When to Plant Verbena?

Written by samantha belyeu
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When to Plant Verbena?
Plant perennial verbena in spring or fall. (Verbena image by CarlosNeto from Fotolia.com)

There are several varieties of verbena (Verbena spp.), including both perennial and annual types. Perennial verbenas can be grown as annuals in climates that are too cold for it to survive, so planting times vary in areas where verbenas are not hardy. Moss verbena, rigid verbena, blue vervain, Brazilian verbena and trailing verbena area all perennials, while Verbena x hybrida are annuals.


Start seeds indoors to take advantage of a head start on spring transplanting outdoors. Depending on the variety of verbena, seeds are started indoors three to five weeks before the last frost. Plant perennial verbena seeds in the garden after the last frost or in late summer/early fall in U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zones 5 and up.


Keep cuttings with no blooms indoors over winter for annual verbena varieties. They are usually planted in potting soil right after cutting. Some cultivators cutting should be soaked in a rooting hormone solution for a day or so first, but this is not strictly necessary. The cuttings root over winter, and then are transplanted to the garden when the soil warms.


Plant nursery-purchased verbenas, rooted cuttings and seedlings in the spring after the last frost. Verbenas that naturalise and spread seeds each year can be planted later, as the flowers will emerge each year without replanting by the gardener. Perennial verbenas transplanted in early fall will likely not bloom, but will develop a strong root system for the next year in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 5 and higher.

Lemon Verbena

Lemon verbena is not a true verbena but is often confused with verbena because of its name. This verbena follows the planting schedule of perennial verbenas. However, it is only hardy in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 9 and 10, so it should not be planted in the fall in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 8 and below. In zones farther north, it is planted in spring as a perennial or kept in pots moved indoors during the winter.

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