20 April 2012

Perennial Veronica incana or Spiked Woolly Speedwell

 Cold hardy in zones 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Veronica Woolly Silver Speedwell is blooming around the edges of part shade spots in our garden. I planted them from seed in the winter of 2010, put out the tiny plants in 2011 and then the drought hit with record heat. The plants that survived to bloom this year are the ones that were in part shade ever since they were planted.

While I would love to have had 30 plants survive, I'm glad I tucked them all around the beds to see where they would thrive. Now these plants have been through it all and should spread nicely into their predicted 24-inch width. Gorgeous blue blossoms.

Veronicas come with white, pink, blue, lavender and purple flowers. Some are ground huggers and others are 3-feet tall. Look for
Veronica austriaca, Veronica gentianoides, Veronica incana, Veronica longifolia and Veronica spicata. They all bloom with racemes of densely packed blue-shaded flowers except for those few white and pink

ones in the mix.





 


Veronicas are easy-care plants. The silver leaf varieties are drought tolerant.

They are free of insect and disease problems.

Just keep them watered but keep their feet out of standing water! They thrive at the front of the border where they can dry out.




9.12.12 update - Despite record heat and drought the plants continue to hang in there. I didn't get around to deadheading - cutting off the spent flowers in time for the plants to get a second bloom. When it's 110 F (43C) we don't do much other than drag hoses (to the tune of a monthly $380 water bill) and drink tea. Now that the temperatures are cooling to the 90s (32C) and I am watering again, the plants still look decent. I'm snapping off the seedheads and putting into the flower beds so maybe I'll get some volunteer plants next spring.

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