The mysterious and romantic name of this flower excites the imagination for a reason! Verbena has been known for a long time, it has been attributed to many mystical properties.
For example, the ancient Celts used it to reconcile enemies, made amulets from the grass against evil spirits and brewed a drink that evokes love.
In Christianity, this flower is considered sacred. There is a legend that for the first time verbena grew in those places where the blood of the crucified Christ fell.
Nowadays, a variety of species and varieties allows you to use verbena in the design of a garden of any style.
Verbena hybrid (Verbena x hybrida) belongs to the vervain family (Verbenaceae)... It is a perennial plant resulting from the crossing of several verbena species. In culture, it is usually grown as an annual plant.
The plant is a compact, branched bush. Stems 15 to 60 cm high, tetrahedral. Adventitious roots are formed on the shoots in places of contact with the ground. The root system of the plant is fibrous, branched, located in the upper soil layer up to 20 cm thick.
Verbena leaves are opposite, elongated. The lower leaves are cordate at the base, the upper ones are sessile. All green parts of the plant are covered with hard gray hairs.
This species includes various forms of plants - both ground cover and ampelous, both tall and dwarf. The richness of colors defies description and may even include uncharacteristic vervain colors, such as peach and orange.
The inflorescence of hybrid verbena in the form of an umbrella-shaped spike has up to 30 medium-sized flowers with a pleasant aroma. The color of the flowers is very diverse - white, blue, purple, red, pink with various shades, monochromatic or with a light spot in the center.
Long and abundant flowering and striking color of flowers make verbena a very valuable crop for decorating the garden area.
In addition to their elegant appearance, the inflorescence umbrellas have a fragrant floral scent that intensifies towards sunset. This feature is characteristic of all varieties and forms of hybrid verbena.
Growing verbena hybrid
The plant is light-requiring and drought-resistant, grows best in open sunny places. It is undemanding to soils, but it grows better on moist and fertilized (without excess nitrogen and organic matter), non-acidic loamy soils.
Its very important quality is that it tolerates the conditions of industrial pollution relatively well, which is why it is becoming more and more popular in urban landscaping.
Verbena develops very slowly, from sowing to flowering it takes 3–3.5 months. Tolerates transplantation well.
Breeding verbena hybrid
Vervain is propagated by seeds and cuttings. To obtain an earlier flowering, seedlings are grown. For this, the seeds are sown in March. Seeds germinate very slowly and uneventfully, at a temperature of +12 ... + 15 ° C, seedlings appear in 15–20 days. Therefore, for a more friendly germination of seeds, it is advisable to soak them in a growth stimulator before sowing.
Seedlings dive into boxes or pots when they have 1–2 true leaves. During the growing period, seedlings must be fed 1-2 times with a solution of complex mineral fertilizer.
Seedlings are planted in flower beds in early June at a distance of 15–25 cm, when the threat of frost has passed, although it tolerates them much easier than many other flowers.
When propagated by cuttings, mother plants are planted in pots in summer and rooted. In winter, they are stored in a bright room at a temperature of +4 ... + 6 ° C. And the cuttings of young shoots are carried out in April.
Verbena blooms from late June until frost. For long flowering with a lack of moisture in the soil, it is watered, otherwise, during drought, the plants stop flowering and begin to form seeds.For abundant and long-term flowering, the plant must be fed with complex mineral fertilizer every 15–20 days.
If the shoots are pinned to the ground, then additional roots are formed in the leaf nodes, and a low carpet is obtained from the flowering plants.
Use in garden design
The use of vervain to decorate the site is very diverse. Low varieties of verbena are planted on flower beds and borders, compact forms are good in arrays and on loggias, and ampel varieties will perfectly decorate suspended balcony boxes and retaining walls. Verbena is cut from tall varieties, but cut flowers do not stay in the water for long.
Low cost, versatility of use, unpretentiousness to environmental conditions and a very long flowering period make vervain very desirable in every garden.
"Ural gardener" No. 16, 2017