07 October 2010

Veronica Speedwell - Plant seeds and divide plants now

There are over 250 perennial Veronica Speedwells, growing from swamps to rocky European hills.

They are strong plants with spikes of small flowers in white, rose, pink, light blue or purple-blue. All the Veronica colors appeal to butterflies and hummingbirds.

According to tradition, St. Veronica wiped the face of Christ after the crucifixion and an imprint of his face was left on the cloth. The Veronica plant was named for St. Veronica because the flowers resemble the imprint of a face.

Species vary by their water preference but all prefer average, well-drained soil.

Most succeed in zones 4 to 9. They bloom best with at least 6-hours of sun a day.

Perennial Veronica plants are divided in the fall and Veronica seeds are planted outside in the fall. Do not cover the seeds – they need light to sprout. Veronicas are in the figwort family and one, Veronica filiformis, Creeping Speedwell, is considered to be a weed.

The most popular Veronicas are the upright selections with tall spikes of flowers for arrangements. The low growers can be used between stepping stones or in rock gardens.

The letter V is substituted for the word Veronica in this list of possibilities for your garden.

Veronica chamaedrys, Germander Speedwell, is a light-blue flowering ground cover. At one time it was grown as an herb used for blood cleansing.

V. fruticans, Rock Speedwell forms a branching, mat that can be walked on. Deep blue flowers with dark red eyes.

V. grandis holophylla grows 2-feet tall, with glossy leaves, and stalks of deep blue flower clusters. Blue Charm and Lavender Charm are the same plant. Icicle has white spikes.

V. gentianoides, Gentian Speedwell, grows in dense mats in moist soil. Light blue flowers.

Veronica hybrids bloom midsummer on upright bushy plants, about a foot tall. Crater Lake hugs the ground and has 10-inch tall bright blue flower spikes.

V. incana, Silver Speedwell, has silver-white, mat-forming leaf clumps and deep blue flowers on 10-inch stems. Pavane, Muneut and Red Fox are pink-red. Romilley Purple is deep violet and Saraband is deep blue. All are low water plants.

V. liwanensis, Turkish Speedwell, forms a dense mat of leaves and blue flowers, similar to creeping thyme.

V. longifolia subsessilis has clumps of 2-foot tall stems with blue flowers. Evaline has pale purple-red flower spikes and purple leaves in fall.

Veronica Speedwell Evaline or Eveline

V. pectinata, Blue Wooly Speedwell, has creeping stems and round leaves that form a mat. Deep blue flowers on 6-inch tall spikes.

V. prostrate or rupestris, Harebell Speedwell, has 8-inch tall clusters of light blue flowers. Heavenly Blue is the lowest growing, Alba has white flowers, Mrs. Holt is pink, Trehane has gold leaves with bright blue flowers.

V. repens has shiny leaves on 1.5 inch high, prostrate stems that look like moss. The flowers are lavender to white. Will take a little shade and grows quickly into a ground cover for bulbs.

V. saturejoides used in rock gardens, has creeping roots, dark blue flowers in compact spikes.

V. spicata, Spiked Speedwell, resembles longifolia subsessilis but with shorter flowers. Spicata flower spikes can be 2-feet tall.

The award winning Sunny Border Blue flowers are7-inch stalks of dark violet-blue. One miniature, Nana, grows 6-inches tall with violet flowers.

V. subsessilis grows 2-feet tall with deep blue flowers.

With 250 sizes and colors to choose from, you can find a few easy-to-grow Veronica varieties to plant this fall for next summer’s flower bed.

Wet soil can be a problem but no insects bug Veronica. Skip the fertilizer. To extend the bloom period, remove the faded flower stalks.

Companion plants for Veronica Speedwell include others that prefer well-drained soil: Daylily, pinks, yarrow, coneflower, coreopsis and summer phlox.
---------------            ----------------------           ---------------------

PS May 2012 - these are from the seeds I planted Oct 2012.

No comments: