Vervain is a tall versatile plant and has colorful flowers. The botanical name of vervain is verbena and it belongs to the Verbenaceae family. This is a perennial herb that has 250 species. Some species can tolerate drought conditions and some like to thrive in moist soil.
You can grow these stunning flowers in hanging baskets, rock gardens, raised beds, and window boxes.
When To Plant Vervain?
The perfect time to plant is when the danger of the last frost has passed. You can transplant your seedling outside in your garden in late spring or early summer when the days are long.
Varieties Of Vervain
If you want to grow flowering plants in your garden then vervain is our best choice. Following are some types of vervain plants which you can choose for your growing area.
1- PURPLETOP VERVAIN
The other name of this variety is Verbena Bonariensis. This is a tall and upright variety of vervain and likes to grow in a warm climate. The height of this type of plant can be 6 ft tall and spread 3 ft across.
The beautiful blooms are strongly fragrant and have a purple color. The plant will start blooming from mid-summer to the first frost.
2- BLUE VERVAIN
The other name of the blue vervain is Verbena hastata. It can survive under harsh weather. The beautiful blue flowers are very attractive. This type of plant is different from its other species as it grows in clusters.
You will see the flowers grow on long and thin usual branches. This will add a unique and elegant look to your garden.
3- TUBEROUS VERVAIN
This variety is also known as slender vervain because of its delicate structure. The height of this variety can be reached 24 inches and spread widely across.
4- WHITE VERVAIN
White vervain is also known as nettle-leaved vervain because leaves, flower stalks, and stems all are covered with soft bristles. This is a perennial variety and the lifespan of this plant can be two or more years.
5- MINT VERVAIN
This type can be reached at a height of 75 cm. Green leaves are hairy and small. The flowers grow in clusters on cylinder upright stems.
6- NARROWLEAF VERVAIN
The other name of the narrow leaf vervain is verbena simplex. This variety likes to grow in dry and open areas and prefers calcium-rich soil. The color of the flower is just like lavender. This variety produces blooms throughout the summer season.
7- BLUE PRINCESS VERBENA
Although its name is Blue Princess Verbena, it doesn’t mean the color of the flowers is blue. This variety produces lavender-colored light purplish-blue blossoms. This plant produces flowers from early spring to the end of fall.
8- TEXAS ROSE VERBENA
This is true perennial verbena plants that produce pink flowers. This variety can fill up the space of your garden and survive for a long time.
How To Start Vervain Plants?
You can start vervain plants in your growing area easily. There are three ways of starting them.
1- From seeds:
Sowing seeds is a cheap method of growing vervain plants. You need small pots, peat moss, and seeds for this purpose.
- Take seeds of high quality and soak them in lukewarm water for 24 hours before planting. This step will speed up the germination process of seeds.
- Take small pots and fill them with peat moss.
- Sow 2 seeds in every pot. Press the seeds lightly into the peat-based potting mix.
- Now sprinkle the light layer of peat Moss over the seeds.
- Keep the soil moist but not overwatered.
- Cover the pots with newspaper or plastic with ventilation holes.
- You should use warm water during germination. It speeds up the germination process.
- Check the seeds regularly when you see the seedlings start sprouting then you can uncover the pots.
- When your seedlings produce at least four leaves then you can transplant them outside. Before transplanting it is necessary to harden them by placing them outside during the day. At night you should bring them back inside your house.
2- Purchase seedlings at a local garden store:
The seeds of vervain take a long time to germinate. But this is a costly method of starting vervain. So you can buy seedlings from any local gardening store or nursery.
This will save you time and soon you will get beautiful flowers in your pots or flower beds. You can buy different colors of flowers of vervain search purple, blue, white, red, pink and multicolored.
3- Cutting Propagation
If you want to propagate vervain from cuttings you should follow the following steps.
- You need a seedling tray, a healthy cutting and rooting medium for the propagation of vervain plants.
- Take the seedling tray and fill it with the rooting medium. The best rooting medium is a mixture of sand and perlite.
- Take 4-inches long tips from the stems of healthy established vervain plants. You can use pruning shear for cutting purposes. At the lower end, you should trim all the leaves and push this part of the stem into the rooting medium.
- Now soak the tray with water and place these seedling trays in a sunny location. Sunlight is very important because it will encourage the growth of roots.
- Whenever you see the rooting medium is dry then water it to make it moist. When the roots of the cuttings establish then you can transplant them into the permanent location of your garden.
- You can transplant these seedlings in hanging baskets, containers, pots, and even in the ground. The moisture of the soil is very important if you want to maintain the growth of your plant so make sure your plants get water on time.
Best Growing Tips For Vervain
You can easily grow them in hanging baskets with a mix of flowers. They will also look fabulous if you grow them in containers. If you grow vervain plants in a container then you should use a general-purpose peat-based potting mix. Avoid using garden soil because it is compacted and not good for container gardening.
After preparing or buying the seedlings, the next step is transplanting them in their permanent location. If you are growing vervain outside in your garden or raised bed then you should choose the location very carefully.
This plant needs 8 to 10 hours of direct sunlight regularly so the location you choose should be sunny for the healthy growth of your plant. If your plants do not get enough sunlight then they may be infected by powdery mildew.
Well-drained and rich soil is needed for your vervain plants. Such types of plants need dry and acidic soil. If you are growing your plants in the garden soil then make sure your soil is fertilized every month.
Clay soil is not good for your plant as it leads to root rot. You can use compost or leaf mold to lighten your soil.
Make sure young plants get regular water until they are established. When the plants are mature they need average water and tolerate short periods of drought.
Over and under-watering both are not good for your plants. Overwatering can result in water botrytis blight and if your plant gets less water then spider mites can attack them.
Temperature And Humidity
Vervain is annuals and can adjust to any climate but they like to grow in warm weather.
Vervain can tolerate any climate and adjust any type of soil but for encouraging the healthy development in your plant, monthly application of balanced and slow-release fertilizer is recommended.
When your plants get regular feeding then you will see the colorful flowers from spring to frost. If you want your plant to produce continuous flowers then you make sure that it is getting all major nutrients.
Common Pests And Diseases
Powdery mildew is the major problem of worms in plants. Some insects and pests also create a problem for you. You can use insecticidal soap and chemical sprays to get rid of these problems.
Encouraging Vervain Flowers
Following are the tips and tricks by which you can encourage blooming in your plants.
- Pruning is very important so you should prune one-fourth of the plant’s top including the deadhead. Make sure not to prune on the center stem.
- You can prune your vervain plants two to three times during the growing season. This will encourage more blooming and your plant will produce continuous flowers. Pruning will make your plant wider.
- For propagating your vervain plants, you can use cuttings. This is a simple and easy way to multiply your plants. Take a stem just below the node and plant it in the soil. Keep your soil moist to encourage the development of new roots.
- The location of the plant is very important as the more sunlight the plants get the more flowers they produce.
- If you want to treat your vervain plants as perennial then you should trim them slightly in the fall, especially if you are living in a warm climate. Keep in mind, frost is not good for your plants due to its exposure to plants will not survive.