Rigid tall stems of indestructible, everlasting purple flowers to peek through on this must-have butterfly plant that needs massing together at the front of a border - like a curtain - supports dahlias as effectively as bamboo canes
- Position: full sun
- Soil: moderately fertile, moist, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average to fast-growing
- Flowering period: June to September
- Hardiness: borderline hardy (will need protection in winter in colder areas)
Tightly packed clusters of lilac-purple flowers on tall, stiff, branching stems from June to September. This stylish perennial has been enjoying a resurgence of interest in recent years. Perfect for a sheltered, sunny, well-drained spot, its open, transparent shape means that it can easily be used at the front or middle of the border despite its height.
This plant will help to sustain bees and butterflies into autumn with its tall wiry stems of purple flowers. It makes a good filler, because the upright stems support neighbouring plants. Plant it among the warm-red Dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ and it will act as supports, negating the need for staking, whilst providing a dazzling display.
- Garden care: In cold conditions Verbena bonariensis can suffer dieback if cut back in autumn, so it's best to leave the plant until spring and cut back the old growth when you see the new shoots emerging at the base. Also it's a good idea to mulch around the base of the plant with a deep, dry mulch in winter to help protect the plant. Where the plant is grown in partial shade the stems may need to be supported - if this is necessary use natural materials such as brushwood or twiggy pea-sticks.
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Q:Powdery mildew on my plants
Hi, I wonder if your plant doctor may be able to answer a query for me. I have bought a few Verbenas from yourselves and they all seem to have suffered the dreaded powder mildew problem. I have sprayed with a recommended product and discarded the affected leaves but don't know if I have sorted the problem or not sufficiently? I read that this often affects plants that are under stress, - I did keep all the plants potted up (although some in larger pots than at purchase) close to each other for some time. I wonder if that might be why this happened ? Any advice would be welcome. They are now all in the garden and hopefully will thrive. SueAsked on 9/3/2009 by Sue Hulkes
A:Hello Sue, Powdery Mildew is caused by the plants being too dry and having poor air circulation, which are usually made worse when the plants are growing in pots. It sounds as of you have tackled it correctly, so they should improve. For more information you can click on the following link. http://www.crocus.co.uk/pestsanddiseases/_//top12/Powdery%20mildew/ArticleID.1174 I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 9/4/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Any reason why myplants are not flowering?
Hello. I have some plants that seem to be happy and growing well but aren't flowering- two Fuchsias, a Crambe cordiflora, and a Geranium 'Buxton's blue'. Even those that are flowering are a bit rubbish - a Perovskia 'Blue Spire' and some Verbena bonariensis have produced some flowers but not many. What can I do to improve flowering - is there a particular feed or fertiliser I should use? The soil is dense london clay, but the garden is not shady, but nor is it in full sun. It is quite sheltered. Many thanks, RobertAsked on 7/26/2009 by Robert Wilne
A:Hello There, There are a number of reasons why plants don't flower including too much shade, not enough water or nutrients, or pruning at the wrong time of the year. It can also be caused by the plant putting on new root growth instead of focusing its energies on producing flowers. I am not really sure why yours has not produced buds, but you can often give them a bit of a push by feeding with a high potash fertiliser. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 7/27/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Advice on planting your pre-designed Red Summer border
Dear sir/madam I am particularly interested in buying the Red Summer Pre Designed Border. Please can you tell me whether these plants are suitable for planting in conjunction with weed inhibiting fabric. I want to minimise the amount of weeding required. Many thanks for your help RuthAsked on 6/22/2009 by Ruth Hamilton
A:Hello Ruth, You can plant these into the weed supressing fabric without any trouble at all, provided you make sure the fabric allows the water to drain through. All you need to do is cut big crosses into the fabric and peel back the edges to plant and then fold back the edges again. I hope this helps.Answered on 6/23/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:When is the best time to plant the border on a budget?
We are intrested in purchasing the plants suggested on 'money's tight' pre-planned border. Can you suggest when it is best to plant these plants?Asked on 2/3/2006 by sarah keeling
A:As a rule hardy plants grown in containers (such as the majority of the ones we sell), can be planted at any time of year as long as the soil isn't frozen solid. The best times to plant however are in the autumn when the soil is still warm enough to encourage root growth but the plant isn't in active growth, or in spring before the temperatures start to rise. You can also plant in mid summer as long as you make sure the plants are kept well watered.Answered on 2/6/2006 by Crocus
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