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Verbena Bonariensis

My Verbena Bonariensis flowered successfully this year!  Does anyone have hints and tips for helping it to survive the winter?  Should I leave the long flower stems on?  Should I lift and pot it and keep it in my (unheated) greenhouse? My garden is just outside Edinburgh - 400ft above sea level. Many thanks.

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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,095

    Hi Sue - I'm at the same altitude, but on the south side of Glasgow. I just leave mine (mainly potted, but also in the ground) and then give them a decent prune in early spring. Leaving the stems in place helps give them a bit of winter protection - any frost damage gets pruned off.

    My ground is quite heavy, and we get a lot of rain, but as long as they're in a good spot with adequate drainage, they're usually fine. 

    If you leave the flowers on, they will often seed around - giving you more plants for free. image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,561

    I rew these in my Belgian garden which could get very cold in winter.  Leave the seed heads on and also the dead stalks and flowers as they protect the crown.  You'll either get newly seeded plants in spring or new growth on plants that have survived, in which case, you just trim off the dead stalks in spring and off you go again.  They have a delightful habit of popping up in unexpected places which turn out to be just right.?

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thanks, both!  I grew them from seed, and they've been rather slow to establish - still just a single stem on each plant, and not very tall - but at least they flowered! I hadn't appreciated that they are 'free seeders' so will look very carefully when doing the big clear up after winter!  

  • To be honest, I never miss to cut mine back. If I leave them, the cold winds blow them around and stems get loosened. New base growth will make them also look better next year.

  • Leave the flowers and you will be able to watch gold finches feeding on them over winter, plus plenty of new plants next year.

  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,037

    I am just over the Forth from you. I cut them back oct/nov time. They are in the ground. 

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • I always leave my V. Bon but reduce their height by a third to reduce the effect of wind rock on the plant. The main protection should be a good mulch of garden compost of bark chip around the base of the plant to protect them against winter frost. In my opinion, our winters are becoming less severe so such plants seem to survive quite well with a chop and a mulch 

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