Verbena: how do I take care of it?

annewaldron(SoCal,10)August 22, 2005

So I planted about 6 or 7 little cell pack verbenas in my front garden. I spaced them apart about 8" even though the tag said 15". One lost its flowers within the first few days which I attributed to shock, but the base plant is bushy and looks healthy. The others have all lost their flowers (mostly) within this first week. Some questions:

1) Is this OK?

2) should I be "deadheading" the parts that lost their flowers? If so, does this consist of just simply pinching them off?

3) should I be pruning the bushy one (one that lost flowers first) in some way that will promote new flower growth? because I don't see any new buds anywhere on it....

4)Anything else I should know about these?

Thanks in advance,

Anne : )

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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

Always...ALWAYS cut the dead blooms of annuals if you want more blooms.
Linda C

    Bookmark   August 22, 2005 at 7:04PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

If you planted from cells then you'll have to wait until the roots venture out from the cell-shape.

In a good garden centre they'll have been watered two to three times a day depending on what your local weather's been doing. You might need to give them a cup of water each once or twice a day until they get settled.

Some verbenas are annuals and others last longer in zone 9 conditions.. Ones like 'peaches and Cream' (soft orange and cream) is pretty much an annual and can be used for bedding. Others, more in the red/purple range definitely last longer. They can be propagated from cuttings using half ripe wood made by the plant this season.

After a while they start to sprawl out and get a little bare in the middle. Sacrifice some of the flowering material - the newer wood by cutting the stems to half their length. Add a little slow release fertiliser under the leaf cover - like picking up a mat to check for dust, and ensure they have water enough to grow new shoots. (Damp soil an inch below the surface.)

Usually frost hardy and should overwinter with no trouble. You can trim to tidy them in March- about, depending on your local conditions. A spell of rain afterwards helps them to renew their foliage and stems.

You might find they get mould in autumn. A baking soda wash will probably keep it under control.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2005 at 11:44PM
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i have planted verbena's my first time and i don't know to trim or to take care of them in the winter can you help me with this

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 8:36PM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

If they are annual verbena they will be verbena-pops in a couple of months not to worry...
If they are perennail...don't need to do a thing but cut back the dead stuff in the spring,
Linda C

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 9:57PM
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Don't worry about doing anything with your verbenas except watering them until they are established in their new home. At least two or three weeks. You can pinch off dead flowers, just don't disturb entire plants, especially roots. It will not hurt to cut away dead blooms, but it is not necessary. You can trim away hard or dried stems later for appearance and to encourage new growth. Your zone will determine the right time, and if the plants die back to nothing, you can thatch them and they may come back in early Spring (or late Winter in your zone).

We have had red and purple verbenas in the past and never had to cover them for the winter in our zone. Colder zones might need to, however. My DW's mother, who lives in zone 7, says she covers them sometimes, and doesn't sometimes, and they do fine for her. She thatches them in the Spring, and they eventually die out after several years.

Last Spring at our new home, we bedded a dozen nursery red nursery plants under eleven roses. They spread out under the roses very nicely, and they have bloomed all Summer with no deadheading, even in 100F heat. I never had any dead stems to cut back, or unsightly dead blooms, either. By not deadheading, we will probably be overrun with babies next year. I will bark-mulch the roses, so the verbenas will be covered as well, and as Linda C said, they will get trimmed in the Spring.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 8:04PM
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We just moved into a new home and the previous owners had Purple Verbena in large pots outside. Can we leave them in the pots and bring them into the basement? If so what do we do with them for the winter until the spring comes?

    Bookmark   November 11, 2005 at 8:12PM
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Hi Joan,

Treat the purple verbenas as you would any perennial indoor house plant that likes sun: put them in a sunny location indoors, provide them with water, and fertilize them along with other indoor plants. You can plant them in the ground in the Spring, but it is too late to do that now.

Best wishes

    Bookmark   November 13, 2005 at 9:24PM
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I established several Verbena last year ( 2004). They grew and covered my beds all summer and into the fall. Looked great!!!

Question: It is now March 2005. I want to get out into the garden. Should I cut back the plants or should I leave them alone?

Could you give me some advice on keeping these wonderful plants alive and well for the next growing season

    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 6:16PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Robert, it's a little hard to answer your questions not knowing what zone you are gardening in, and how far from your last frost date you might be...

They aren't always reliably perennial here in this cool Z8, but it's more winter wet than cold temps that does them in.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2006 at 6:11PM
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I bought a hanging basket of blue verbena about a month ago.
It now looks straggly and is not blooming the way I think it should be. Should I cut it back, if so, how far?
Thanks for any help you can give me. I've been fertilizing
according to directions on the pkg. of Miracle-Gro Bloom-Buster which I use every time I water all of the outside plants. Everything else seems to be doing very well.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2006 at 3:47PM
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I got a late start in planting a conatiner garden and on the edge of the pot I planted a purple verbena plant that had grown extensively at the nursery before I purchased it.. the stems had grown very long and had big purple flowers on the ends.. My intention was that I would have this cascade of verbena.

Only the blooms are now gone.. the stems look very healthy but I am not sure what to do next. I have only had this container garden since the end of May.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2006 at 11:09PM
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How much of the dead blossom stem should be removed? Just below the dead blossom, or go down to the next green part? This is the first time I've tried growning Verbena plants, and we really enjoy them. Thanks in advance for your assistance.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 8:23AM
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Has anyone tried just mowing over them in say March?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 7:14PM
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I bought four verbana plants (2 reds,one pink,one purple) last week. But just one week after bringing them home, the plants look like they are dying. the leaves are still green but the stems are all bending downwards, like limping downwards. Weather has been quite cold this week so brought the plants indoors. Can i do anything to save this plant? or is it too late?

1 Like    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 10:45AM
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I received a red & purple Verbena hanging basket for Mothers day, how do I care for it. It is very hot down here.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 4:00PM
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I live in zone 5b- Omaha, NE- I bought the verbena because they have festive blooms nearly all the time but live in an apartment where I grow them in pots on my balcony. I cut all the blooms off during the first month to try to encourage bushy growth. Am I wasting my time or hurting them somehow? I water them daily but wonder if the summer heat will stress them as well. Potted plants tend to take things personally you know! They seem to be growing very slowly, but it has been chilly lately- In the low 40s at night. I love the flowers and the texture of the foliage as well. I may have found the perfect plant I think, but can they be overwintered in a very cold climate I wonder? Should I keep cutting off the buds? I would like to collect seeds (Nebraskans collect seeds because winter kills everything here!)but I do love the verbena. I am new to the verbena cultivar and want to know if it is a good choice for a container garden on the northern plains...any advice???

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 9:22PM
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To the last three have asked questions on a thread that is 6 years old. The chances of you getting a response when tacking onto a very stale thread tend to be rather slim :-) Posters who would be inclined to provide the answers you need usually ignore or overlook such old threads, especially on this forum, which doesn't get a lot of traffic. The only reason I bothered to open the thread at all was because I was curious as to why it was still getting attention six years later.

There are many different types of verbena so I'm going to make a guess that the type you 3 are asking about is Verbena x hybrida or what are typically sold as annual bedding plants in most of the country. Like any annual, they are cold sensitive and won't put out much growth or flower buds if the temps are too low (in the 40's at night). They are also not happy in excess heat and will tend to stop flowering in high temps but will resume again once temperatures moderate in fall or with cooler weather. Some forms of x hybrida are quite upright, mounding plants and others are trailing varieties -- those that are trailing forms will have long drooping stems and are ideal for hanging baskets.

They need a fair amount of sun to bloom well, even watering (not too much nor too little) and not a great deal of fertilizing - too much fertilizer will produce lush foliage at the expense of blooms. Verbena grown in a container or hanging basket will need more frequent fertilizing, but use a dilute formulation. Pinching back growth early in the season will encourage bushiness. Deadhead the spent flowers by pinching off to improve and tidy the appearance and encourage continued flower development.

I wouldn't bother to attempt to winter over in zones lower than 9 - these are inexpensive plants and not worth the extra effort. You can save seeds in late season and sow indoors in late winter but as these are hybrids, there is no guarantee that what results will look like what you had growing the previous season.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 11:55AM
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I live in SW Florida, zone 9. I planted the purple and pink variety of Verbena in March and put in a micro irrigation system to provide water while it was developing. It grew great and looked wonderful until about a month ago. Now it looks as if it's dying because the center of each plant is generally bare. There are still flowers at the ends of the spreading runners, but I'm wondering if this is normal for a very hot and wet climate. After planting the Verbena I mulched the entire garden with a red bark mulch and put it under the runners. I'm wondering if this has hampered the growth of this plant? Thanks,

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 8:44PM
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