Verbena plants are an excellent addition to any garden in the UK, which is why it’s no wonder why many UK gardeners want to know how to trim verbena. These plants don’t need much pruning than other herbs and perennials, but one needs to trim them now and then. Trimming promotes new bloom and keeps your verbena looking nice and neat.
Pruning usually happens when spring starts to roll in. During summer, you can further trim your verbena so that more flowers will bloom. Remove dead flowers and seed heads during the autumn season. Keep in mind that excessive pruning can slow down the growth of your verbenas.
Before we dive into the basics of trim verbena, it’s essential to know what it is and what it needs to survive.
Growing Verbena Plants
Most people are familiar with the shorter verbena variants in the shades of purple, red, blue, and pink. Verbenas look beautiful when placed next to other annuals. If you put them in your British garden, butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, and other pollinators will become regular visitors.
UK gardeners mainly use verbena as a spiller plant in pots, but they can liven up any space – indoors or outdoors. One of the best ways to beautify your polytunnel or UK garden is to plant verbena with dusty miller and red-orange marigolds. Even though these colours are perfect for the summer season, they will still be beautiful come autumn.
Taking Care of Your Verbena Plants
Verbena plants are easy to grow; they need well-drained soil (soil quality doesn’t matter), six hours under the sun, and an inch of watering every week. These requirements are typical for annuals, but unlike other hardy plants, verbena doesn’t fare well if you’re not consistent with your care. If your verbena goes weeks without regular attention, your plants may grow without flowers, and the foliage would look unattractive.
Growing verbena directly in the ground will require less care and attention since the roots can grow well into the ground and solve their issues. On the other hand, container-grown verbena needs more frequent care since growers place them in an isolated environment.
2 Ways to Trim Verbena Plants
There are two ways to trim your verbena plants, depending on whether they’re annuals or perennials.
For annual verbenas, you can trim them regularly throughout the growing season to promote new growth and flowers. If you’re unsure when to trim your plants, do so when the verbena is thinning, straggling, or they’ve stopped flowering altogether.
Use sharp scissors or gardening shears and trim about ¼ of their branches and stems. Apply flower fertiliser after trimming, and be sure to follow the directions on the product label.
Perennial verbenas thrive in cooler climates where temperatures go below freezing temperatures. Once winter has passed, prune your verbena plants using sharp scissors or gardening shears and remove wilted or dead plants. As with annuals, apply flower fertiliser following the directions placed on the label.
After the blooming of the spring flowers, you can trim your verbenas two to three times every summer. Cut them back about ¼ of their entire length to encourage new growth and flowers. You can also apply flower fertiliser if your plants look droopy and weak.
Keep in mind that perennial verbena will only need a light trim during the autumn season. However, this can delay dormancy and lessen your plant’s hardiness. The best time to prune perennial verbenas is 45 days before the first frost date in your area.
Reasons Why You Should Consider Growing Your Plants in a Hobby Greenhouse
There are several reasons why it helps to grow your plants inside a hobby greenhouse. Here are some of the benefits of polytunnel gardening:
Protect from harmful insects
Gall midges, leafminers, aphids, mites, caterpillars, scale, mealy bugs, and whiteflies are among the most common insects that can affect verbenas. If you already notice an infestation, use insecticidal soap and apply it to the affected area. Keeping them inside a polytunnel reduces the chances of attracting harmful pests that can damage your plants.
More space for planting
If you don’t have enough space to plant verbenas or other plants, you can use a mini polytunnel instead. You can place small greenhouses on your balcony, deck, patio, or even on tabletops. Even though they’re small, they function just like a regular polytunnel does.
Create a microclimate
You can plant crops and flowers inside a mini polytunnel regardless of the weather outside. You can use grow lights, heating and cooling systems, or natural heaters/coolers to create an ideal growing environment inside your greenhouse.
Protect from bad weather
Heavy rain, high winds, drought, and unpredictable weather can damage your UK garden instantly. Keeping them inside a polytunnel keeps them safe from erratic weather changes. Once the weather warms and the spring season begins, you can transplant them into your garden in the UK if you want to.
The Bottom Line on How to Trim Verbena
Now that you know how to trim verbena, it’s important to remember and follow the tips mentioned above. Knowing how to grow and take care of verbena plants allows you to enjoy beautiful blooms for years to come.