How to Grow Verbena Flowers

CC Flickr photo courtesy of happy_gecko.

Verbena flowers actually consist of about two hundred and fifty species. They are semi-woody, flowering plants with leaves and dense patches of flowers. The leaves are simple and sometimes densely hairy. The flowers are found in very dense spikes at the top of the stem with five petals and come in shades of white, blue, pink, or purple.

Growth Requirements for Verbena Flowers

Verbena is a very hardy plant making it easy to grow from seed. They can be planted in rock gardens, window boxes, or hanging baskets. The planting process should be started in late winter as the seeds can take upwards of a month to fully germinate. Once the weather gets warmer, plant the seedlings in the sunniest and best drained section of the chosen garden environment. Verbena needs at least eight to ten hours of sunlight a day in order to fully grow. Furthermore, the plant can not be in soggy soil and should be planted in soil that drains well.

Taking Care of Verbena Flowers

Verbena flowers are very sturdy and easy to take care of. The plant is known for being heat and drought tolerant, making it a favorite for busy or new gardeners who live in harsher climates. Pinching back dead or dying blossoms will allow the plant to fully grow and new flowers to bloom. If pruned affectively the verbena will grow to spread out over the space allotted to them, though the plant will not grow very high.

History of Verbena Flowers

The verbena plant has a very notable history and legend. Known as the tears of Isis in ancient Egypt this plant has been known throughout multiple cultures for its supposed divine and supernatural properties. The ancient Greeks called it the tears of Juno; Christian lore states it was used to treat Jesus’ wounds when he was removed from the cross. The plant has been known to be used in magical charms. The plant is also associated with fertility goddesses and is a common symbol for love.

Verbena is a common plant in literature, especially modern, horror literature. A popular series called The Vampire Diaries uses the plant to protect humans from vampires.

Verbena Flower Diseases

While verbena is typically a sturdy plant it can be much more susceptible to disease when exposed to moist dirt for too long or when the plant does not receive enough sunlight. One common disease affecting the plant is a powdery mildew. Also the plant can be affected by spider mites and thrips.

Additional Information on Verbena Flowers

Additional information concerning verbena flowers can be found on the following websites:

North Carolina State University has an informative page about growing verbena flowers.

Texas A&M University has a terrific page about Verbena.

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