How to Care for Verbena in Pots [Best]

Verbena is a beautiful flowering plant. It mostly grows as an annual plant in most of the region. The plant features dark green foliage with bright colorful flowers. Verbena is a sunny flower plant that likes full sun.

People mostly plant verbena in pots, containers, hanging or at the edge of their garden. 

Verbena plants do not require much once they get established but, this is an annual plant you have to keep things right for good flowers. 

In this post, We’ll see How to care for verbena in pots including its propagation and problems.

How to Grow Verbena flowers 

Verbena plants are mostly grown from nursery seedlings. This is the easiest method to grow verbena plants. However, you can propagate multiple verbena plants by using its seeds and stem cuttings (will discuss). 

When to grow

Verbena should be planted during spring or last after the last frost date. Like most annual plants, verbena is also a fast-growing plant that gets established within a few weeks.

Planting earlier in the season will give them time to settle and produce lots of flowers during the growing season. 

Where to grow

The plant has bright, colorful flowers that love to shine under sunlight. Place (the pot) or plant them where they get full sunlight. They like most flowering plants; they require at least eight to ten hours of direct sunlight. 

Quick Guide

Common NameVerbena
Scientific NameVerbena x
Plant typeHerbaceous annual flowering
Mature Size12 inches tall and spread 18 inches wide
Sun ExposureFull sun
Soil TypeMedium moist to dry, well-drained soil
Soil pH5.8 to 7.2 (slightly acidic)
Bloom TimeSpring to fall
Flower ColorPink, white, red, purple, peach 
Hardiness Zones9 to 11 USDA (can be grown annual anywhere)
Native AreaEurope

How to Propagate

You can propagate multiple verbena plants from one single plant by seeds or stem cutting. This is important especially if you want to regrow them in the next season. Through stem cutting, they take less time to grow compared to seeds. 

However, in many cases growing from seeds does not yield good results because today there are many hybrid plants got developed.

When you try to grow a plant from its seeds it might not grow the same as its parent plant.

So, Gardeners recommended growing verbena only from purchasing seeds.

How to grow verbena plant from seeds

  • Buy a pack of verbena seeds online or from a nearby store.
  • Soak the seeds in lukewarm water for 24 hours before planting.
  • Take a seed starter tray, fill each seed hole of the tray with potting mix soil.
  • Put seeds into the soil and press with your thumb against the soil to insert.
  • Sprinkle water to make the soil moist. 
  • Cover the tray with a newspaper or plastic, and place it in direct sunlight.
  • It takes around 14 to 20 days for seedlings to sprout, transplant each seedling with different pots or gardening locations.

How to propagate from stem cuttings.

Verbena

If you have a wonderful verbena variety and want to grow more of them then you can propagate them by stem cutting. Propagating plants from stem cutting or division is an easy method. Usually, propagation is done for perennial plants as they grow. For propagation through stem cutting your plant must be mature or at least one year old.

Here what to do,

  • Cut at least 5 to 6 inches long stem cutting from the plant, the cutting must have some leaves. 
  • You may dip the bottom tip of the cutting into rooting hormones for fast growth.
  • Plant the stem cutting in the pot, filled with potting mix soil.
  • Sprinkle water on the soil to make it moist. Water regularly to keep the soil moist until new leaves start growing.
  • It will take nearly a month to grow new leaves, once the plant gets established it will start producing flowers. 
  • The propagation should be done in the early spring so that the plant gets settled till the blooming period.

How to Care for Verbena in Pots

How to Care for Verbena in Pots

Verbena plants grow perennial in USDA hardiness zones 9-11 but in most of the zones, it grows as an annual plant. This means they have one year of the life cycle to grow, bloom and overwinter.

To grow the best you have to take care. These plants need some attention to keep growing in every season.

Light

Verbena plants prefer growing under full sunlight. The plant typically needs 8 to 10 hours of sunlight per day. Plant them where it gets early morning sunlight and afternoon shade. They tolerate some shade conditions, especially in a hot humid climate. However, too much shade will result in poor or wilt flowers and leaves. Also, avoid growing them under any perennial plant or tree it does not thrive well.

Because they might fight for nutrients or receive trees shade. 

Water

Regular watering is essential for verbena plant bloom. The plant roots need to keep moist for this you have to water them every day. The plant will get a bit drought tolerant once it gets established, but you need to water them weekly. Avoid overwintering, it does not like soggy soil. 

Sprinkle water only 1 to 2 inches deeper only.

Soil

Verbena plants prefer to grow in fertilized, dry, well-drained soil. The plant flowers heavily in the blooming season. It is important to plant them in fertile soil for maximum output. Mixing organic compost with soil when planting is adequate for its growth. Planting Heavy clay soil will lead to root rot. They grow better in Slightly acidic soil.

Fertilizer

Verbena

Although, the verbena plant does not require fertilization. Annual plant that grows only for one season. Feeding some fertilize monthly in the growing season might help to grow a new plant.

But, do not over-fertilize them. Adding more fertilizer will yield excessive growth of foliage and fewer flowers. This will lead to overgrown leaves and few-flowered plants.

Temperature and humidity

Verbena plants mostly grow annually and sustain only for one year. However, the plant might get damaged if planted in the hottest period of summer. During this period, you can protect them by giving them shade and regular watering. 

Common pests and diseases

When verbena gets dry it becomes susceptible to spider mites, especially when planted indoors in a pot. Also, it may get infected by powdery mildew and some common pests aphids. However, these problems occur rarely with plants due to lack of care.

Deer and rabbits are do not like to feed on verbena plant leaves or flowers, you can plant them around the edge of your garden to keep this mammal away.

Pruning

Occasional pruning to the plant is important for continuous growth. Snip off flowers or leaves which get dry or yellow. These dried parts might look dead but they keep sucking nutrients from the plant. Cutting them off will increase new flower and leaves growth. Also, pruning the stem cutting occasionally produce more flowers. 

How to overwinter verberna plant  

Potted verbena plants can easily overwinter. You need to just bring it back inside the house, place it in a room where it receives light. Do not water when it goes dormant. 

Verbena planted outdoors have more danger to get killed by first hardy frost (when the temperature drops to freezing point). In this case, you have to dig them out and transplant them in a pot.

Here is what to do:

  • With a sharp shear, trim the stems of the plant half down.
  • Take sholve, toss out the plant from the soil.
  • Also, cut the roots in half as well.
  • Plant it in a pot filled with loose potting soil.
  • Place the pot in light, in the beginning days water it to make soil moist.
  • Do not water after a few days to let it go dormant.
  • You can replant it outdoors in the garden after the last frost gets over or in the early spring.

Verbena Vs Lemon verbena

Lemon Verbena

Verbena is often confused with another plant called Lemon verbena. This plant belongs to a different genus within the Verbenaceae and classifies as Aloysia triphylla. 

Lemon verbena is a herbal plant mostly used in home remedies and aromatherapy, produces citrus fragrance which is absent in verbena. 

Verbena varieties

Verbena varieties are distinguished by their flower colors. 

Abbeville

This is a vigorous variety that features lavender-colored flowers, it was originally found near Abbeville, SC, so the name. 

Appleblossom

This is also a vigorous variety that has a long blooming period with large flowers of cotton candy color with white buttons in the center of the petals.

Homestead Purple

The is the most popular variety of verbena with its trail type. It is a vigorous plant that features clusters of large dark purple flowers.

Summer Blaze

It blooms cherry red flower clusters during late spring to frost.

Superbina series

Verbena hybrid

This verbena cultivar was developed to resist powdery mildew if you struggle from this fungal disease in the garden condition. It produces a white or lavender color flower.

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