How to Plant Wintergreen

Overview

Wintergreen produces evergreen leaves, adding color to the landscape year-round. It thrives in in damp, shady areas, such as under trees. It provides medium-height ground cover under evergreens, as the wintergreen tolerates the acidic soil near these trees and adds to the winter greenery in these areas. It can also be grown as small shrubs in pots. Wintergreen flowers throughout summer, producing small, waxy white or pink blooms that nestle against the foliage. Wintergreen seeds may be challenging to start, but once established, the plant requires minimal care.

Step 1

Dampen a paper towel and place the wintergreen seeds on top of it. Fold the towel in half so the seeds are between the two layers of paper towel, then slide it into a plastic bag and seal the bag closed. Store the bag in the refrigerator for one month. Chilling the seeds breaks dormancy and aids germination.

Step 2

Combine 1 part peat moss with 1 part perlite. Fill a seed-starting flat with the peat-perlite mixture and water it until it is as damp as a wrung-out sponge.

Step 3

Sow the wintergreen seeds on the surface of the peat mixture, sowing approximately one seed per square inch. Cover the flat with clear plastic to retain moisture during germination.

Step 4

Set the flat in an area that receives approximately eight hours of sun daily. Wintergreen seeds require light to germinate, advises Washington State University Extension.

Step 5

Remove the plastic once the seeds begin to sprout, usually within five weeks of planting. Place the flat in a brightly lit, 50 degree F room and water when the soil surface begins to feel dry.

Step 6

Transplant the wintergreen to the garden when all spring frost danger has passed. Space the plants 12 to 15 inches apart, planting them at the same depth in the garden that they were at in the flat.

Step 7

Water the wintergreen plants when the top ½ inch of soil begins to feel dry. Irrigate until the top 6 to 8 inches of soil is moist, approximately once a week in summer and every 14 to 21 days in winter.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not touch the wintergreen roots when transplanting. The roots are sensitive and easily damaged.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels
  • Plastic bag
  • Seed flat
  • Peat moss
  • Perlite
  • Plastic wrap

References

  • Washington State University Extension: Plant Propagation Protocol
  • Purdue University Extension: Wintergreen
Keywords: planting wintergreen seeds, growing wintergreen plants, wintergreen shrub care

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.