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How to Grow Fireweed

By Kimberly Johnson ; Updated September 21, 2017
Fireweed dies back in winter but reblooms in spring.

Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium) is a wildflower that grows in all areas of the United States except for the Southeast and Texas. The perennial plant can reach heights of up to 5 feet and has spiky green leaves and large tube-shaped flowers in various shades of pink. You can grow fireweed plants from seeds planted directly into the ground as long as you live in a climate with adequate moisture.

Place the fireweed seeds in a plastic food storage bag in late summer and seal the bag tightly. Insert the bag into a refrigerator that maintains a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit and leave it there for 40 days.

Look for a planting site that has full to partial sunlight and moist to slightly soggy soil. Good locations are near bodies of water such as streams, bogs or drainage ditches or under a canopy of trees.

Pull up all weeds and other vegetation in the area. Spread an all-purpose fertilizer over the soil using the amount specified on the fertilizer label. Mix the fertilizer into the top 5 to 6 inches of the soil using a pitchfork or a shovel. Smooth the top of the soil out evenly, but do not pack it down.

Spread the fireweed seeds onto the surface of the ground, spacing them at three-foot distances. As the plants grow, they will form dense clumps and fill in the bare spaces. Cover the seeds with an additional 1/4 to 1/2 inch of soil.

Water the soil only when it feels dry or when drought occurs. If the proper planting site is chosen, fireweed rarely requires additional water. The seeds will germinate about 10 days after planting.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Plastic food storage bag
  • All-purpose fertilizer
  • Pitchfork or shovel

Tips

  • If the summer temperatures are high in your region, fireweed will stop blooming but will develop new blossoms in the fall as temperatures moderate.
  • Fireweed typically does not bloom until the second year after planting.
  • If you want to collect fireweed seeds from the wild, the seed pods develop in August and September.

About the Author

 

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.