Do you cut back Verbena bonariesis?

christie_sw_mo(Z6)July 12, 2012

My verbena b. bloomed earlier than normal this year and with the heat and drought, it's looking a bit spent. It would take forever to deadhead all those seed heads but I thought maybe I could just cut them back half way or more. Would they regrow and bloom again if I cut them way back?

And yes I know they reseed heavily. lol

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coolbutterfly(5A)

I've heard they are supposed to regrow if you cut them back, but it didn't seem to work when I did it last year...it never hurts to try though, Tony

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 11:01AM
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runmede(7a Virginia)

Cut them back, but make sure there is a leaf node so that they can regrow. I often cut them back to make them bushier. Mine look the same way right now and I cut some back a couple of days ago.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 12:23PM
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coolbutterfly(5A)

thanks runmede- I am going to cut some back this weekend and see if it works better this time. I got a LOT of reseeding this year after virtually none the last.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 12:30PM
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runmede(7a Virginia)

I didn't cut all of mine back. Just maybe a third of it. It still has some nectar potential and I didn't want to take that away from all the skippers.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 3:10PM
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coolbutterfly(5A)

currently, it's the monarchs favorite plant in my garden but also seen skippers and red admirals on it.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 4:15PM
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michaelz9(Central FL)

Just a thought, have any of you all tried the Verbena rigida? Native of Brazil, just shorter than the bonariesis. I picked up some seeds to try since the bonariesis gets mildew so quick down here in Central Florida with the high humidity. The rigida is supposed to be more mildew resistant.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 10:16AM
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christie_sw_mo(Z6)

I'm not familiar with that one Michael. This is the first year that I got mildew on my v. bonariensis. It still bloomed ok but is going to seed now. If v. rigida attracts butterflies as well as bonariensis, I'll add it to my wish list. I think it would be hardy for me as well. I hope someone will comment.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 11:58AM
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caterwallin

Michael, I don't know if my V. bonariensis has always had mildew but last year and this year it has had it. We get high humidity here too. I often wondered how PA rates with other states as far as humidity goes because we think it gets pretty darn humid. It's a rare summer when you can go without using the a/c. I used to plant zinnias here but they'd get so mildewy that I quit planting them. I guess the high humidity caused that too?
Cathy

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 3:29PM
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runmede(7a Virginia)

Michael,

It does look interesting. I looked it up.

Here is a link that might be useful: Verbena rigida, Sandpaper verbena

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 7:06AM
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imabirdnut

My V.bonariensis is lanky & not doing well except for where it is mixed with other tall plants! I just cut most of it down to about 12" because it was all bent over!!! Never seen a cat on it but lots of nectaring!
I have V.rigida that I grew from seeds from Wildseed Farms & it is in an area that is a very hot & sunny location with little water & it thrives! I have never seen any BFs on it but the bees love it! It is perennial for me in Zone 7b.
I have Gregg's Blue Mistflower & it seems to be the favorite nectar plant of the queens & monarchs in my yard along with my tropical milkweed plants! The swallowtails & GFs prefer the Scarlet Flame zinnias & Mexican sunflowers as well as the BF bushes I have!!!
I think a lot of the preferences depend on what area you are in! I have had plants that are supposed to be great attractors that are totally ignored by BFs for me but it seems that I am constantly learning what they prefer by trial & error!

Here is a link that might be useful: Wildseed Farms -- Tuber Vervain

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 11:51AM
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