Hybrid verbena is a beautiful herb with a fairly long flowering period. Known since the days of the ancient Celtic civilizations. The plant was used as the main ingredient for the preparation of a love potion, various amulets and rituals. Followers of Christ believe that the sacred flower pierced the ground in places where drops of blood of the Savior crucified on the cross fell.
Modern landscape designers successfully use hybrid varieties of verbena to decorate various territories.
Description of hybrid verbena
Verbena hybrid, Verbena Hybrida, is a miniature shrub with branched stems. It is characterized by a pleasant aroma of inflorescences, which intensifies after sunset.
The plant is distinguished by the following features:
- the root system is fibrous;
- plant height 15-60 cm;
- leaves are opposite, elongated;
- the shape of the lower leaves is cordate;
- leaves and stems covered with gray hairs;
- in places of contact with the ground, the stems form adventitious roots;
- the shape of the inflorescences is an umbrella-shaped ear;
- the number of flowers on one inflorescence is up to 30 pieces.
Each individual flower has 5 delightful petals
In Russia, various forms of verbena are cultivated: ground cover, creeping, upright plants, forming a rather extensive bush, up to 20 cm high, ampelous, tall and dwarf.
Hybrid verbena flowers delight with a riot of colors and colors: from monochromatic (blue, purple, pink, orange, white) to variegated.
The bright color of numerous flowers makes hybrid verbena the most sought-after crop in landscape design.
Hybrid verbena varieties
More than 250 varieties of hybrid verbena decorate gardens, parks, and adjoining territories. The most popular are the following
- Several varieties from the Quartz series (Quartz) are ground cover hybrids. Plants are distinguished by exceptional decorative properties. The most popular variety is Quartz White - early, long-flowering crops. Low-growing, densely branched bushes of hybrid ground cover verbena, whose height reaches 25 cm, can be used to decorate borders, pots and flowerpots.
Large flowers of the ground cover variety Quartz White bloom a week earlier than other plants
- The Quartz Burgundy variety, which is characterized by a bush height of up to 25 cm, is striking with the splendor of long flowering.
Quartz Burgundy is distinguished by large flowers of a spectacular cherry tone, with a characteristic eye with a purple border
- The Quartz Pink variety of hybrid verbena is great for decorating outdoor flowerpots, mixborders.
Quartz Pink blooms with bright pink medium-sized buds
- The variety of ampelous verbena Ideal impresses with the widest color palette and variety of shades.
The Ideal variety is able to win the love of flower growers once and for all.
- Bright and alluring variety of ampelous verbena Lucifer is resistant to temperature extremes, long and lush flowering.
Bright scarlet Lucifer is one of the most popular ampel verbena varieties, which are characterized by especially large flowers
- The unique ampelous variety Star Round Dance is characterized by large, dense, umbrella-shaped inflorescences up to 15 cm long. The plant looks great in outdoor flowerpots, pots, lawns, in symbiosis with tall crops.
Ampel Star round dance is presented in many bright shades
- The Snezhnaya Koroleva variety belongs to the type of ampelous vervain. The plant is characterized by medium-sized flowers, the length of the inflorescences is up to 20 cm.
The Snow Queen is represented by white and a variety of pastel shades of lilac, pink and purple
- Ampel varieties of hybrid verbena from the newest Tuscany series are capable of producing additional roots on overgrown strings, which can be periodically pinned to the soil and hilled. Tuskani plants are characterized by the following characteristics: resistance to pathogens and temperature extremes, long and lush flowering. The culture is distinguished by its small size, exquisite and exotic color combinations, resistance to the effects of temperature changes and pathogens, and the longest flowering period. Tuscany Lavander Picotee, a muted lavender color, forms a continuous carpet on the beds, subject to plant spacing of 20-25 cm.
Lavender Pikoti looks perfect on Provence-style flower beds
- The Tuscany Pastoral variety is characterized by large flowers that look great in outdoor pots, flower pots, mixborders.
Tuscani Pastoral is represented by an unusual spectrum of colors from pale pink to deep purple
- Dwarf verbena varieties from the Quartz line are recognized as the most unpretentious for Russia. Plants are characterized by the following parameters: small size of bushes - up to 30 cm; profuse flowering throughout the summer; delicate aroma.
Quartz Red is a spectacular, early dwarf verbena with small red flowers that looks great in street pots, pots
- The dwarf variety Quartz Purple, due to its long flowering period, is successfully cultivated as elegant borders, bright accents in the beds.
Luxurious Quartz Purpl - impeccably beautiful, purple dwarf verbena with large flowers
- The alluring Quartz Scarlett with large scarlet buds is distinguished by long flowering and resistance to temperature extremes.
Quartz Scarlett is planted in street pots, pots, hanging baskets, mixborders
- The Peaches and Cream tall verbena variety is a delightful specimen, up to 40 cm high.
The tall Peaches & Cream is characterized by earlier flowering
- The variety of Blue hybrid verbena with an eye is distinguished by a bush height of up to 30 cm.
Blue hybrid verbena with an eye is characterized by abundant flowering of globular inflorescences
- The popular variety Russian size is characterized by long flowering of large inflorescences of deep pink color.
A variety of tall verbena Russian size has a delicate aroma
Several methods are used to reproduce hybrid verbena:
- cuttings - used for hybrids that do not form seeds;
- dividing the bush of an adult plant;
- seed, with germination of seedlings from hybrid seeds.
For growing seedlings of hybrid verbena, you should choose selected plant seeds from trusted manufacturers
Application in landscape design
The use of hybrid verbena in landscape design is so widespread that many flower growers and professional gardeners prefer this culture for most areas of territory design. Due to its unpretentiousness, exceptional decorative properties of rich greenery and an extensive tint spectrum of colors, verbena is used in various objects:
- on clubs and beds to decorate zones that bloom throughout the summer;
- in mixborders (middle or background for tall varieties);
- in rock gardens to create bright color accents;
- on lawns as dominant elements;
- for the design of dense borders (undersized species);
- hanging pots;
- outdoor pots and flowerpots.
With proper care, hybrid verbena can decorate any part of the local area with its lush flowering all summer long
Most often, hybrid verbena is grown from purchased seeds. In order to get healthy, abundantly flowering plants, attention should be paid to seedlings.
When to plant hybrid vervain seedlings
When growing hybrid verbena from seeds, it is necessary to plant seedlings in late February or early March. You should choose planting material in specialized stores.
In conditions of a shortened sunny day, young shoots of the plant must be additionally illuminated
Preparation of containers and soil
For young shoots of hybrid verbena, a plastic or wooden box, peat container is suitable.
The soil for perfect germination of seeds needs loose, neutral, light, water and breathable:
- wood ash (in the amount of 1 large glass for 4 liters of soil mixture);
- garden land (1 part);
- peat (2 parts);
- sand (1/2 part);
- perlite (ratio of 2 large glasses to 4 liters of soil).
The soil mixture must be treated with a weak (0.5-1%) solution of potassium permanganate, ignited in the oven or treated with steam.
To increase the percentage and intensity of germination, the soil should be carefully sieved through a sieve to increase the level of looseness.
Sowing seeds of hybrid verbena is carried out in several stages:
- before sowing, the seeds are soaked for 15-20 minutes in growth-stimulating preparations (Heteroauxin, Epin, Zircon);
- the prepared soil in the container is poured with warm water;
- using toothpicks soaked in water, they pick up verbena seeds and transfer them to the surface of the earth;
- seeds are placed at a distance of up to 2 cm from each other;
- sprinkle with soil mixture up to 2 mm thick;
- the earth is moistened with a spray or spray gun;
- to create a greenhouse effect, the container is covered with glass or plastic wrap.
The optimal distance between verbena seeds is 1.5-2 cm
Growing hybrid verbena from seeds at home
Before the sprouts appear, the crops are "aired" for 15-20 minutes a day. To do this, remove polyethylene or glass. Condensate is completely removed from the surface of the covering material. In comfortable conditions for the plant (at moderate humidity, air temperature up to + 25 ⁰С) after 3-7 days the seeds show the first signs of "life".
When the first shoots appear, the container is moved to a cool place, the covering material is removed. Experienced growers advise doing this gradually (30 minutes a day) over several days.
In a new place, seedlings are grown at temperatures up to + 18 ⁰С, in addition, young shoots are supplemented with additional illumination with a day length of less than 14 hours
Watering is carried out from a spray bottle, avoiding waterlogging of the soil. Higher seedlings are watered at the root using a syringe or mini-watering can to avoid water getting on the plants. The frequency of watering is determined individually, depending on the drying out of the outer layer.
When the first pair of leaves appears (one month after sowing), verbena seedlings dive into the fertilized soil. Soil mixture for dive verbena contains the following ingredients:
- 2 pieces of garden land;
- 2 parts of peat;
- ½ part of sand;
- 1 large glass of ash for 6 liters of soil;
- 1 tablespoon of complex fertilizer for 6 liters of soil mixture;
It is recommended to choose planting containers for each individual plant with a diameter of more than 5 cm.
1.5-2 hours before transplanting, the prepared containers are filled with drainage, soil and thoroughly watered. Sprouts with two leaves are planted in small holes, after which the planting site is compacted and watered.
After picking, the plants are moved to a sunny place. In the case of planting ampel varieties, you should "pinch" the top to obtain six full leaves.
1 week after the pick, the verbena is fed with mineral nitrogen-containing or complex (nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus) preparations
Planting and caring for hybrid vervain outdoors
Verbena is a unique decorative, luxuriant and long-flowering plant, the budding period of which begins after the wilting of the primroses and lasts until autumn.
Flowers, buds, leaves of hybrid verbena do not wither even under the scorching sun. The culture looks great both in flower beds and beds, and in street pots or flowerpots.
Transplanting seedlings into the ground
The hardened verbena seedlings are transferred to the ground in the last decade of May. The sprouts are hardened to adapt to the sudden nighttime drop in air temperature on May days. Plants prefer loamy, fertile soil with a neutral level of acidity, loose and breathable.
The place for transplanting hybrid verbena seedlings into the ground should be sunny, open, without shading, since the plant is warm and light-loving.
The soil is dug up in the fall, pre-fertilized with a mixture containing potassium, nitrogen, phosphorus. The planting holes are well moisturized. The distance between them is 30-35 cm, depending on the type and variety of the plant.
Verbena sprouts pre-watered in containers together with a lump of earth are moved into prepared holes in open ground, sprinkled with earth, tamped a little, watered dosed, mulched with peat
Watering and feeding
Since hybrid verbena is a drought-resistant crop, it is recommended to water it once every 7 days. In especially dry weather - 2 times a week.
Beautiful and lush flowering throughout the summer is the result of timely plant nutrition:
- at the end of spring - organic fertilizers;
- at the beginning of summer (in the process of bud formation) - organic mixtures;
- in the middle of summer - phosphorus-potassium mineral fertilizers.
Excessive watering can provoke the development of fungal diseases, and drying out of the soil negatively affects flowering
Weeding, loosening, mulching
Simultaneously with watering, experienced flower growers advise to loosen and weed the soil from weeds, which will ensure a sufficient flow of fresh air to the root system.
Periodic loosening of the soil is a mandatory aeration measure
Since new shoots appear in the place of faded inflorescences in hybrid verbena, timely pruning should be done. Faded and wilted inflorescences are removed, while the stem is shortened by ¼ of the total length.
Pruning verbena will stimulate the growth of new shoots and increase the duration of flowering
Perennial erect varieties of verbena, cultivated by man, are distinguished by their unpretentiousness and frost resistance. With the arrival of the first autumn frosts (- 2 ⁰С) in the southern regions, verbena bushes are cut and "insulated" with spruce branches.
In mid-latitudes, plants are dug up and transferred to "wintering" in utility rooms to provide a period of winter rest and sleep (dark cellar, shed, balcony)
Pests and diseases
Among the diseases that hybrid verbena is most often susceptible to are root rot, gray rot, powdery mildew.
When infected with root rot, the leaves and stems of verbena turn yellow
When damaged by gray rot, dark gray spots appear on the leaves, the inflorescences rot and fall off
Powdery mildew appears as a thick white bloom on leaves and inflorescences
The listed fungal diseases of verbena are the result of violation of watering rules. Modern fungicides are used as the main treatment for plants.
In addition to diseases, during the summer season, hybrid verbena can be attacked by some pests: thrips, spider mites, aphids.
Thrips suck out healthy juices, gray spots appear at puncture sites
The spider mite is "located" on the lower part of the leaf plates, habitats are "marked" with a characteristic cobweb
Aphids are the most dangerous pest that feeds on plant sap, slows down the growth and flowering of verbena
In the people, the hybrid verbena is called "pigeon grass". The attractive shrub plant has over 120 stunning varieties.