The verbena plant
A large number of ornamental and medicinal plants, common in our gardens, belong to the Verbenaceae family. One of these, the Verbena Hortensis, gave us some very interesting hybrids, especially for use in pots, and represents an excellent alternative to geraniums and petunias. In fact, it can boast an almost continuous flowering, good resistance, very wide range of colors and low cost.
It is a perennial (not very rustic) with long stems from 30 to 40 cm: depending on the cultivar it can have an erect or decombing habit, perfectly adapting to different collocations and combinations.
Its greatest development occurs from April to October: in these months it produces umbrellas of apical flowers in a large number of shades: pink, red, violet, mauve, white, apricot.
When autumn arrives we can decide to treat it as an annual or place it in a heated greenhouse or in a very bright room, preserving it for the coming year.
How to make a planter with verbena
Verbena is excellent to use on terraces and balconies, alone or in combination with other plants. It is a good element to insert into normal vases, but it is also ideal for small balconies and creates beautiful effects in hanging baskets.
We suggest choosing a fairly deep container: the greater amount of soil will be an important nourishment for plants like this, in continuous development. It will also help us keep the roots fresh, reducing the frequency of watering.
We insert a layer of expanded clay on the bottom and check that the drainage works perfectly. Then we create a mix with ѕ of good soil for flowering plants and 1/3 of coarse sand. The seedlings will have to be at least 10 cm apart, to leave them space for later development.
How to combine verbena with other flowers
The hybrid verbena has many different uses and can be combined with other flowering plants, but it also elegantly combines with those that produce only decorative foliage.
For example, an excellent combination can be with heuchere, choosing a nice contrast of colors between flowers and leaves. Also interesting is a composition with ornamental graminaceous plants of small dimensions: pennisetum setaceum or oriental, carex in their various shades, festuca glauca. We will get an elegant set, but ideal to be inserted in modern settings.
If we want something more classic we can instead focus on other flowering plants. In the suspended vases it goes well with the surfinie, with the decombant lobelia, nasturtium, diascia, lantana, nemesia, bidens, bacopa, small ivy.
In the vases and in the balconette we can insert these elements, but also of the colored sages, campanulas, nicotiane, ageratum, carnations.
How to arrange colors in verbena vases
The arrangement of the colors must certainly follow our personal tastes, but there are rules that can help us to obtain pleasing effects. Two paths can be followed. The first is to create a contrasting composition, the second is the search for a tone on tone.
In the first case we will have to combine plants that have flowers (or leaves) in complementary colors: beautiful effects will give us for example blue with yellow, red with green. A little less strong, but still interesting, are blue with pink and red with yellow.
If instead we want a more relaxing effect, let us dedicate ourselves to flowers in the same colors: blue, light blue, purple; or pink and red.
The insertion of a little white can act as a binder and soften the whole.
When and how to water the verbena plants
It requires a sunny exposure, but always fresh soil: the interventions must be fairly frequent, especially during the hot season. The ideal would be to use a small home irrigation system; alternatively, we advise distributing water early in the morning, but always in small quantities. In the case of very sunny balconies, to avoid strong evaporation, we can prepare a good mulch on the surface of the ground with gravel or decorative pebbles. The special coconut fiber discs are also excellent.
It is very important to avoid wetting the leaves: the verbena is very easily affected by powdery mildew. If it appears, we immediately eliminate the affected parts and distribute a special product
How to decorate the terrace with verbena plants: How to keep the blooms
There are some tricks to get very rich and healthy specimens.
First of all, at the time of purchase, we choose those that still have few flowers and proceed with a topping: afterwards it will look fuller and lighter.
We immediately give a good liquid fertilizer, rich in potassium, and we continue until the first colds arrive. We can distribute it weekly or fortnightly, as indicated by the manufacturer; a good technique also consists in diluting it a lot and distributing it daily.
Even punctual cleaning is important: only by promptly removing the withered corollas will we avoid that they go unnecessarily to seed.