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Growing Mullein OR

Growing Mullein OR

Growing Mullein

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When we first decided to start a new side business, we saw the need for a type of service that we could scale to meet the demand. So, our initial idea for Mullein was to provide an online casting service for other well-known green dyes. In this piece, I explore how we successfully ran our business with a lean marketing strategy.Sienna Mae Heath is a gardening expert with over five years of experience in gardening and landscape design. She grows her own food and flowers in her native Zone 6B. Sienna Mae runs The Quarantined Gardener blog and encourages the Lehigh Valley to develop victory gardens for sustainable, garden-based living. Her work has been featured in The Weeder's Digest, Gardening Know How, GrowIt, and more.Debra LaGattuta is a gardening expert with three decades of experience in perennial and flowering plants, container gardening, and raised bed vegetable gardening. She is a Master Gardener and lead gardener in a Plant-A-Row, which is a program that offers thousands of pounds of organically-grown vegetables to local food banks. Debra is a member of The Spruce Gardening and Plant Care Review Board.

Flower

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Common mullein (Verbascum thapsus) grows in pastures and meadows that have been neglected, on the side of the road and the edges of woods, along fence rows, in vacant lots and industrial areas. In the first year, plants grow low to the ground, bearing rosettes of hairy leaves. Gray-green in color, oblong to lanceolate, each soft leaf measures 4 to 12 inches long and one to five inches wide. This herbaceous biennial or short-lived perennial has a deep taproot. For the plant to come back and flower in the spring of its second year, it needs to be exposed to cold temperatures in a process known as vernalization Flower stalks grow quite tall (anywhere from two to seven feet), bearing small, yellow (rarely white), five-petaled flowers grouped closely on a leafy spike. Blooming a few at a time from June to September, they mature from the bottom to the top of the spike in spirals. In addition to its especially soft, felt-like foliage, another characteristic that makes this plant unique is that each individual bloom opens before sunrise and closes by mid-afternoon. Flowers attract flies, butterflies, short- and long-tongued bees, and other insects.

More than 300 varieties are native to Europe, West and Central Asia, and North Africa. Of the Scrophulariaceae snapdragon family, their long terminal flower spikes are reminiscent of snapdragon flowers. Common types spread quickly and can be controlled in their first year by weeding out young rosettes, but hybrid types (called ornamental mullein) tend to be less invasive and better for gardens. Flowers come in white, pink, lavender, purple, and yellow. Here are a few types of mullein to consider: In midsummer, the tall flower stalks of common mullein, Verbascum thapsus, begin to poke up, making this common weed in the family Scrophulariaceae highly noticeable in the road cuts and waste areas where it thrives. Native to Europe, northern Africa and Asia, it was probably introduced to North America several times as a medicinal herb. In the mid‑1700’s it was used in Virginia as a piscicide (fish poison). It spread rapidly and had become so well established by 1818 that a flora of the East Coast at that time described it as a native. It had reached the Midwest by 1839 and became widely naturalized on the Pacific Coast by 1876. Today common mullein is distributed throughout the U.S. and Canada wherever the growing season is at least 140 days and rainfall is sufficient (50-150 cm), especially on dry sandy soils. (Source: hort.extension.wisc.edu)

 

 

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