed by three months at 4.4C, followed by 3 months at 21C + light, then oscillating temperatures(outside if it is winter , or shifting from 21 to 4.4 degrees Celsius every 12 hours if it must be done indoors) for 70% germination by week three.

All three herbs need well-draining soil and full sun, but lady’s mantle does better in half shade if the soil is not very moist. The seed trays are better watered by setting them in tepid water, but once the plants are mature and well rooted, a hose with a water breaker nozzle will do fine.

Feverfew tends to be a short-lived perennial and to increase its life span don’t let it go to seed. Heavy seeding makes it act like a biennual.

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