Information About Verbena Plant


The verbena is a valuable ornamental commonly used in hanging baskets and as a bedding plant. The pink, peach, red, white or purple flowers are star-shaped and grow in clusters. The plants grow quickly and respond well to trimming.

Verbena blossoms are star-shaped image by Image by, courtesy of Louise Docker


The verbena was discovered in South America by a Scottish gardener named James Tweedie in the early 1800s. The plants were quickly hybridized in England and became popular in Victorian bedding arrangements.


Trailing verbena, blue vervain (verbena hastata), rigid verbena and moss verbena have all become naturalized in some warmer parts of the US. Though it is semi-hardy, verbena is mostly treated as an annual plant.


The spreading types of verbena are charming as they cascade out of a container or hanging basket, or down a wall. The low forms serve as a contrast to upright annuals like the snapdragon or larkspur.


Verbenas need full sun and moist well-drained soil, and must have good air circulation. Trim off the finished flowers to encourage reblooming, and control for spider mites if necessary.


Varieties include Aztec Red, a spreading type with rich tomato-red blossoms; Summer Snow with pure white flowers; and Peaches and Cream with flowers of peachy orange and creamy white. Quartz Purple and Quartz Silver are upright growers and compact at only 8 inches high by 8 inches wide.


  • University of Arkansas Extension
  • Clemson University Extension
  • Michigan State University
Keywords: verbena history, verbena care, verbena varieties

About this Author

Gwen Bruno has been a full-time freelance writer since 2009, with her gardening-related articles appearing on DavesGarden. She is a former teacher and librarian, and she holds a bachelor's degree in education from Augustana College and master's degrees in education and library science from North Park University and the University of Wisconsin.