Verbena × hybrida
Common Name: garden verbena
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Verbenaceae
Zone: 9 to 10
Height: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to October
Bloom Description: Blue, violet, purple, rose, red, yellow, white and bicolor
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Drought

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 9-10. In St. Louis, it is grown as an annual in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates light shade, but best flowering usually occurs in full sun. Plants have good heat and drought tolerance. Avoid overhead watering to the extent possible. Most are seed strains that can be started indoors 8-10 weeks before last spring frost date. Plants may also be purchased in six packs from local nurseries. Place plants outdoors in spring after last frost date. Young plants may be pinched to promote bushier growth. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage additional bloom. Plants may decline in summer periods of prolonged hot and dry conditions. Cuttings may be taken in late summer and overwintered indoors. Containers may be overwintered indoors. Or new plants may simply be purchased or grown from seed each spring.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Verbena x hybrida, commonly called garden verbena, is a short-lived perennial that is grown in St. Louis as an annual. It is noted for its profuse bloom of small five-petaled flowers in rounded clusters (to 3” wide) from late spring to fall on plants ranging in size from mat-forming/trailing (to 10” tall) to bushy/upright (to 20: tall). Flower colors include blue, violet, purple, rose, dark red, yellow, white and bicolor. Some varieties are fragrant. Oblong toothed leaves (to 4” long) are gray-green to dark green.

Genus name comes from a Latin name used for some plants in religious ceremonies and also in medicine.

Specific epithet means hybrid.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Beds, borders, rock gardens, edging or annual ground cover. Window boxes and containers. Trailing types for hanging baskets.