Verbena plants are flowering plants that are annual or perennial. These herbaceous plants have semi-woody branches. There are around 250 species of these plants. Most species have their origin in North and South America; however, few of them are also found in Europe. The flowers vary in color, and few of the commonly observed colors are purple, white, mauve, red, apricot, and pink. Following are various types of this plant:
This plant grows well in soils that are rich in organic matter. Peat moss or compost can be added to the soil and mixed thoroughly. The purple verbena is known to produce blooms in a prolific manner, and therefore a monthly dose of fertilizers is recommended. A bushier growth can be promoted by trimming the branches lightly. Watering should be done in late afternoon. Care should be taken to ensure that the leaves don't remain too wet. The problem of mildew can affect the plant if water stays for a long time on the leaves.
This plant, which is known by the scientific name Aloysia triphylla, grows up to a height of 15 feet and blossoms in the summer season. Flowers produced by this plant are lavender in color. This plant is native to South America, and it is commercially grown mostly in North Africa and France.
Lemon verbena is used for both medicinal and culinary purpose. It is widely used in herbal teas, and is used in rice to add flavor. Leaves of this plant are placed on loaf pans before the batter for cake is poured over them. Aromatic oils released by the leaves add flavor to the cakes.
This plant, also known as sweet almond verbena, is native to Argentina. It is known for its fragrance, and therefore it attracts many insects. It is a perennial woody shrub and grows well in full sunlight. In the US, it is mostly cultivated in Texas and California.
Cultivating this plant is easy because it grows well with modest amount of fertilizers and water. It can be grown in hardiness zones 8 to11. Pruning of this plant is done between two blooming cycles.
Tips for Care
The verbena requires well-drained soil. Its tendency to tolerate dry conditions makes it suitable to grow this plant in water-scarcity zones. It is recommended to grow this plant in hardiness zones 2 to 8. Saplings devoid of flowers are considered to be the best for planting, and they need to be planted in spring, in a moderately fertile soil. The site chosen for plantation should be the one which receives full sunlight. However, it is better to have a shady place for new saplings grown in a warmer climatic zone. Watering should be done only when the need arises. Care should be taken to ensure that the root zone is not stagnated with water.
It is recommended to use a slow-release fertilizer for these plants. Compost fertilizers are spread in soil near the roots at the time of planting the saplings. Deadheading which is a practice of removing faded flowers, is performed here in order to promote further blooming. Just clipping off the upper part of the flower stalk (¼th inch) serves the purpose.