Friday, January 04, 2008



A hardworking plant, verbena is both long-blooming and drought-tolerant. Both the annual and perennial types bloom with bright clusters of flowers from midsummer through frost in vibrant colors that include hot pink and purple for perennial types; and white, red, purple, blue, and peach for annual types.
Tall, upright Verbena bonariensis is great for the flower border while sprawling types, such as Verbena x hybrida, are ideal for hanging baskets and other containers.Garden verbena (Verbena x hybrida) is a warm-season annual in Zones 2 to 11 but can also be grown as a perennial in Zones 7 to 11. It grows 6 to 12 inches tall and 12 to 24 inches across.Rose vervain or clump verbena (Verbena canadensis) is an evergreen perennial Zones 6 to 10. It grows 8 to 18 inches tall and 3 feet wide.Verbena bonariensis is reknown for attracting butterflies and is an annual growing perhaps 4 feet in Zones 2 to 6 and a perennial hitting up to 6 feet in Zones 7 to 10.Notable VarietiesVerbena canadensis 'Old Royal Fragrance' has a wonderful scent.Verbena x hybrda 'Peaches and Cream' is an unusual pastel mix of those colors.CareAverage, very well-drained soil. Moderate water to drought-tolerant, depending on the type. Fertilize by working in compost two or three times during the season or by applying a slow-release fertilizer, following label directions exactly. Mulch to conserve moisture. If growing as a perennial each spring cut it back hard by half to two-thirds to keep plants neat.PlantingPlant established plants in spring after all danger of frost has past. Pinch tips to encourage branching.Pests and DiseasesMites, thrips, and whitefly can be problem.

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