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Starting and Caring for Eyebright

Written by Mindy on March 24th, 2017

While a grassy area can be beautiful, nothing beats a surprising flush of color in this environment. This is where eyebright comes into play but before you run to your local garden store to buy your seed, learn a little bit about this annual.

eyebrightEyebright is an annual that is classified as a semi-parasitic. The reason for this semi approach is the fact that the vegetation does not really warrant itself to a true parasite. This plant produces beautiful green leaves and tiny flowers that are either white or lilac. The height of this plant is two to eight inches, which makes it a great companion for a grass plant. But in this example, the companionship goes beyond decoration and extends to necessity.

This plant has a unique relationship with grass. Being a semi-parasitic plant, the eyebright seeks nutrition from grass plants without harming them. When a freeze comes through the area, the eyebright dies completely.

Propagating eyebright is through seed but keep in mind that this plant does not transplant well. In doing so, you will need to plant your seed outside. If your area has cold winters then you can simply plant your seed in a prepared grassy area. On the other hand, if you live in an area that the cold winds do not blow, you will need to mimic this environmental condition.

This is easy to do and only requires you to add a few cups of moistened soil to a plastic bag. Next, sprinkle your seed inside the bag and mix. Seal up the bag and store in the refrigerator for three months.

While you are waiting to plant your seeds, prepare your grassy location. Beyond being grassy, eyebright requires a sunny location that drains well. Once the proper location has been discovered, prepare the ground by pulling up 40 to 50 percent of the grass. After that is done, work the soil up to one inch deep. Smooth the surface over and sprinkle your treated seeds over the bare area. Mist the soil and keep it evenly moist. Do not use a hard spray when it comes to watering the seeds, which are small. Doing this will reduce the germinate rate of your seeds due to the fact that they will be forced down into the soil.

In 7 to 14 days, your eyebright seeds will have germinated but continue to monitor the soil moisture until the seedlings are established. Your eyebright will produce blooms in July through September. After the flowers are spent, you can collect the seeds or just let the plant reseed itself.


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