About Good Scents

The cut flower business ended in 2011 but I continue to post other items about gardening.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Verbena bonariensis

Verbena bonariensis is a fun addition to bouquets and to an annual or perennial bed. It forms a basal set of leaves but flowers on top of long, thin 2-4 foot stems. The thin stems make the lavender flowers appear to be floating in the air. Some people also call them a “see through” flower because they can be planted in front of shorter flowers which will still be visible behind the “see through” stems. These long, thin stems can also look very interesting in flower arrangements. The tiny bright lavender flowers are held in little elongated clusters that are 1-3 inches long. It will rebloom if you keep all the flowers cut.

Verbena bonariensis likes warm weather – they bloom in August and September. It is a tender perennial that is not hardy in Michigan. However, because it blooms the first year and re-seeds easily it can be grown as a self-seeding annual. Once you acquire it, you will always have it unless you cut every single stem.

I have had mixed results starting this flower from seed indoors. Germination is irregular and slow and some years I have planted lots of seed and only gotten a few plants. This doesn’t matter much for home gardeners who only want a few plants anyway. In future years there will be plenty of self sown seedlings to move here and there.

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