Betony is another one of our native wildflowers – it grows well in Europe, Asia and North Africa. But how to grow betony from seed, I hear you cry?
We are here to show you all the best ways that you can grow and cultivate this pretty little plant in your garden – it’s not as hard as you might imagine!
What You'll Learn Today
How To Grow Betony From Seed
Betony is a lovely plant to grow, and it’s quite easy to grow it from seed so that you have a lovely wildflower in your garden.
The seeds can sometimes take a little time and patience to grow, meaning that some people give up – but it is worth sticking with it!
- Choose either the spring or autumn to sow your betony seeds, as this gives you the best chance at getting them to grow.
- You can either plant them outside where they are to grow, or plant them indoors in seed trays – it’s up to you.
- Once you have popped your seeds into the soil, cover them lightly with a thin layer of soil or compost to keep them safe.
- Keep the soil moist but not soggy, to give the seeds enough moisture without allowing them to rot.
- Once the seedlings have emerged, keep the area free from weeds and don’t overwater. If you are growing indoors, now is the time to plant out your seedlings.
- Betony is an easygoing plant, so you can sow it in a variety of different soils and it should still thrive.
- Its favorite is an acidic soil, so you can choose the right spot in your garden by using a soil pH testing kit.
- This plant likes the sunshine, so pick a spot that gets either direct sun or a little dappled shade.
Betony can also be grown from cuttings, and this may prove easier – but there’s nothing like the satisfaction that comes from growing a plant all the way from seed to maturity!
This video shows you the tremendous versatility of this plant, and how easy it is to grow.
How Do You Germinate Betony Seeds
The idea of growing plants is that you sow seeds and then plants grow, right? It should always be this easy, but some plants need a little extra help!
Betony is one of the plants whose seeds need cold stratification, that is, a period of cold before they are ready to germinate.
If your betony is outside growing naturally, this process will happen automatically. If you are growing seeds from a shop then you may have to give them a helping hand.
You can try placing the seeds into the fridge, to mimic the cold conditions of winter that these plants need in order to sprout.
Just place them into a paper bag and leave them in the fridge for a few weeks, and this should trick them into thinking they have been outside all winter.
Sowing betony outside will achieve this process naturally – the colder winter temperatures will allow the seeds to germinate well.
Does Betony Need Cold Stratification?
Cold stratification means keeping your seeds cool for a long period of time, to mimic their natural environment.
Most plants flower in summer, then form and drop their seeds in the autumn. This means that the seeds will then have a whole winter outside.
Cold stratification is not necessary with all seeds, however there are some that will stubbornly refuse to germinate unless they have had this treatment!
Betony is a plant that does need to be cold for a period before it bursts into life, so making sure that you do not skip this step means that you should end up with strong, healthy plants.
If you live in an area with cold winters, you can simply leave your seeds outdoors – I’d suggest putting them into a bag or container so they don’t blow away.
Alternatively, you can bring them inside and pop them in the fridge – as long as they are kept at around 5 degrees C for a time, they should perform well.
If you are planting your betony outside, you can simply sow the seeds where they are to grow between September and December, and let the weather do the rest.
Is Betony A Perennial Or Annual?
Annual plants have just one season, while perennials will just keep coming up year after year (with the right conditions, of course!)
Betony is a perennial plant – this means that you will plant it one year, and see it popping back up the following year.
As long as it has its favorite conditions – a dry, sunny position in well draining soil – it should reward you with its pretty purple flowers season after season.
Here is a useful article telling you all about betony.
How Do You Take Care Of Betony In The Winter?
Luckily for the low-maintenance gardener, betony needs very little human intervention in order to thrive.
Because it is a native wildflower, it has adapted to the conditions in which it grows, and is pretty hard to kill off!
Betony is hardy down to -5 degrees C, so even a heavy frost should not kill it off completely.
The only thing you will need to watch out for is the amount of rainfall – these plants won’t appreciate sitting in waterlogged soil.
As long as you have planted them in well draining soil, potentially even on a bank so the water can drain away, this lovely little plant should bounce right back in the spring.
The whole plant will die back over winter, so you can pretty much just ignore it, knowing that it will take care of itself.
Before it starts sprouting back up in the spring, it is a good idea to remove the dead growth from last year.
Simply cut the dead growth off, as close to the ground as you can without damaging the main plant. Make sure you use good sharp secateurs!
Having some of our lovely native flowers dotted about your garden can add colour, texture and a little more interest to your borders.
Growing betony from seed is easy and rewarding, and you are sure to love seeing those little purple heads poking up!
Betony Key Facts
|Scientific Name||Stachys Officionalis|
|Light Requirements||Full sun to full shade|
|Soil Requirements||Dry, light soil|
|Temperature Requirements||Hardy to -5 degrees C (23 degrees F)|
|Water Requirements||Regular watering in the first year; 1-2 inches per week. Less watering required once established|
|Fertilizer Requirements||Fertilize with rich, well rotted organic material at the start of the growing season|
|Bloom Time||Through September|
|Pests||Slugs and snails|
|Size||Between 9 inches and 3 feet|