How to Grow Verbena Plants Successfully: Master Guide

How to Grow Verbena Plants
14 min reading time

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced gardener, growing verbena plants is a great way to add vibrant color and fragrance to your garden. With the right care and maintenance, these versatile plants can thrive in a variety of growing conditions. In this section, we will provide you with a simple guide on how to grow verbena plants successfully, including tips on location, soil preparation, planting, watering, pruning, and more.

Key Takeaways:

  • Proper soil preparation is essential for successful verbena plant growth.
  • Choose a location with well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight for optimal growth.
  • Water and fertilize your verbena plants regularly to promote healthy growth and blooming.
  • Prune and deadhead your verbena plants to maintain their appearance and overall health.
  • Be aware of common verbena plant problems and take preventative measures to protect your plants.
  • Propagate your verbena plants through seed, stem cuttings, or division to expand your collection.
  • Provide special care for your verbena plants during the winter months to ensure their survival.

How to Grow Verbena Plants: Choosing the Right Location

Growing verbena in gardens is easy as long as you choose the right location for it. The first step is to determine whether you want to grow verbena plants in full sun or partial shade. Best practices for growing verbena plants recommend planting them in areas that receive at least six hours of sunlight per day. This will ensure that the plants receive the energy they need to produce the vibrant blooms that they are known for.

In addition, it is important to select a location that has well-draining soil to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot and other issues. Verbena plants thrive in soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5, so make sure to check the pH levels of your soil before planting. You can use a soil testing kit to determine the pH levels and make any necessary adjustments.

Another important consideration when selecting a location for growing verbena plants is air circulation. Good air circulation will help prevent diseases, and it will also help to keep the plants dry. Avoid planting your verbena plants in areas that are prone to waterlogging or that have poor air circulation.

In summary, the best practices for growing verbena plants in gardens include selecting a location that receives at least six hours of sunlight per day, has well-draining soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5, and good air circulation. Following these tips will help you create the ideal growing environment for your verbena plants, resulting in healthy growth and abundant blooms.

Soil Preparation for Verbena Plant Cultivation

Before you start planting your verbena, it’s important to prepare the soil to create an optimal growing environment. Follow these essential steps for soil preparation:

  • Create a well-drained soil: Verbena plants thrive in well-drained soil. Make sure the soil is loose and crumbly, allowing air and water to penetrate easily. Avoid waterlogged soil, which can lead to root rot and other plant diseases.
  • Choose the right soil type: The ideal soil type for verbena plants is a fertile and well-drained soil with a pH level between 6.5 and 7.5. If your soil is too sandy or clay-like, amend it with organic matter such as compost, peat moss, or well-rotted manure to improve its structure and nutrient content.
  • Test the soil: Before planting, test your soil to determine its pH level and nutrient content. You can purchase a soil test kit at most gardening stores or send a sample to a soil testing laboratory. Based on the test results, adjust the pH level and nutrient content with appropriate amendments.
  • Add fertilizer: Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to the soil before planting to provide your verbena plants with the necessary nutrients for healthy growth. Follow the recommended application rate on the fertilizer package.
  • Water: Before planting, moisten the soil to ensure the root zone is hydrated. Avoid overwatering, which can lead to root rot and other issues.

By following these soil preparation tips, you can create a healthy and fertile growing environment for your verbena plants. Remember to maintain the soil health by regularly adding organic matter and applying appropriate fertilizers to promote healthy growth.

Planting Verbena Plants

Now that you have prepared the soil for your verbena plants, it’s time to plant them. Proper planting techniques are crucial to ensure successful growth and vibrant blooms.

Planting Tips for Successful Verbena Plant Growth

  • Space your verbena plants at least 12 inches apart to allow for proper air circulation.
  • Plant verbena in a hole that is twice the size of the root ball.
  • Make sure the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface.
  • Water the plants deeply after planting.

Verbena plants require well-drained soil, so be sure to avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot. However, don’t let the soil become too dry, as verbena plants prefer consistently moist soil.

During the first few weeks after planting, it’s important to monitor your verbena plants regularly and keep the soil moist. As the plants establish themselves, you can reduce the frequency of watering to once or twice a week.

Watering and Fertilizing Verbena Plants

Proper watering and fertilizing are crucial for the health and vigor of your verbena plants. These plants are drought-tolerant, but they still require regular watering. Water your verbena plants deeply once a week, and make sure the soil is well-drained to prevent root rot. During hot and dry weather, increase watering frequency to twice a week.

When it comes to fertilizing verbena plants, use a balanced fertilizer every four weeks during the growing season. Choose a fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to excessive foliage growth at the expense of blooms.

It’s also important to deadhead spent blooms regularly to promote continuous flowering. This will also help prevent the plant from going to seed.

By following these simple verbena plant care tips for watering and fertilizing, you can ensure your plants remain healthy and vibrant throughout the growing season.

Verbena Plant Pruning and Deadheading

Pruning and deadheading are essential tasks in maintaining the beauty and longevity of your verbena plants. Aside from promoting healthy growth, pruning and deadheading also improve the appearance of your plants by preventing straggly stems and encouraging fuller and bushier growth.

Deadheading refers to the process of removing spent blooms from your verbena plants. By doing this, you prevent the plant from directing its energy towards producing seeds and instead focus its resources on new growth and blooming. Deadheading is also an effective way of lengthening the blooming period of your verbena plants, allowing you to enjoy their beauty for a longer time.

Pruning, on the other hand, involves the removal of old and damaged stems, promoting new growth and stronger stems. Pruning should be done regularly to ensure that your verbena plants stay healthy and continue to produce abundant blooms.

The best time to prune your verbena plants is in early spring, before new growth appears. At this time, cut back the old stems to about six inches from the ground and remove any dead or damaged branches. This will stimulate new growth and encourage the plants to produce more blooms later in the season.

When deadheading, use a pair of sharp scissors or pruning shears to remove spent blooms. Cut the stem just above a leaf node, where new growth will emerge. Make sure to remove all the spent blooms to encourage new growth and prevent the plant from expending energy on seed production.

Regular pruning and deadheading are essential in maintaining the health and appearance of your verbena plants. Follow these tips for successful verbena plant growth, and you’ll enjoy the beauty and fragrance of these lovely plants in your garden for years to come.

Preventing Common Verbena Plant Problems

How to Grow Verbena Plants

As with any plant, verbena plants may encounter certain issues that can affect their growth and overall health. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to prevent and address these problems. Here are some common verbena plant care essentials to keep in mind:


One of the most common issues that affect verbena plants are pests. Aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies are some of the most common pests that attack verbena plants. To prevent pest infestations, keep your garden clean and free of debris that can harbor pests. You can also spray your plants with insecticidal soap or neem oil to keep pests at bay.


Verbena plants are susceptible to several types of fungal diseases, including powdery mildew and rust. To prevent fungal diseases, avoid overhead watering, which can promote the growth and spread of fungi. Keep your plants well-ventilated and avoid overcrowding them, which can create the ideal environment for fungi to thrive. If you notice signs of disease, such as yellowing or wilting leaves, treat your plants with a fungicide.

Environmental Stressors

Environmental stressors, such as extreme temperatures and drought, can also affect verbena plants. To prevent stress, make sure your plants are watered regularly and adequately. Mulching around the base of your plants can help retain soil moisture and keep the roots cool. If temperatures are high, provide some shade to protect your plants. Also, make sure your plants are not exposed to strong winds, which can damage their delicate stems and leaves.

By following these verbena plant care essentials, you can prevent common problems and enjoy the beauty and fragrance of your verbena plants year-round.

Propagating Verbena Plants

If you’re looking to expand your collection of beautiful verbena plants, or want to share this beauty with others, propagating your verbena plants is an excellent option.

There are a few methods you can use to propagate your verbena plants, and the easiest one is through stem cuttings. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Propagating Verbena Plants from Stem Cuttings

  1. Choose a healthy stem of your verbena plant that is about 4 to 6 inches long.
  2. Using a sharp and sterile pruner, make a clean cut ½ inch below a leaf node.
  3. Remove the leaves from the bottom 2 inches of the stem.
  4. Dip the cut end of the stem into rooting hormone powder.
  5. Insert the stem into a container filled with a well-draining potting mix.
  6. Water the container and place it in a spot with bright, indirect sunlight.
  7. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.
  8. After a few weeks, you should see roots starting to form.
  9. Once the roots are established, you can transplant your new verbena plant into a larger pot or directly into your garden.

If you prefer to propagate your verbena plants from seeds, keep in mind that verbena seeds are tiny and require specific conditions for successful germination. Here are a few tips:

  • Start the seeds indoors about 8 to 12 weeks before the last frost date in your area.
  • Use a sterile seed-starting mix and press the seeds gently into the soil surface without covering them.
  • Mist the soil surface with water and cover the container with plastic wrap to retain moisture.
  • Place the container in a warm spot with indirect sunlight.
  • Once the seedlings have grown a few sets of true leaves, transplant them into individual pots and continue to care for them until they’re ready to be planted outdoors.

Another way to propagate your verbena plants is through division. This method works best for established plants that have grown too large for their current location. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Choose a mature verbena plant with several stems and a healthy root system.
  2. Carefully dig up the plant and gently separate the roots into sections.
  3. Each section should have at least one stem and a healthy root ball.
  4. Replant each section into a new location in your garden or individual pots.
  5. Water the new plants and keep them in a spot with bright, indirect sunlight.
  6. Continue to care for the new plants as you would any established verbena plant.

By following these propagation techniques, you can easily increase your collection of beautiful verbena plants, and bring their vibrant colors and sweet fragrances to more areas of your garden or home.

Overwintering Verbena Plants

While verbena plants are hardy and can withstand some cold temperatures, depending on your region, they may require special care during the winter months. Proper maintenance during this period is crucial for the survival and longevity of your verbena plants.

As winter approaches, it is important to gradually reduce watering and fertilization. This will signal the plant to begin entering its dormant period, which is essential for its survival.

Once the first frost hits, cut back the foliage to a few inches above the soil line. This will help prevent any potential diseases or pests from overwintering in the plant’s debris. Remove any dead or diseased foliage and dispose of it far away from your garden.

Protect your verbena plants from frost by covering them with a layer of mulch or covering them with a frost cloth. Avoid using plastic covers as they can trap moisture and cause rot or disease.

During the winter months, check on your verbena plants periodically to ensure they are not experiencing any issues. If you notice any signs of pests or disease, take immediate action to prevent further damage.

As spring approaches and temperatures begin to rise, gradually increase watering and fertilization to encourage new growth. When the danger of frost has passed, remove the frost cloth and mulch and allow your verbena plants to thrive once again.

By following these overwintering tips, you can ensure that your verbena plants survive the winter and continue to provide beauty and joy to your garden for years to come.


Congratulations on becoming a verbena plant expert! With the essential steps and techniques outlined in this guide, you can now grow and maintain beautiful verbena plants that will enhance the beauty and fragrance of your garden.

Remember to choose the right location, prepare the soil, plant the verbena correctly, and provide proper watering and fertilizing. Don’t forget to prune and deadhead to maintain the plant’s health and beauty, and be aware of common problems that may arise.


Can verbena plants be grown in containers?

Yes, verbena plants can be grown in containers. Choose a container with good drainage and use a well-draining potting mix. Make sure to water regularly and provide adequate sunlight for optimal growth.

How often should I water my verbena plants?

Verbena plants prefer moist but well-drained soil. Water them thoroughly when the top inch of soil feels dry. Avoid overwatering, as excessive moisture can lead to root rot.

Do verbena plants attract pollinators?

Yes, verbena plants are highly attractive to pollinators such as butterflies and bees. Planting verbena in your garden can help attract and support beneficial insects that play a key role in pollination.

When is the best time to prune verbena plants?

The best time to prune verbena plants is in early spring before new growth begins. Trim back any dead or damaged stems and remove any spent flowers to promote healthy growth and encourage more blooms.

Do verbena plants require full sun?

Yes, verbena plants thrive in full sun. They require at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day to reach their full potential. Plant them in an area where they can receive ample sunlight for optimal growth and blooming.

Can I grow verbena plants from seeds?

Yes, verbena plants can be grown from seeds. Start the seeds indoors about 8-12 weeks before the last frost date or sow them directly into the garden after the danger of frost has passed. Follow the specific seed packet instructions for best results.

How do I protect my verbena plants from pests?

To protect your verbena plants from pests, regularly inspect them for signs of infestation such as aphids or spider mites. Use organic pest control methods such as neem oil or insecticidal soap to address any issues promptly.

Can I divide my verbena plants to create more plants?

Yes, verbena plants can be divided to create more plants. Dig up the plant and carefully separate the root clumps into smaller sections. Replant the divisions in well-prepared soil and water thoroughly.

How do I overwinter my verbena plants?

Depending on your region, verbena plants may require special care during the winter months. To overwinter verbena plants, cut back the foliage and apply a thick layer of mulch around the base of the plants to protect them from freezing temperatures.

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