Triming Verbena Groundcover - Knowledgebase Question

Murrieta, CA
Avatar for nugents
Question by nugents
June 8, 1999
We have verbena planted as ground cover on a large hill - it blooms for awhile, then the blooms fade in areas. Last year we trimmed it back and it bloomed again, but another neighbor has never trimmed theirs, and it blooms the year around. Should we just let it go? Looks great at least 9 months of the year, we have trimmed it back severely each fall. Again, the neighbors have not and theirs blooms all year. Trim or not to trim, that is the question.

Answer from NGA
June 8, 1999
Such a dilemma! It's generally recommended that trailing verbena be cut back to remove the spent flowers and encourage additional blooms. By cutting back the plants you'll stop seed production, directing the plant's energy into new leaves and flowers. If you leave the plants alone, the flowers will develop seeds which will provide new plants, and possibly new flowers. So, the bottom line is: if you're happy with the performance and overall health of your plants, continue to cut them back as you have in the past. If not, leave them alone and see if they behave the way your neighbor's verbena behaves.

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