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Enchanting verbena

Add some magic to your spring and summer garden with easy growing verbena for garden beds, pots and hanging baskets. The bees and butterflies will love it too.

Did you know that Verbena is one of our oldest garden flowers , also known as herb of grace and enchanters plant? Like all garden plants its performance has been improved over the years with new varieties being more heat tolerant, rebloom quicker and have tough, disease resistant leaves..

There are spreading landscape varieties, compact growers for smaller gardens and containers and semi-trailing varieties for hanging baskets and mixed containers.

Verbena need lots of sun and ordinary garden soil that drains well. They are great for filling gaps, adding splashes of colour, and for attracting bees, butterflies and even nectar seeking birds.

Plants don’t like to be over-watered but also shouldn’t dry out in hot weather. If the leaves start to wilt, water well and they will quickly recover. Fortunately, garden plants develop fairly deep roots that make them more water wise. Plants in containers and hanging baskets need more frequent watering, even daily in very hot weather.

These prolific flowers respond well to regular fertilising. Apply Vigorosa (5:1:5) once a month and water in well afterwards.

Compact verbena ‘Cadet’

Verbena ‘Cadet’ doesn’t spread like most verbena but grows upright, neat and compact, . It has a good range of colours; pink, purple, red, violet and white. Its grows 25cm high and 30cm wide to form a round, mounded plant that grows in sun or partial shade and is a good filler for small gardens or containers. It reblooms so quickly that the plant never seems to be without flowers.

Spreading landscape verbena ‘Endurascape’

This  landscape verbena provides loads of quick growing, easy going colour almost all year round, being cold and heat tolerant.

Each plant has a spread of 45 to 60cm so you don’t need many to fill bare patches with a mass of flowers. The mounding growth habit ensures that the entire plant is covered with flowers, no bald spot in the centre.

They are also suitable for large containers, retaining walls, and pavements, anywhere that is sunny. Colours are hot pink, purple, red and white blush.

Plants don’t cycle in and out of flower which means that they provide a constant carpet of flowers throughout summer, even in  extreme heat, with temperatures beyond 38ºC.

Verbena ‘Firehouse’ for baskets and more
This verbena is perfect for  hanging baskets and containers because it forms a mound of flowers that easily and quickly fills a space. They even do well in the garden.

Plants grow 20 to 25cmhigh with a spread of 46 to 56 cm. New flowers open as the old ones die.   Place hanging baskets or pots in a position that receives morning sun and afternoon shade. Baskets require daily watering in summer and containers every second to third day. Fertilise with a liquid fertiliser for flowers twice a month. Plants are available in eight different colours including purple fizz and lavender.


Garden tasks for August

  • Water more often as is gets warmer and feed spring flowering annuals with a liquid fertiliser every two weeks.
  • Fertilise perennial flowers and shrubs with 3:1:5 fertiliser and water well afterwards
  • Towards the end of August, start sowing summer annuals like alyssum, dianthus, California poppies, marigolds, verbena and zinnias.
  • Add compost to the flower beds and top dress lawns that need to be levelled.
  • Trim and tidy up groundcovers, cutting them back to get rid of any stalky growth.
  • Keep on watering and feeding winter veggies.
  • Be on the lookout for snails and use an organic snail bait if possible. Control aphids with organic insecticides.

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