Black haw, or Viburnum prunifolium, adds interest to a landscape in the spring and fall. It has showy white flowers in the spring, and then turns to brilliant colors in the autumn. Black haw is a deciduous shrub that grows best in USDA zones 3 to 9. While it grows slowly, it will achieve heights of 10 to 15 feet and widths of 8 to 10 feet. The easiest way to grow black haw is to plant a shrub obtained from a nursery. However, black haw prunifolium can be germinated from seeds, but it can take up to 18 months to achieve.
Preparing the Seeds
Combine equal amounts of fine sand and vermiculite or perlite into a sealable plastic bag.
Sprinkle 2 to 3 tsp. of water into the mixture. Throw a few black haw seeds in, too, and shake the bag. Squeeze out the air as you seal the bag.
Store the plastic bag in an undisturbed spot with temperatures between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Open the bag every three to four days to test the mixture for moisture. Add water with a mister to keep the soil mixture moist.
Move the bag to a warmer location after one month. Place the bag in a spot that is 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave it there for two months, checking it every few days for moisture.
Remove the bag from the warm location after two months and put it back in the original cold storage. Leave it there for 60 days. The change in temperature is stimulating germination.
Pot the Seeds
Fill 4-inch plant pots with the starter seed mix. Fill until the soil is 1/2 inch from the top. Press down to eliminate air pockets.
Set the pots in an irrigation tray that has 1 inch of water. The moisture and humidity will soak into the seed mixture.
Press holes in the top of the soil mixture with a fingertip. Put one black haw seed in each hole. Cover with 1/4 inch of the seed-starting mix to encourage germination.
Store the plant pots in an area that is between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Give them six to eight hours of sunlight daily.
Water the soil to keep it moist. Make sure it isn't soaking wet. Expect it to take as many as 18 months for black haw seeds to sprout.
Transplant the seedlings when they are 3 to 4 inches tall. Put them in larger containers or right into the ground.
About this Author
Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than 10 years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.