Weld

Weld, Reseda Luteola, is also known as Dyer’s Weld, Dyers Rocket, and Mignonette.

Weld seeds need to be kept consistently moist while germinating, and I think I was given the hint that they even like a little bit of light to help with germination.  Do not cover heavily with soil, as they are a very tiny seed, and make sure to keep the soil moist until the seeds are germinated and established. 

I had some difficulty seeding Weld my first year and had to re-purchase seeds from various suppliers.  Finally, I got them going by seeding them in potting soil, kept consistently moist, instead of sowing them directly in the ground, even though I thought the weather should have been good, and I thought I was careful enough about watering.  I am finding that some seeds start better for me in potting soil, and if the weather is very sunny and hot, to keep the soil out of direct sun that can make it get overly hot and dry while the seeds are trying to germinate.  I seeded this same seed in a pot of potting soil in the shade and had great success, so I hope that you will find the same.

Be careful when transplanting, because Weld grows a single taproot and taproot plants are more sensitive to being transplanted…..so, do not transplant when the plant is too large.  When/if you transplant, make sure to water it very well, so that it can get established in it’s new location. 

Weld is a biennial, which means that it grows a rosette of leaves in the first year and flowers and seeds in the 2nd year.  The first year it will just be a rosette of leaves, very close to the ground, but the 2nd year, it will get 5’ + tall.  Bees really love the tall flower stalks that immediately give way to being little packets of seeds that mature up the flower stalk.

In some climates, people talk about this plant self-seeding with abandon and that they get plenty of volunteer seedlings, but I do not think that this is the case in my garden.  If the stems are cut and harvested for dye stuffs early, they will regrow and branch out.  Even if they are not cut, they may continue to grow and send out more stems from the sides.  The whole plant may be used fresh or dried for later use.

Weld is a dye plant that has been used for very lightfast yellows since antiquity.  The luteolin contained in the plant is very lightfast, and is responsible for many, still bright and colorful textiles and paintings on display in museums. 

All parts of the plant, other than the roots, contain luteolin. 

If you are ever unhappy with seed or any other product you receive from me, please let me know.  Especially with seed, I feel that if the seed should not produce well, the waste of the growing season is the biggest shame and a refund unfortunately cannot make up for that loss of time.  You may find some unripe seeds, but I include extra seeds to make up for that.