How to care for verbena, the balcony beauty that lasts till October
Verbena manifests primarily in two forms - common verbena and hanging verbena. The hanging variant is commonly sported on our balconies and terraces, with the common variety spotted during leisurely park strolls. It's a relatively easy-to-grow plant, and when properly cultivated, blossoms to strikingly large and intensely colorful sizes. Keeping observing, you just can't take your eyes off it. Here's how to care for verbena so that it continues to please the eye till October.
Verbena - Soil Conditions and Location
Verbena thrives in humus-rich, fertile, and permeable soils. Thus, acquiring flower plant soil, specially formulated to meet all verbena's soil needs, is recommended. The plant may not take root in sterile, sandy soil.
Besides appropriate soil, location also matters. Verbena craves a lot of light for its growth, and hence, a sunny spot is ideal. Planting verbena should be postponed until mid-May, shortly after the "cold Saints", by when the risk of frost has subsided. By ensuring the correct soil and location, you can enjoy the delightful sight of verbena flowers from mid-May till October.
Fertilizing and Watering Verbena - What Should You Know?
Verbena demands regular watering. In spring and in the early summer, when the heat is yet to set in, watering every two or three days suffices. However, during the heat, daily watering becomes imperative. The plant doesn't weather drought well. It is also known to struggle during extended heavy summer rainfalls, at which times it might be beneficial to remove verbena from your balcony or terrace to avoid plant fatalities.
Similar to petunias or geraniums, verbena requires fertilization. The first instance of fertilization should take place no earlier than three weeks post-planting. For nourishment, verbena prefers a fertilizer rich in phosphorous and potassium. Frequency of fertilization should not exceed once weekly. The choice of fertilizer is crucial, as a generic, nitrogen-rich variety could harm the plant. This all-around care ensures the flower develops healthily for four months post-planting.