The Q&A Archives: How to plant verbascum bare roots

Question: I recently purchased Jackie-in-the-Pink verbascum. To my dismay, they were bare roots--many roots with a main stalk. The only instructions were to NOT soak in water and to cover with one inch of soil. I dug a hole and placed the entire bare root (roots and stalk) with the roots fanning out and going downward in it. I filled in the hole with soil and then covered it with another inch of soil on top (such that no portion of the bare root was visible). It's been several weeks, and I'm not seeing any signs of growth (that is, no shoots are appearing above the soil). I'm wondering if I was to only plant the roots in the soil. Should I not have planted the stalk beneath the soil? If I planted it correctly, how long (approximately) should it take before growth is visible? I truly appreciate any help on the proper planting of bare roots. I haven't had much success with them.

Answer: I think you planted your verbascus properly (the crown of the plant where the stalk emerges should be about an inch below the surface of the soil). It will take a while for you to see any sign of life - at least until your soil maintains a temperature of about 50F. Give it a few more weeks....


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