The Q&A Archives: Planting Verbena Seeds

Question: I received my order from Burpee yesterday, and have planted all my seeds. However, I got Verbena for the first time, and have a question on planting them. It says on the pack to water the flat the night before planting, and to leave them in a dark place. I have never heard of planting seeds like this, but I did it anyway. I have them in a dark closet. What kind of maintenance should I use on them til they germinate. Do I need to water them (package says seeds are sensitive to moisture), if so, top or bottom?

Answer: The idea behind excluding light is to accommodate some seeds need for darkness to germinate. The closet should work fine. These seeds are sensitive to overwatering, so ideally the starting mix is watered ahead of time, and allowed to sit so that the moisture penetrates evenly throughout and any excess has drained to the bottom. Assuming you enclosed the container in plastic wrap or the like, the humidity inside the package should be adequate until the seeds germinate. When germination occurs, immediately remove the plastic and set them in the brightest light available. Basically, once the seeds have been planted on damp mix and covered with plastic and set in the dark, you do nothing but wait. Sort of an anticlimax, isn't it?

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