The Verbena family includes the Verbena plant. More than 200 species belonging to this genus can only be found in subtropical and tropical latitudes in America.
Flowers produced by the verbena plant are both visually and aromatically appealing, and the plant itself can withstand periods of drought. The fern-like foliage beneath the flowers is old-fashioned and resistant to drought. It’s not uncommon for the simple verbena’s leaf to look covered in dense tufts of hair. Flowers form dense spikes at the stem’s tip. There are five individual petals on every flower.
They are ideal for hanging baskets because they grow in clusters of only six to ten inches tall. The verbena plants can produce large, showy flowers of various playful shapes and sizes, including small eyes.
Growing Verbena Plant from seed
Generally speaking, verbena is simple to grow from seed. However, some species’ seeds have a high-density shell covering their surface, preventing them from germinating easily. In this instance, the seed material’s stratification—or exposure to cold temperatures—is required.
The stratification process is rather straightforward. The seeds are spread out on a damp towel and put into an opaque polyethylene bag. Then they are removed for 4 or 5 days on a refrigerator shelf designed for vegetables.
2. Sowing for seedlings
The seed material can be sown directly in the open ground after stratification. However, due to the reliability of this technique, seedlings are used by the majority of gardeners to grow verbena.
On average, this plant’s seeds keep a high germination rate for three to five years. However, certain species have a lower rate. For instance, no more than 30% of hybrid verbena seeds will germinate. In this regard, it is important to keep this in mind when planting seeds.
In March, seeds are spread for seedlings. To do this, perlite, sand, or light humus soil must be added to the seedling box. Spread the seeds out equally over the substrate’s surface, and then add a thin coating of hummus on top.
3. Seedling care
The mature seedlings require timely watering; therefore, right after the top layer of the soil mixture dries, they are misted with water using a spray pistol. It is best to pluck the plants 30 days after they have developed two real pairs of leaf plates and place them in cellular containers or small individual containers. Flowers are fed with a mineral complex when they have had time to adjust to their new environment, which takes around 15 days.
Pinch the tops of the shoots over a 5–6 leaf plate to make the bushes of ampelous kinds lusher. Since the bushes in smaller types grow lushly, pinching is not done.
How to Grow and Care Verbena Plant?
What time to plant?
Verbena seedlings should only be planted in open ground once the risk of subsequent frosts has passed. A brief drop in temperature won’t harm the plant to minus 3 degrees, but a longer and more severe cold spell can kill it.
Verbena thrives in all kinds of lighting, including the sun and partial shade. However, the plant must be in a sunny location where the sun’s direct rays will not harm it for it to blossom as luxuriantly and brightly as possible. The greatest soil for this crop is nutritious. However, if you lighten the soil by adding sand, it will grow in any soil, even thick.
The main criterion for planting verbena seedlings is that there should be around 20 centimeters between plants of compact kinds and 25 to 30 centimeters between bushes of creeping species.
Prepare holes before planting seedlings. At the bottom of each hole, add a thin layer of drainage material, such as crushed stone or bits of brick. This will aid in preventing water stagnation in the root system.
Pour 2 tbsp into each hole first if the ground is dry. Water. Place the bush’s roots and a small amount of soil in the hole after allowing the wetness to absorb a little. Add soil to the hole, then lightly crush the soil’s surface. When landing
Verbena Plant Care
It’s not too difficult to care for verbena. It must be regularly watered while it is growing and blooming. Watering is gradually decreased starting in mid-July. When the area has received copious amounts of water, it is only required to loosen the site’s surface in hot weather. This will improve the soil’s drainage capabilities, allowing air to reach the roots.
Vervain can be planted in groups, so the first time, weeding will be necessary. Typically, overgrown bushes crush weeds. Weeding must be done frequently where there is only one landing. The necessity for weeding and loosening the soil will be eliminated if you cover the earth’s surface with a layer of mulch after planting the seedlings.
Plants already well-established have a better chance of surviving drought if they are consistently watered; this is particularly true for plants kept in containers. Also, whether in pots or on the ground, ensure enough drainage to keep the roots from sitting in water. Your plant will thrive more if you group it with others that need the same water.
Verbena can be fertilized with both mineral and organic fertilizers. Organic fertilizers are introduced into the soil only once during the season; otherwise, a significant amount of nitrogen may build up in the soil, reducing flowering but preserving luxuriant foliage. A mineral complex is supplied to the plant three or four times throughout the season.
It will surely delight you with lush and magnificent flowering if the culture is fed properly and on time. The most important thing to remember is that nitrogen should only make up a tiny portion of fertilizers. The blossoms of the verbena plant are exquisite and fragrant. Remember to remove wilted inflorescences promptly so the bushes can continue to bloom gloriously until late autumn.
Pests and diseases
This culture is very resistant to illness. She won’t cause problems if you take good care of her. However, the plant can contract powdery mildew if it receives plentiful irrigation or during the hot, rainy months. Treatments for sick shrubs include sulfur, saprole, or fundazol. Aphids and mites rarely settle on vervain, but when they do, you can get rid of them with insecticidal remedies.
Frequent and excessive watering might harm the flower by leaving it with rot, a black leg, and other patches. In this regard, it needs to be irrigated properly to avoid harmful fungus and nematodes, which are the root of illness development.
Care Verbena Plant after flowering
In the middle latitudes, verbena is grown as an annual and is dug up and burned in the fall. The place is then dug over again. If you choose to gather seeds from your bushes, you should wait before most of the boxes have dried out and turned brown.
Cut the seed pods off and arrange them on some paper or fabric. Wait for them to dry while periodically turning them to avoid mold completely. The seeds should be removed and put in a box or paper bag. Please remember to sign.
Important! The varietal traits of the mother plant cannot be retained in verbena seeds harvested from the owner’s bushes. In this regard, experts suggest buying seed stock from a specialized retailer.
There are only one species that can survive the harsh winter of mid-latitudes in the open field – this is straight verbena (Verbena stricta). Such a plant is extremely rare in cultivation, but if it grows in your garden, cut all the shoots to the soil surface before wintering. The site should be covered with spruce branches, protecting the flower from freezing in a snowy or frosty winter.
Verbena Plant Propagation
Propagating the more delicate varieties of verbena by cuttings is a useful way to ensure the survival of your plants if you live in a chilly region. The best time to harvest the stems is first thing in the morning when they are at their strongest. Remove any side shoots that aren’t producing flowers but are still around 10 cm in length.
You should take off most of the leaves and cut the stems down to where there is no longer a leaf. Place them in a layer of crumbly compost sprinkled over a shallow pot’s rim. If you want them to survive the winter in a place where it doesn’t get too cold, repot them when their new roots are well established.
How To Deadhead Verbena Plant?
If you plant something and take care of it properly, you should see flowers the first year. To ensure that flowering will continue unbroken during the gardening season, it is required to remove spent flowers and blooms. Many people do not regularly prune their plants to remove the dead blossoms. To plant verbena for summer flowers, you must remember to deadhead it.
If you see a decline in flower production, cutting the plant down by a quarter should stimulate a new flower show within two to three weeks. As soon as you’re done pruning, give your plants a good watering and a light fertilizer application. If you want to learn how to grow the verbena properly, you’ll need to do this as often as possible.
Types and varieties of Verbena Plant
Verbena comes in a variety of varieties. However, only a few of them are grown in open fields.
Purpletop Verbena (Verbena Bonariensis)
Purpletop vervain, Tall Verbena, Pretty Verbena, and Argentinian Verbena are additional names for Verbena Bonariensis. This cultivar is prevalent in Chile, Colombia, Argentina, and Brazil. Native regions name purpletop verbena South American Vervain.
The upright plant can reach 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide. The fragrant purple blossoms appear in midsummer and last until the first frost. Growing Verbena Bonariensis will bring bees and butterflies to your yard.
White Vervain (Verbena Urticifolia)
Verbena urticifolia, often called nettle-leaved vervain, or white vervain is one of the real verbena blossoms. This perennial herbaceous plant has a two-year lifetime. White verbena is called nettle-leaved vervain because its leaves, stem, and flower stalks are bristly. This plant produces little buds on racemes that bloom into white flowers in early summer. Some Verbena Urticifolia plants have bluish-white blooms.
Blue Vervain (Verbena Hastata)
Verbena Hastata, commonly known as Blue vervain, American vervain, or Swamp verbena, is a herbaceous plant of the Verbenaceae family. This species of verbenas is common in North America and is similar to the Brazilian verbenas, except it can endure harsher temperatures and produces blue flowers instead of purple ones.
Blue vervain blooms grow on thin, long branches that merge at the other end, providing the plant an unusual and refined aspect.
California Vervain (Verbena Californica)
California Vervain or Red Hills vervain is a rare verbena species endemic to Tuolumne County in California. Small, grass-like foliage on hairy stems yields purple blooms. The five petals grow in tiny bunches.
California Vervain has limited to a dozen sites in the Red Hills mountain. It is endangered due to cattle grazing, mining, rubbish dumping, and other human disruptions that harm its natural habitats.
Tuberous Vervain (Verbena Rigida)
Verbena Rigida or Tuberous Vervain is frequently termed thin vervain due to its thin plant structure. Verbenas are a 24-inch-tall herbaceous shrub. The plant spreads widely and is suitable for garden beds, pots, containers, pools, and patios. Purple and pink flowers highlight the serrated, stalkless leaves. Large patches of Tuberous Vervain blossoms emit a lovely smell. Original verbena rigida is purple, but the plant has been interbred to develop different cultivars. You may now choose from a wide range of tuberous verbena colors.
The South American plant can be grown in North American gardens with enough sunlight and soil. The half-heart-shaped petals of tuberous vervain are interesting.
Why is my verbena not blooming?
This could be due to a lack of sunlight; plants need at least six hours of sunlight per day to thrive. Because of this, move the plant to a more brightly lit area. A light trimming can be just what the doctor ordered if blossoming has stalled.
Why is the verbena wilting?
It is crucial to find the optimal watering schedule to prevent your plants from wilting due to either overly wet or dry soil. Fungal diseases can also cause wilting. Therefore, it’s crucial to maintain a clean environment with enough ventilation.
Why are the leaves on my verbena turning white?
This is probably due to powdery mildew, a fungal disease that causes white deposits on the leaf’s surface. Avoid this problem by watering the plant’s roots instead of its leaves and providing adequate ventilation if it is being grown indoors. Any contaminated leaves should be removed immediately to stop the spread of the illness.
When should you cut your verbena plants?
Deadheading a verbena plant at any point throughout its bloom is fine, but it’s best to wait until spring to make any serious cuts. Cut back the old woody growth from last year when new growth emerges from the plant’s base. The seed heads should be left in place because they provide bird shelter and food.
Do rabbits or deer eat verbena?
Due to their aversion to scented foliage, deer will only eat verbena if there are no other edible plants around. Verbena is not something that rabbits eat, either.
What does verbena smell like?
Verbena blooms often have little scent, but the plant’s leaves can have a pleasant aroma. Although it comes from the same family of plants as true verbena, the botanical name for Lemon Verbena is different.
Are verbenas perennial?
All verbenas are perennials, although some varieties are treated as annuals since they do not winter hardy but are easily propagated from cuttings or seeds and hence treated as such.
How tall does verbena grow?
The answer to this question is largely variety-dependent. Although the Verbena bonariensis plant can reach a height of 1.5 meters, the trailing Verbenas used in containers do not exceed 30 cm.
Does verbena spread?
Varieties such as Verbena rigida spread by underground rhizomes rather than producing seeds. Most groups will continue to expand if they are happy where they are.
Does verbena poison dogs and cats?
Only a few cases have been recorded; eating the plant’s leaves or flowers can cause stomach pains.
Is verbena edible?
In this case, “Lemon Verbena” refers to the Aloysia triphylla genus, which is related to, but not the same as, the Lemon Verbena genus from which the edible variety is derived. This is used as a herb and in making a fragrant herbal tea. Instead of consuming verbena officianalis, you can find it in several other herbal drinks and preparations.
How quickly does verbena grow?
Most varieties of verbena will expand rapidly if the weather warms up. Verbena bonariensis may be the fastest-growing plant since it may expand to a height of 1.5 meters in a single growing season and then contract again in the winter.
Are verbena evergreen?
Some more delicate varieties remain evergreen all year round in warmer climes. During the colder months, the leaves of the more robust varieties fall off, and, in some cases, the plants die back to the ground.