By Becca Badgett
(Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden)
If you’re searching for long lasting blooms that perform during the hottest days of summer heat, consider planting the verbena flower (Verbena officinalis). Planting verbena, whether annual or perennial types, ensures summer flowers when it is planted in the sunniest and possibly driest area of the garden. If humidity is high in your area in summer, choose perennial verbena for a better summer show.
How to Grow Verbena
When you are ready to learn how to grow verbena, you’ll want to locate this tough specimen where it gets 8 to 10 hours of sun each day.
The verbena flower is not particular about soil, except that it must be well-draining. Poor soil is acceptable for verbena growing conditions. Perennial varieties of the verbena flower are often lost when planted in soil that becomes soggy following heavy winter snow or spring rain. Good drainage can offset this problem. Improve drainage before planting verbena by working in well composted, organic material.
Verbena Plant Care
While the verbena flower is drought resistant, the blooms are improved with regular watering of an inch or so each week. Water verbena plants at the base to avoid wetting the foliage. However, verbena plant care may not include weekly water if rainfall in your area has reached an inch or more.
A limited application of complete, slow-release fertilizer is also a part of verbena plant care. Apply in spring and again following the occasional trims needed for optimum bloom.
When planted in proper verbena growing conditions, expect blooms the first season. Continued blooms throughout the summer are possible if the gardener keeps the plant trimmed back. Some are hesitant to remove parts of the plant regularly, but this is often necessary when planting verbena for summer blooms. When blooms slow, trim the entire plant back by one fourth for a new show of flowers in 2 to 3 weeks. Fertilize lightly following the trim and water well. Repeat this step as needed when learning how to grow verbena successfully.
When planting verbena, remember to water, fertilize and trim for long lasting color in the summer garden and beyond.