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A picture of a Mullein


Verbascum spp.

VerbascumPyramidatum by L. Shyamal (CC BY 3.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Light watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Mullein

A close up of some yellow Verbascum flowers
Some yellow Verbascum flowers in the wild
A tall Verbascium plant with yellow flowers in a garden
A tall Verbascium plant with yellow flowers in the wild
A close up of some yellow Verbascum flowers

Mullein Overview

Verbascum - also known as Mullein - is a genus of many evergreen or semi-evergreen species, that can be annuals or perennials, but are most often biennials. They have soft textured basal leaves that form rosettes and smaller, stalkless, stems leaves. Flowers are saucer-shaped - most often yellow - and are borne very densely on spikes. Verbascums make a dramatic addition to any garden, and are particularly suited to cottage style or other informal planting schemes. Requiring little water when established, they also work well in sunny, dry, gravel gardens and mix well with other Mediterranean plants. They are short-lived however, so naturalising them in drifts on the edge of woodland gardens, is another planting option. Where soil is fertile and/or water is freely available, verbascums can put on a lot of growth and are likely to need support. Most cultivated verbascums are sterile, while wild mullein seeds are known to regularly seed themselves from a nearby plot! They are good for attracting wildlife including birds, bees and other pollinators.

Common problems with Mullein

Mullein Companion Plants

How to harvest Mullein

Pick leaves as needed for medicinal use.

How to propagate Mullein


Lift a vigorous plant in winter and select pencil-thick young roots. Cuttings should be 5-10cm and inserted into compost vertically, crown end up, just below the surface and placed in a cold-frame.


Selfseed easily, although sterile hybrids have been released and prefered in recent times.


Division in the winter.

Special features of Mullein

Attractive flowers

Attracts bees


Drought resistant

Thrives best in a sunny, well-drained position. Needs little water once established. Can become too top-heavy in moist soils.

Other uses of Mullein

Flower arranging


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A biennial plant takes two years to complete it's flowering cycle but worth the wait.

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