The verbena plant produces fragrant, good looking flowers that sit atop fern-like foliage with an old-fashioned look and drought-resistant.
Verbena plants consist of around 250 semi-woody species with dense patches of flowers sitting on top. The simple leaves are sometimes densely hairy. Flowers situated at the top of the stem in very dense spikes each with five petals.
Usually growing in clumps 6 to 10 inches in height makes them ideal hanging basket plants. Verbena plants typically produce brilliant large bloom in shades of white, cream, pink, red, lavender, and deep violet, some having flirty little eyes.
Their tendency of blooming from spring to fall and very minimal maintenance make Verbena’s a must-have plant for the garden.
Regarded as a perennial in the warm climates where frost doesn’t present an issue, it grows successfully as an annual in areas with freezing temperatures.
History Of The Verbena Plant
The Verbena holds a remarkable history and legend among several cultures.
Known as the “Tears of Isis” in ancient Egypt, the Egyptians believed the plant held supernatural and divine properties.
The ancient Greeks referred to Verbena as the “Tears of Juno”. Christian folklore suggest they used Verbena to treat Jesus wounds once he was removed from the cross.
Also its use in magical charms, a common symbol of love and associated with the fertility goddesses.
In modern, horror literature, Hollywood used Verbena in the popular TV series – The Vampire Diaries to protect human beings from vampires.
Tips On Planting Verbena
Verbena grow well in USDDA Hardiness Zones 2 – 8 and available in most garden centers.
When growing verbena from seed start them indoors in late winter by placing 2 seeds in fiber or peat pots. Cover them lightly soil.
Water pots and keep soil moist not wet. Seeds take about one month before showing any signs of life. Once plant reach the 3 or 4 leaves stage begin to hardened them for use outdoors.
Since they take some time to germinate, most gardeners simply buy young plants from a local garden center.
If starting seed indoors under grow lights, plant 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date.
Plant verbena in full sun in compost-amended beds once all the danger of frost passes. Space plants 10 to 12 inches apart.
Verbena though not too particular about soil except it does need a properly-draining soil. If planted in soil that becomes soggy after spring rains or heavy winter snow the perennial varieties will usually die.
Caring For Your Verbena Plants
Fortunately, Verbena flowers draw attention but the plants do not demand attention! Once established water the plants when they dry out.
Fertilize plants with a balanced fertilizer once in the spring of the year after planting and establishing outside.
If you live in an area where verbena grows as a perennial cut the plant back in the fall. If the grow as an annual in your location, remove the plants once they finished flower in the fall.
If planted in the proper growing conditions you can expect blooms in the first season. Deadhead faded blooms to ensure that blooming continues all through the gardening season. Some people do not regularly deadhead faded blooms. But, deadheading is necessary if you plant verbena for summer blooms.
If the blooms slow, trim the whole plant by a quarter for a new show of flowers in 2 to 3 weeks. Following the trim, fertilize lightly and water well. Repeat this process as necessary when learning how to grow your verbena successfully.
Verbena Diseases & Pests
You can beat slugs by setting an aluminum pie plate full of beer out in the heavily infested areas of the garden or yard. The beer attracts the slugs and they will die once filling up on the intoxicating beverage.
The verbena plants can be affected by diseases such as leaf spot and powdery mildew. You can find various chemical and natural products to help you control these problems. You can find out more about such products at your local garden center.
Companion Planting & Design
Verbena makes amazing window box plants, beautiful hanging baskets, and wonderful containers paired with other cascading annuals that love full sun such as calibrachoa and lantana.
Place containers on a patio, deck or near a window and watch the butterflies that will inevitably show their attraction to the flowers. Plant tall varieties in the back of perennial or annual flowerbeds to add color and surprise.
The verbena plant does not require too much effort to plant to maintain as clearly shown in this article. All you need to do is follow the discussed tips and you will be growing verbena successfully in no time.