Reigning In The Mullein Plant – An Unforgettable Moment In The Garden


Have you ever heard the maxim “don’t sweat the small stuff”? My mother said this so much, and still says it all the time, that it’s become a guiding principle in our family. When it comes to gardening, I always have that saying in the back of my mind. To me, it means that gardening should be fun and not too technical, which generally means that it takes a lot to fluster me, until one unforgettable moment in the garden.

Mullein Plant Fiasco

This particular gardening blunder (of which I’ve had many) took a couple of years in the making. It all started with my sister’s garden. She is an amazing gardener with a huge yard full of all the usual suspects and many surprises. One of her more unique plants was a huge six-foot specimen she called mullein. It had soft, velvety leaves and a towering flower head of yellow blooms. “I want one.” I said.

A short time later she brought over a small velvety rosette of a plant, a first-year mullein. Mulleins are biennial and don’t bloom until their second year. So I found a spot in the sun and plunked the mullein in. I didn’t give it another thought until the successive year when I was awed by my own six-foot mullein plant. Beautiful it may be but….

Fast forward a couple more years. I noticed that what was once a few mullein plants had become a dozen or more…in one spot and a dozen more in another and so on. Obviously, I should have snipped the flower head before it went to seed because now what was once a really cool specimen plant was now irrevocably a weed, or rather weeds, plural. To be frank, it’s all a bit embarrassing and showcases my lack of knowledge and, ahem, laziness.

Over my lifetime as a gardener, I have found that the smallest mistakes, such as not removing the spent flower head, can turn into an unforgettable garden event. Even so, I still treat gardening as more of a science experiment conducted by a lazy, crazed scientist: moi.

I just went back to my mantra of “don’t sweat the small stuff” as I dug up mullein after mullein after mullein, certain that this won’t be my last embarrassing garden moment.

The post Reigning In The Mullein Plant – An Unforgettable Moment In The Garden appeared first on Gardening Know How’s Blog.



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