Verbena Fast Facts

Verbena Fast Facts image by Michelle/Flickr, Strife/Flickr, nola.agent/Flickr
Verbena Fast Facts image by Michelle/Flickr, Strife/Flickr, nola.agent/Flickr

Overview

Verbenas are low-growing annual or perennial flowering plants that bloom from spring until summer. Both types of verbena are easy to care for and relatively pest- and disease-resistant.

Types of Verbenas

Three types of verbenas are sold as garden plants. Verbena hortensis is an annual, which can be sowed in the spring. Verbena x hybrida is a short lived perennial that dies out in the heat of summer. Verbena x tenera is a long llived perennial that is semi-evergreen in warm climates and heat-tolerant. Verbena blooms may be white, peach, pink, red or purple.

White verbena

Perennial Varieties

Homestead Purple is a heat-tolerant verbena with a long bloom period. Aztec is a series of long-lived verbenas that bloom well throughout the summer. Blue Princess, also known as Biloxi Blue, is a short-lived verbena with lavender-blue flowers. Some old varieties of verbena that perform well are white Snowflurry, magenta Fiesta and red Summer Blaze.

Uses

Use verbenas as groundcovers or as underplantings with roses or other shrubs. Let verbenas trail from hanging baskets or window boxes. Verbenas attract butterflies and can be used in wildflower gardens.

Purple verbena

Culture

Plant verbenas in well-drained soil in full sun (at least 8 hours of direct sun daily). Lightly prune after blooming to encourage another flush of flowers. Prune dead stems in spring when new growth appears. Fertilize lightly in spring and after pruning.

Pests and Diseases

Leafhoppers, leaf miners and thrips can be a problem on verbenas. Apply a pesticide approved for verbenas according to the manufacturer's directions. If spider mites attack the plants, spray with a miticide for verbenas at the rate recommended by the manufacturer. Powdery mildew is a fungus caused by over-watering or too much rainfall. Use a fungicidal spray for verbenas, following the manufacturer's directions.

References

  • Texas A&M University Extension
  • Louisiana State University Ag Center

Who Can Help

  • Clemson University Extension - Verbenas
Keywords: verbenas, verbena facts, garden verbenas

About this Author

Melody Lee began working as a reporter and copywriter for the "Jasper News" in 2004 and was promoted to editor in 2005. She also edits magazine articles and books. Lee holds a degree in landscape design, is a Florida Master Gardener, and has more than 25 years of gardening experience.

Photo by: Michelle/Flickr, Strife/Flickr, nola.agent/Flickr