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cutting back Verbena Bonariensis

Last post 19-01-2005 10:07 AM by Obelix. 15 replies.

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  • 10/01/2005 03:33 PM
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    Should Verbena Bonariensis be cut back in winter after flowering? None of my books will tell me. I live in Cumbria and we do sometimes get very hard frosts (or we used to)!

    mike jones
  • 11/01/2005 12:17 PM
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    I always cut mine back as I find that if I leave them they get blown around during the winter and get loosened in the ground so they suffer more in any really cold, wet weather. Anyway the plants look better next year if you have all new growth from the base.

  • 11/01/2005 01:07 PM
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    just an afterthought to my last post, I do leave plenty of time for any seeds as I want any self sown seedlings I can get!

  • 11/01/2005 02:28 PM
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    Thanks very much for this, very good advice, I am sure! Mike

    mike jones
  • 14/01/2005 03:11 PM
    • Jak
    • East Sussex Coast
    • 23 Nov 2004
    • 163
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    Verbena Bonariensis aren't fully hardy, so they may not survive the winter. However, they self seed prolifically and in my garden they are becoming quite a problem, sprouting up in cracks in the paving and other places I don't really want them! Jak

  • 14/01/2005 03:40 PM
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    I often think we gardeners are an ungrateful bunch. We are always either struggling to grow plants that don't like the conditions or complaining that a plant is out of control because it's too happy!

  • 16/01/2005 01:06 PM
    • prentonboy
    • Wirral
    • 26 Feb 2004
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    I have just checked on the RHS site with regards to Verbena bonariensis and with regards to pruning it says - 'Cut down once flowering ceases'. I didn't cut mine back when it finished flowering so I am now concerned as it now seems to be shooting along the flower stems, with fresh growth about 2 - 3" long. Is it now to late to cut it back? Should I just cut it back to the new shoots? Should I just leave it alone now? Of cause it's not fully hardy so it still may be cut back by frost.

  • 17/01/2005 12:20 PM
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    Hi Charles - I have the same problem. I didn't cut back the stems as the garden has never really died back with it being so mild. If the sun ever shines long enough to get outdoors I intend to cut it back although I have back-up plants from the self-seeding that are growing around the parent plant if that fails. I think Alan Titchmarsh was talking about verbena bonariensis a couple of weeks ago and says the parent plants only tend to last (or do well) about two years but by that time you should have plenty of seedlings around to replace it with.

  • 18/01/2005 07:54 AM
    • Obelix
    • Belgium
    • 24 Nov 2004
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    Rhoda - I've been meaning to try this plant for some time. I have some gaps to fill and fancy something tall, light and airy. How is it with slugs? Magnet or resistant?

    Obelix - Belgium
  • 18/01/2005 12:53 PM
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    I have had no problems with slugs atall. (They're too busy eating my Hostas!) The plant is very easy to grow from seed, flowering in its first season. Mike

    mike jones
  • 18/01/2005 01:38 PM
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    No problem with slugs either - which must be one of the few plants in the garden they don't seem so bothered about. They slime all over my ordinary verbena! It is a great see through plant, very pretty flowering heads, grows pretty tall though some of the stems reached 4ft in my garden!

  • 18/01/2005 08:42 PM
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    Hi Mike, I also still haven't cut down my Verbena bonariensis because it has been so mild (again) this winter in my garden. I haven't yet noticed any new growth, or self-sown seedlings, but I have a tray of seedlings overwintering in my growhouse. They were easy to grow from seed. The plant was very easy to grow in the garden and looked stunning. The flower heads really do soar over everything else, so you can plant them wherever you like in your border and you can still see the plants underneath/behind. Until last year I thought that V. bonariensis was one of those plants that the pundits get excited about but that it was out of place in a real garden. However, once the flowers appeared, I suddenly understood what all the fuss was about. They are a beautiful, almost iridescent pink/lilac, which just seemed to glow for weeks above my agastache and leucanthemum. I did find that they took up quite a bit of space at ground level, so this year I will make sure I leave a bit more room.

  • 18/01/2005 09:11 PM
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    ---------------- On 1/18/2005 8:42:08 PM Daisyheadcase wrote: Hi Mike, I also still haven't cut down my Verbena bonariensis because it has been so mild (again) this winter in my garden. I haven't yet noticed any new growth, or self-sown seedlings, .---------------- Whereabouts are you Daisy? I'm in Hertfordshire and while I was in the garden yesterday I noticed lots of shoots both on the stems and at ground level. I did cut them back because I find the plants are sturdier when I do. They don't seem to mind being crowded in by other plants at the base, in fact it seems to give them a little support and stop them leaning over.

  • 18/01/2005 09:36 PM
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    Anthemis, I'm in Worcestershire. My garden is on a slope, with the VB at the bottom of the slope in the corner of a border which is bounded by a dry stone wall. Gets plenty of sun in summer and benefits from being on well-drained soil, but it can be a bit of a frost pocket in the winter. I am a bit more northerly than you, but I probably haven't looked at it close up for a while (I've been working a lot of nights lately, that's my excuse!!).

  • 19/01/2005 09:24 AM
    • Jak
    • East Sussex Coast
    • 23 Nov 2004
    • 163
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    ---------------- On 1/18/2005 7:54:52 AM Obelix wrote: Rhoda - I've been meaning to try this plant for some time. I have some gaps to fill and fancy something tall, light and airy. How is it with slugs? Magnet or resistant?---------------- Definately slug and snail resistant I have a real problem with the damn things and it's one plant that appears unaffected. Another good reason for growing them (I think!) is that they attract Hummingbird Hawk Moths - or at least they did in 2003 when we had that execptionally hot summer! Jak