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Thursday - August 07, 2008

From: Henly, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Transplants
Title: Propagating Dakota vervain (Glandularia binpinnatifida)
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Sean Watson

QUESTION:

Dakota Vervain. We recently moved into a new house in Henly--Hays/Blanco county line. Mother nature was kind enough to provide us w/Dakota Vervain in some of our planting beds while we are getting other plants established. I'd like to use Vervain in other parts of the garden for next year. What is the best way to accomplish this? Collect seeds? Transplant? I've seen the plants listed as both annuals and perinneals in various sources. Also, when do to the collecting/ planting/transplanting? If you say Fall, what month do you mean? THANKS!

ANSWER:

The "Propagation" information on the species page for Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida (Dakota mock vervain) says that it can be propagated by seed, cuttings, or transplanting of small plants in winter. Our nursery manager at the Wildflower Center, Sean Watson, has these comments about propagating the Dakota vervain or prairie verbena:

"It seems that these plants act as annuals for the most part from my experience. Some, however, will continue to live on after flowering and setting seed. It seems that many of our native annuals do this to a degree. The best way to propagate this plant is from cuttings taken in the Fall. Seed is best sown in a greenhouse in the Spring. I would transplant individuals and sow seed if you are wanting to fill in an area. Transplant them in the Fall (November is a good time) and throw seed out in between at the same time. Most of our wildflower seeds are better sown in the Fall if you are sowing outdoors. The fresher the seed, the better results you will have. Just make sure you clear out any weeds/debris from the area they are to be sown, turn/breakup the ground, and sow your seed, only slightly covering them with soil or pressing them in and then wait to see what comes up!"

Also, here are some tips from Trinity Forks Native Plant Press, the newsletter (May 2005) of the Trinity Forks Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT) about propagating this plant:

"Flowers bloom from the bottom to the top of the stem, and seed capsules continue to form and mature as the blooms move upward. Watch the seed capsules and gather the seeds when the pod begins to open and expose the black seeds, and, before the seeds are dispersed by wind, etc.. Or, allow the seeds to drop and watch for seedlings that can be transplanted. Another means of producing more plants is to lay the leaf node of a stem directly on the soil and weight it down with a rock. New roots will develop at that node and provide nourishment for the remaining length of the stem, which can then be severed and transplanted. Thus the term from our grandmothers who would say, "Oh, that'll grow under a rock." Try it!"

 

 

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