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Verbena can be grown in a variety of ways. Since this perennial plant is thermophilic and does not tolerate temperate winters, it is cultivated as an annual. The peculiarity of verbena is almost continuous flowering throughout the season, so it is recommended to plant it as early as possible. It is because of this that seedlings are often used when growing it.
How verbena reproduces
Verbena is a perennial thermophilic plant, therefore, in regions with a cold climate, it is grown as an annual. There are several ways to reproduce it:
- by seeds through seedlings;
- seeds in the open field.
The first method gives the largest amount of seed. The second is used when it is necessary to ensure the earliest planting of a plant in open ground. The latter is justified in climates with the onset of warm weather in mid-spring.
How to propagate verbena by cuttings
Planting material for this method of verbena breeding is prepared in the fall of last year. To implement it, it is necessary to dig up the bushes together with a small clod of earth before the onset of frost and place them in a cool room, the temperature in which is + 8-10 ° С. An ideal storage option is an insulated balcony or an outbuilding.
Directly the process of cuttings for planting in open ground is carried out at the beginning of March. If you plan to grow the plant at home or in a greenhouse, you can do it earlier.
Verbena cuttings are obtained from the tops of the shoots, they must have at least four pairs of leaves
They are cut with a disinfected knife or garden shears. The cut should be processed with crushed coal. The top with the remnants of flowers should be removed.
Important! The cut is made in an arbitrary place. The main thing is to remove all leaves, except for 4-6 pairs closest to the top.
Rooting is desirable in a substrate consisting of equal parts of sand and peat. In this case, the cuttings are buried to the level where the lowest pair of leaves was located. It is recommended to cover the container with a film on top to create a greenhouse effect. The root system will be formed in about a month.
Rooted cuttings are planted in open ground as soon as weather conditions permit, namely in the absence of night frosts.
How to sow verbena for seedlings
Sowing verbena seeds for seedlings is usually carried out in early March. Growing soil - a mixture of garden soil and perlite in a 1 to 1 ratio.
The seeds are not buried, but placed on top of the ground and covered with 5-10 mm of humus
Then they are placed under glass and kept at a temperature of + 18-20 ° C. Condensation is removed from it daily.
After 3-4 weeks, all the seeds sprout. The glass is removed, and the box with young vervain is transferred to a cool place. Water the seedlings every 2-3 days. Landing in open ground should occur when the probability of recurrent frosts goes away.
Features of growing verbena flowers in the open field
The plant is relatively unpretentious and does not require any special techniques for growing. If a group planting is used, then the verbena does not even need loosening the soil or weeding from weeds. It can be grown in areas with any light level. There are also no requirements for the composition of the soil, the degree of its permeability is much more important. A really serious condition for growing a crop is only the temperature regime. The plant practically does not tolerate frost.
Important! Verbena cannot withstand temperatures below -3 ° C, therefore, plants are planted in open ground not earlier than the beginning of May.
How to plant verbena outdoors
The plant has a compact root system, so it can be planted in open ground not only directly on flower beds, but also in flowerpots or even small containers, for example, flowerpots.
Attention! In the case of spring planting in open ground, verbena seeds do not need any preliminary preparation and stratification.
When to plant vervain outdoors
The time when the plant can be transferred to open ground depends on the climatic characteristics of the area. So, for example, in the southern regions, planting is permissible even in early or mid-April. In the Central lane, this time falls in the first ten days of May, and in more northern regions - closer to its middle or end.
Site selection and soil preparation
Verbena can grow in any corner of the garden, since the degree of lighting does not matter to it. The plant takes root equally well in sunny areas and in the shade. No preliminary soil preparation, except for digging and removing plant residues, is required.
Important! It is better to loosen heavy soils after all by adding sand to them.
How to transplant verbena seedlings
As noted earlier, vervain has a compact root system, so the process of transplanting seedlings into open ground is quite simple and does not require any special measures.
Bushes should be placed at a distance of 20 cm from each other. It is necessary to plant creeping varieties a little freer - up to 30 cm. The depth of the holes is no more than 10 cm. A little drainage is poured into the bottom of each depression in the form of broken bricks. If the soil is too dry, it is recommended to pour 0.4-0.5 liters of water into the holes.
A bush with a lump of earth is installed in a hole and covered with soil
Pour another 0.5 liters of liquid under it. In rainy weather or in the case of sufficiently moist soil, this can be omitted.
How to grow verbena
Plant care is quite simple. It consists of treating the soil in the first month after planting, watering and fertilizing. The plant has good immunity, and is practically not susceptible to pest attacks. However, this will be possible if excessive thickening of the plantings and the absence of excess moisture are avoided.
Watering and feeding
Watering is carried out as the top layer of the soil dries up. Usually the time between them is 3-5 days. The rates are determined visually - after this procedure, the soil should remain slightly moist. During flowering, it is recommended to increase the watering intensity up to once every 2-3 days.
Top dressing is carried out once a season (usually a week before flowering) and is carried out using a complex fertilizer for ornamental plants. Instead, you can use organic matter in the form of rotted manure or compost.
Weeding, loosening, mulching
Weeding and loosening of the soil should be done only in the first month after planting the plant in open ground. In the future, when the bushes grow, these activities will not be required.
Loosening of the soil is carried out before each watering, but it is not done deeply, by 2-3 cm
Weeding is done once a week. At the end of the first month, the soil is mulched with straw and no more loosening is done during watering.
Since vervain is grown as an annual plant, there is no need to form a bush. Sanitary pruning consists of removing faded blossoms.
Verbena care after flowering
With proper watering and dressing, the flowering of verbena continues until late autumn (the onset of the first frost). Therefore, no specific care, except for the previously mentioned removal of inflorescences, is not required for the plant.
At the end of the season, if there is no need to form cuttings for the next year, the verbena is simply pulled out of the ground and destroyed, and the site is dug up, adding some kind of organic fertilizer to it.
Verbena overwinters only in the southern regions. In this case, the shoots should be cut to the very root, and the bush should be covered with spruce branches.
Pests and diseases
In general, verbena is highly resistant to most common diseases. However, if you do not follow the rules of agricultural technology, in particular, do not withstand watering rates, the plant can be attacked by a fungal infection.
The most common verbena disease is powdery mildew. Perhaps only in arid regions it does not manifest itself. Even when the plant is grown as an annual, the probability of infection with powdery mildew is about 50%.
When affected by powdery mildew, the verbena leaves first turn purple and then die off
The methods of treating the disease are standard: the infected foliage must be removed from the bush, after which they begin to spray it. In this case, Bitertalon, Difenoconazole, Ridomil Gold, etc. are used.
In the case of an advanced infection, when the plaque covers the entire plant, and the likelihood of rot is high, Fosetil is used.
Important! Preventive measures will help to avoid the appearance of powdery mildew: the absence of waterlogged soil and the timely removal of faded ovaries.
Verbena pests include aphids and miner flies. Traditionally, their activity begins in mid-May.
Aphids prefer to be on the underside of verbena leaves
Traditional methods (soap solutions, ash diluted in water, etc.) are ineffective in this case, since it is difficult to process a large amount of relatively small foliage. Therefore, it is best to apply spraying. As a treatment tool, it is recommended to choose insecticides of the neonicotinoid or carbamate groups: imidacloprid, pymetrozine, pyrimicarb.
Important! It makes no sense to use more potent means against aphids (for example, acaricides), since verbena in most cases is not a fruit, but still an ornamental annual plant.
Miner flies outwardly differ little from the same fruit flies. They lay eggs on the plant, from which the larvae hatch. Young caterpillars break through tunnels called mines in the plates.
The result of the activity of the larva of the miner fly is clearly visible on the leaves of the plant.
To get rid of the pest, you should remove the affected fragments of the bush and spray the remaining part with insecticides.
To combat the miner fly, the previously described aphid preparations can be used. In addition, Plenum, sold in the form of water-dispersible granules, does a good job with the pest.
Is it possible to plant verbena before winter
It makes sense to plant verbena in open ground at the end of the season only in the southern regions, where the negative temperature does not drop below -3 ° C. The root system of the plant has the same frost resistance as the stems with leaves. Therefore, one should not hope that the bush will overwinter.
Planting seedlings before winter is also not justified. First, plants will have a displaced annual rhythm of activity and rest. Secondly, the seeds will require mandatory stratification, leading to a decrease in the percentage of germination. Thirdly, by the middle of winter, the size of the seedlings will be so large that you will have to think about transplanting the plant into a larger container. That is, we will not talk about the backyard, but about the home cultivation of verbena.
Cultivation of verbena in cold climates is possible in both seedling and non-seedling ways. In any case, you need to understand that this perennial does not tolerate frosts with a decrease in temperature to -3 ° C, that is, in most of the CIS it can only be cultivated as an annual plant. If a lot of planting material is required, the reproduction of verbena using cuttings harvested in the fall will be justified.