Verbena thrives in Southeast Texas

Verbena thrives in Southeast Texas

Big, bright and beautiful verbena is a great easy-to-care-for addition to your yard or patio. It thrives in our heat. It is enamored with the sun. And its continual color will make your garden sparkle until autumn’s frosty weather.

Vervain is a gardening category composed of some 3,000 species. Verbena is one of the tropical, warm-temperature options in this group. To give you an idea of the diversity of the vervain category, the teak tree is another warm-temp member.

Verbena is described as a “genus of perennial herbs.” The verbena has been known since the most ancient times. The druids had the greatest veneration for the plant, according to the Aggie horticulture Web site. Before gathering it, they offered a sacrifice to the soil. They also held bunches of verbena between their hands during their devotions.

Peacekeepers sent around the world by ancient Rome had clothing adorned with the verbena image. The Romans are said to have given it the name Hereba veneris, or “plant of Venus.” They felt that it had powers to re-kindle flames of dying love.

Most varieties of verbena will spread and quickly provide a dense ground cover of foliage and flowers. Some options are trailing. Its growth is very compact.

Verbena can be loosely divided into three types: the short-lived annual verbena, the large-flowered short-lived perennial verbena and the smaller flowered, but long-lived perennial verbena (loosely referred to as “verbena hybrids”).

Whichever verbena you choose for your yard, you can count on it to be a workhorse – and a pretty workhorse, at that.

Put it where the sun shines. Its heat tolerance and ever-blooming nature will make you plant it in more than one location of your yard. Plant this bloomer wherever you want easy-care color. It looks great in pots, hanging baskets and garden beds. And the butterflies will thank you for it, too.

This week in your garden, don’t forget to garden early in the day, wear sun protection, stay cool then sit back and relax and enjoy the fruits of your hard work.

Joette is an avid gardener and prides  herself on staying up-to-date on the latest gardening activities and tips. To share your gardening news with Joette, call (409) 832-1400 or fax her at (409) 832-6222. Her e-mail is joreger [at] msn [dot] com.