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What Is a Perennial Verbena?

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  • Written By: Amanda R. Bell
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 26 September 2018
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Perennial verbena is a garden plant that ranges from small to large in size and can resemble ground cover, tall grass, or even a short shrub. It blooms for a good portion of the year, producing small flowers in multiple colors ranging from rich blue to white. Highly-suited to warm and sunny areas, perennial verbena requires limited care provided that it is planted in the proper area.

Various types of perennial verbena differ in size and appearance rather drastically. The smallest varieties spread out at less than 5 feet (about 1.5 meters) and struggle to reach the height of 1 foot (about 0.3 meters). On the opposite end of the spectrum, some perennial verbena can grow as high as 6 feet (about 1.8 meters). The actual growth pattern and foliage of this plant also varies, resembling tall stalks of grass with flowers at the tips or a dense, thick moss. The taller varieties can also grow closer to the shape of a shrub, and nearly all verbena leaves, no matter what species, are slightly pointy and fuzzy.

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One of the biggest draws of this type of garden plant is its excessively long blooming period. Unlike other perennials that bloom between one to four months out of the year, most species of perennial verbena produce flowers continuously from the spring to the late fall, as long as the plant is taken care of properly. This blooming period makes it popular in home gardens and commercial landscaping, as it can provide color during even the hottest months when most plants are reduced to only foliage.

In addition to its varying sizes, it also produces flowers in numerous colors. The most common are blue or purple, which are typically found in ground cover and grassy varieties. Despite this, perennial verbena may also produce blooms in pink, white, or even coral. In most cases, the flowers have little to no fragrance, although some perennial moss verbena will grow lightly-scented flowers.

This type of plant is considered by many to be easy to nurture, especially given the heavy production of blooms. Although many flowering plants require partial sun or sun during only the morning or afternoon to produce a fair amount of flowers, perennial verbena is the exact opposite: it typically blooms more with full-day sun. In most cases, with decent soil, this plant only requires fertilization once a year or light feeding every month in lesser-quality soil. Planting it in well-draining soil in an area that receives plenty of air movement will usually protect it from disease and mildew.

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