The Q&A Archives: Verbena Looks Dry And Brown

Question: I have verbena as a ground cover throughout my landscape with various sources of water. Almost all of it looks brown on the leaves. It thrived throughout the hot dry summer but now (October) it looks like it is dying. During the summer months we watered every other day, once a day. They looked great until now. Could it be getting too much water? The soil here is pretty hard and drainage is probably not very good.

Answer: Verbena grows and looks best in hot weather. To thrive, it needs good air circulation and well-drained soil, especially in winter. I suspect your plants were performing at their peak during summer and are slowing down until warm weather returns. If the plants are overcrowded they may have developed a fungal disease (they're especially prone to powdery mildew). Look for a whitish film on the leaves. A good garden fungicide will protect healthy leaves; infected leaves will eventually die. You can cut away the brown, wilted debris to remove disease pathogens and open your plants up to better air circulation. When weather warms up your plants should put out new growth.

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