How to Grow Mullein from Seed


Mullein (Verbascum thapsis and other species) is a biennial herb that grows wild in many areas and in diverse climate zones. It's an unusual looking plant when it's in flower during its second year of life---the tall flower spike can reach six feet or higher, and it is covered with small yellow flowers that typically bloom in the morning. After the flowers fade, each one turns into a pod that contains literally hundreds of tiny seeds that you can harvest if you want to begin more plants. But once mullein is a part of your landscape, chances are it will naturally reseed itself---you might end up with many more mullein plants than you want or need.

Growing Mullein from Seed

Step 1

Gather seeds from an existing mullein plant or purchase them from a seed catalog.

Step 2

In late summer, scatter a small number of these tiny seeds on the soil surface where you want your mullein to grow. There's no need to amend the soil with organic materials before you plant because mullein prefers poor, disturbed soil and it thrives in rocky areas.

Step 3

Pat the seeds into the soil with your palm to compact them. Do not cover them with soil. This is a wild plant, so try to emulate the conditions under which it grows in the wild.

Step 4

Sprinkle the area with water and keep it moist throughout the winter if rains do not achieve this condition.

Tips and Warnings

  • Be cautious when using plant medicine and always consult with a medical practitioner before you use any herbal formulas.

Things You'll Need

  • Mullein seeds
  • Sunny, dry location


  • Plant Biology

Who Can Help

  • Seed source
Keywords: verbascum thapsis, mullein herb, seeds starting

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi‘iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Barbara wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, and She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.