Growing and Saving the Seed Of Mullein

Latin name Verbascum densiflorum is a biennial or short-lived perennial member of the Scrophulariaceae, or figwort, family. Hardy from USDA zones 4-8. In the first year this plant will produce a rosette of soft leaves and in the second year send up a tall flower spike that has been likened to a torch. Indeed the bright yellow flowers do set the landscape aflame with color.



Native to Europe and Asia. Dioscorides listed a number of medicinal uses for mullein and it has been in traditional use since ancient times.



  • Mullein makes a lovely ornamental and can be grown in rock gardens, xeriscape gardens, and even looks nice in the cottage garden or wildflower meadow.
  • It is typically found as a useful ground cover after a site has been disturbed, often in depleted areas.
  • Beds, back of borders, containers, row planting, cut flower production, pollinator garden, native wildflower garden, meadow, planted in the vegetable patch.




  • Seeds germinate in 14-21 days.
  • Direct sow seeds in fall/winter or start indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost date.
  • Surface sow seeds (they are very, very tiny) as light aids germination.
  • When sowing outdoors, you can lightly cover them.
  • Ideal germination temperature is 70-80 F.


  • Prefers well-drained soil, although mullein is tolerant of a range of soil conditions, including poor soil.
  • Drought tolerant.
  • Provide full sun to part shade.
  • Space plants at least 18-24 inches apart.


  • A pest-free plant.
  • It is not typically considered invasive, but if you are concerned about potential invasiveness, ask your local extension agent for more information specific to your region.


  • This biennial will send up a flower stalk in the second year.
  • Allow flower stalk to turn brown and dry before saving the tiny seeds.
  • Store in a cool, dark, dry place.