Question about verbena bonariensis

catherinet(5 IN)March 22, 2011

I love this plant. Several summers I bought the small plants from a nursery, but they don't always get them in. Recently, I bought some seeds. I'm in zone 5. Would it work just to scatter the seeds where I want them, and grow them that way, or would they need a longer growing season?

Thanks.

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luvahydrangea(Albany, NY 5)

I love it too, and have never seen it in a nursery. Except last year, they were in a huge potted arrangement and there were only 3.

I'm growing it from seed for the first time this year. Everything I've read, indicates to it needing a long summer, which in zone 5 we do not have. So I started mine inside back in February. They are slow to germinate, and need cool temperatures at night and light/warmth during the day to germinate. If you can I would start them inside to ensure you get blooms!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 6:31PM
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coolbutterfly(5A)

Hi Catherine,

last year I bought 3 mail order plants from Lone Willow farm in may. They bloomed quickly and I was extremely satisfied with my purchase. If it doesn't come back, I will definitely order from them again.

http://lwfperennials.com/product_info.php?products_id=399

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 8:43PM
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butterflyman(5)

Mine easily reseed themselves outside and I dig up the seedlings to share with others. Usually for safety sake I like to put 50% outside and 50% start inside, but once you get this plant going you won't have to buy seed again.

Some of the plants also will overwinter here in St. Louis.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 1:41PM
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mary_littlerockar(8a-7b mid Arkansas)

I haven't yet seen any new seedlings sprouting in my 7b area of central Arkansas but the two small groupings I planted last summer overwintered and are growing strong this spring. I didn't expect them to overwinter so am very pleasantly surprised ... we had single digit nights this past winter! I've already pinched out the tops in order to have more blooming 'sticks'. The little flying creatures loved this plant last summer so I will never again be without this in my butterfly garden. I'm also hoping to soon see some self seeded plants.

Mary

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 6:38AM
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luvahydrangea(Albany, NY 5)

Mary, when do you pinch them? As I mentioned, its my first time growing this plant. My seedlings are about two inches tall at the moment and have about 6 leaves. And how much do you pinch off?

Thanks,
Maria

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 7:37AM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

The secret to this plant is getting it going. Just like Butterflyman said, once you have it, you have it! We had temps dip to a record low -22 this winter. Yesterday when I was out looking at the plants, I noticed the Verbena bonariensis was already coming back up! It also spreads--so give it room.

sandy

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 11:26AM
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murray_2008

I can verify also that once you have it, you have it. We had a lot of serious frosts this winter and some of the verbenas are already blooming. The problem I have is with mildew. These plants like fast draining soil and here we have heavy clay so the beds need to be amended. The mildew doesn't seem to actually kill the plants but it does look nasty. I am using amendments everywhere because many of my plants like better draining soils but it is a lot of work for an old man. Good planting for all of you. Murray

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 10:47PM
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mcronin(6/7swVA)

Murray,

How about posting some recent pictures of your wonderful garden?

mike

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 7:50AM
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jardineratx

I purchased a small verbena b. plant about 10 years ago and it has been in my garden ever since,thanks to the fact that it is a reliable self-seeder. I love this plant!
Molly

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 5:41PM
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mary_littlerockar(8a-7b mid Arkansas)

Mary, when do you pinch them? As I mentioned, its my first time growing this plant. My seedlings are about two inches tall at the moment and have about 6 leaves. And how much do you pinch off?
Thanks,
Maria
------------------------
Hi Maria,

This is my first spring with these plants returning so I'm not certain what is correct. I pinched the top out of the spring growth when it was about 6 inches tall. I looked today and there are already new shoots growing from the leaf nodes of each pinched shoot. This will hopefully result in more tall 'sticks'. When you judge the time is right, simply pinch out the growing tip. New growth should then appear at the leaf nodes below the pinched out top.

I also winter sowed two more containers of this plant this year to add to another area of the garden.

Mary

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 7:26PM
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murray_2008

I never considered pinching these plants but I guess I can try it. I planted two new ones today that I saw at a local nursery and because I wanted some to come up in a particular place.

Mike, believe it or not I still can't figure out how to post pics. I am really challenged when it comes to this kind of stuff. One of these days when my son-in-law is here for a visit, I will see if he can show me. One thing he does that trips me up is he goes through explaining things too fast and I get embarrassed about admitting that I didn't get it. But I will try to overcome that personal flaw. Thanks for the complement though. Murray

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 1:10AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Thanks everyone.
I grew a bunch of these one year (plants from a nursery), and they never came back. :( Maybe I should mulch them over the winter next time? They sure are lovely plants.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 7:57AM
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cheerpeople

I started mine from seed. They self sow reliably year after year n my zone 5 garden. I don't do any work to plant or pinch them.
A good annual.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 8:33AM
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