I can’t believe I haven’t yet blogged about Verbena bonariensis – being that I’ve written this blog post so many times in my head! This is one of my most favorite flowers!
Why this perennial is a garden must-have!
- Long-blooming: blooms begin in Summer and last far into the Fall season.
- Strong: the flowers are held on sturdy stems that sway in the wind but don’t break.
- Hardy: easily withstands rainstorms as well as scorching Summer sun.
- Easy-care: this plant can handle the occasional drought and has no special needs.
- Reseeds easily: a reliable plant that returns each year, sometimes in surprise places too.
- Purple color: I describe it as an orchid shade with dark purple undertones and hints of magenta.
- Tall: Verbena can grow to around 6 feet in height. It looks good up close and also from a distance.
This is NOT the annual version of Verbena!
I’ve seen quite a few blog posts that incorrectly identify Verbena bonariensis as an annual, so just be mindful that you’re purchasing the correct version.
The annual version of Verbena is a low growing (approx. 6 to 10 inches tall), flowering plant with a spreading or mounding habit. Annual verbena is usually planted in the front of gardens or in containers and hanging baskets.
Annual Verbena comes in many colors including white and purple as seen in this hanging basket, courtesy of Proven Winners:
The perennial version of Verbena is a different plant, and the plant tag should say Verbena bonariensis.
It’s hardy in USDA zones 7 – 11. If you’re planting this outside of those zones, it may or may not survive the Winter. However, since it reseeds easily, you might be surprised with a new batch each year!
About seedlings . . .
As I mentioned above, Verbena readily reseeds. Many times you’ll have a verbena seedling pop up in an unexpected place in another part of your yard or garden. This is because Verbena’s seeds can be carried on the wind, carried by birds and/or butterflies which adore this plant!
After awhile you’ll easily recognize the seedlings. You can either pull them out, keep them there, or replant in another location. If you’re going to replant the seedling, wait until it’s a decent size to transplant, so there’s not so much shock to the plant.
Here’s a patch of Verbena that popped up among our rocks in our patio bed earlier this Spring, in between our small Crepe Myrtle tree and a tiny juniper shrub.
I decided to leave it, and am so glad I did.
Winter into Spring . . .
I keep the plant stalks standing during the Winter season. I trim them down with my favorite pruners to about two feet in late Fall. This helps me know where the plants will pop up the following Spring so I don’t accidentally remove them when cleaning up the beds.
I also leave the area covered with leaves to provide a mulch covering.
In the Spring, I look forward to cleaning up the garden and uncovering the new plants popping up!
Here’s what I uncovered on April 6th . . .
And here’s the same patch of Verbena on May 30th . . .
A week later, on June 5th, the flowers began . . .
Here’s a better look at the newly flowering Verbena . . .
And here’s how the Verbena looks today – June 24th – in our garden:
You can’t go wrong with the perennial version of Verbena!
Did I convince you yet?
Just remember: Verbena bonariensis.