Verbenas are actually a whole genus of creeping plants with around 250 species. It is one of the most popular plants in the world, since they are very adaptable and have a large number of medicinal properties, as well as being highly valuable ornamental plants. However, to have them at home it is convenient to know, at least, their basic care.
If you want to learn the care of the verbena plant to have it in your home, join us in this practical article in which we collect the most important details to take into account to take good care of it.
Verbena plant: characteristics
Verbena plants are from the Verbenaceae family. These are annual plants that have a fairly long duration and are currently spread throughout practically the entire planet. When talking about the verbena plant, it is common to refer to Verbena officinalis , although sometimes it is one of its other types. In addition to this, these are some of the main characteristics of the verbena plant :
- This great diversity of species is due to its great capacity for mutation, which is given by the great resistance of the plant to very different conditions.
- Most verbenas are low ground cover or creeping plants that do not exceed 25 cm in height.
- They show opposite leaves, and give beautiful and striking flowers that are usually violet or purple, but can be of very different colors depending on the specific species, and tend to be uniform throughout the plantation.
- In a temperate climate, this plant can bloom all year round .
- Due to these characteristics, it is very common to see the verbena plant decorating both potted interiors, gardens and even large areas of meadow.
- Centerpieces and other decorations with their flowers are also popular, for which pruning remains can be used.
Verbena plant: basic care
Although the verbena plant is so adaptable and resistant, one that is in its optimal conditions will always look better and grow better. Follow these guidelines on basic verbena plant care if you want yours to be as healthy as possible.
- Climate: temperate or warm.
- Light and location: it needs a lot of sunlight but not the direct incidence of the strong midday sun. Put it in semi-shade if it is in a climate with very high temperatures and in the sun if the climate is warm or a little cold.
- Substrate: it must be light and with good drainage.
- Irrigation: it does not tolerate puddles, so it is better to water when you have seen the dry land for two days.
- Pruning: it needs 2 or 3 pruning a year.
Verbena plant climate
As we have already said, verbena grows throughout much of the planet, so there are few climates that it cannot tolerate. However, its optimal conditions are those of a warm or temperate climate , which is where it will develop best.
In fact, this plant blooms in the summer months , and it does more and better when it is in an area of high temperatures. What it hardly tolerates, on the other hand, is the very cold climate. Frosts are very likely to kill the verbena plant, and low temperatures with high winds can also do a lot of damage.
Light for the verbena plant and its location
Taking into account what has been said in the previous section, it is convenient to locate the festivals in a point where they are protected from low temperatures and wind. When it comes to the light they need, they will appreciate receiving a good amount of natural light , but if the sun is intense in the area, they will be better located in a semi-shady area .
Indoors, place them in a very well lit room but a little away from the window. Outdoors, find an area where they receive light but are covered from the most influential hours, that is, midday.
Soil or substrate for verbena
As with so many other plants that do not require much humidity, the main thing when preparing the soil or substrate for the verbena is that it offers good drainage . Verbena does not tolerate excess moisture in its roots, so a sandy soil that provides adequate drainage is essential. Follow these tips on the substrate for the verbena plant depending on whether you have it in the ground outdoors or in a pot indoors:
- If you plant outdoors, make sure that the area you choose drains well the rain or irrigation water. If you absorb it quickly without getting waterlogged, the soil will do. Prepare the soil by releasing it to aerate it and make it lighter, and you can enrich it with some organic fertilizer. If it doesn’t offer enough drainage, you can improve it by adding sand to the soil.
- In the case of indoor pots, practically any light substrate will do, although we recommend a mixture of coconut fiber , peat, and worm castings , with the addition of perlite. This is a very light universal substrate that is optimal for most plants.
Watering the verbena plant
Since it does not tolerate excess humidity , you should not water the verbena too often. Ideally, you should water it only when the soil has been dry for a couple of days , a condition that tends to occur approximately every week, although it depends on the climate and soil.
Never water until it gets waterlogged and, if you have potted verbena, make sure the container has drainage holes and that you remove any excess water from the dish from under the pot after watering.
The verbena appreciates receiving a pruning up to 3 times a year .
- The first is done in spring, which is when the first flowers come out, and you must prune them all. Do this without fear, since it is done to stimulate the flowering of the plant and they will not take long to come out more.
- Another pruning must be done in summer.
- You will also need fall pruning.
You can use the pruned stems as cuttings, which will take root without too much trouble, or to make centerpieces or decorations.