The Q&A Archives: Verbena

Question: This year was the first year that I decided to grow verbena. I believe what I purchased from Lowes is a pretty common type. Most of what I planted has grown beyond what I expected from them and they are very beautiful. My question is that sometimes the flowers wither away leaving portions of the plant bare. Is this from not getting enough or too much water? Or is it just the natural cycle of the plant. Should I prune off the 'dead heads' or just lett it go on its own. I also noticed that some of the leaves are turning light brown aroind the edges. Its not very many leaves, but I am wondering if this is a sign of over or under watering?


Answer: Verbena is relatively easy to grow. It loves sunshine and heat and does best in slightly dry soils. You may be overwatering so cut back just a bit and see if that doesn't improve its appearance. If you pinch out the spent flowers your plants will respond by producing new flowering stems. Don't wait until the flowers are completely dead before removing them - cut or pinch them off when they just start to fade. If you leave the flowers on until they turn brown, the plant will have directed its energy into seed production rather than growing new flowering stems. The exception might be towards the end of the summer. If you want to collect seeds from your plants for next year, allow the seed heads to form and turn tan. When they do, clip them off the plant and hold them upside down over a plastic baggie. Shake and the seeds should fall into the baggie for sowing in the garden next spring.

Enjoy your beautiful plants!

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