The Q&A Archives: Starting Verbena

Question: I am planning on starting Verbena seeds "Peaches and Cream" and "Burgandy Quartz" in the next week or so. Please tell me what "conditions" the seeds need because I have never been very successful with them in past years. Thank you.

Answer: Verbena is valued for its long flowering period which lasts from spring into early autumn when the dead flowers are removed regularly. Plants grow in clumps that reach a height of six to ten inches. Flowers can be mauve, purple, white, pink, apricot or red. Verbena can be used for general display, in rock gardens or as an edging, and looks great in pots and hanging baskets.

Sow seeds indoors in early spring. Germination can take two weeks to three months and some varieties don't have a high germination rate. For best results, sow on the surface of moistened seed starting mix and just barely cover with additional soil. Cover the trays or pots with plastic wrap to help hold in moisture, and place in a warm area such as on top of the refrigerator. As soon as seeds sprout remove plastic wrap to provide good air circulation. Verbena seeds will germinate in 14-90 days when kept at 65F-75F.

Space the plants 12 inches apart when transplanting outdoors. Plant in full sun and well-drained soil for best results. Southern gardeners may want to give the plants some afternoon shade. Water regularly until plants are well-established, and thereafter water only when very dry. Overwatering and overfeeding are the two main sources of problems with verbena. Give the plants one application of complete plant food when they are four inches high.

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