• Eventual height: 0.9m
  • Eventual spread: 0.45m

Verbascum phoeniceum 'Violetta'

purple mullein

9cm pot £7.99
Delivery options
  • Standard £5.95

This perennial is semi-evergreen so it can lose some of its leaves in winter. In colder regions or more exposed gardens, it may lose them all, but then fresh new growth appears again in spring.

  • Position: full sun, light shade
  • Soil: well-drained, alkaline soil
  • Rate of growth: average
  • Flowering period: May to August
  • Hardiness: fully hardy (but short-lived)

    Upright stems carry whorls of dark-eyed, purple blooms above rosettes of oval-shaped, deep green leaves. As the season progresses, and as each flower fades, attractive pearl-like seed pods develop, and these ripen to burgundy black in colour. Shorter than many other mulliens (but no less showy), 'Violetta' is ideal for smaller gardens or naturalised planting schemes.

  • Garden care: Apply a thick 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch round the base of the plant in autumn to protect from winter extremes, taking care not to cover the crown. Stake in spring with bamboo canes or twiggy prunings before the flowers appear. Mullein moth caterpillars can be a problem - pick off the insects in early June as soon as they appear. Remove faded flower spikes.

    It is worth keeping in mind that these plants are mainly biennial, so although they usually self-seed freely, the plant will only live for two years.

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