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Verbena bonariensis - is there hope??!

Substantial plants from GC planted in summer 2019, returned in 2020, although no new plants so guess they didn't self seed despite me leaving on the seedheads until spring. I think they had a bad case of mildew which I have sprayed for. They are now looking rather sad and I can't see any green shoots... is there any hope? Or do I need to start over?


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  • This is what is looked like last summer <3

  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 4,451
    edited March 2021
    Oh yes. It will start shooting from the base in a few weeks, if it hasn't already started to do so below ground level. It will probably not shoot from the old stems, although it might do from any that are still green.

    Have you put mulch or manure around it? That's not necessary with this plant. Treat it mean and keep it keen!

    As soon as shoots begin to appear, you can pull the plant apart into several pieces, and replant these where you want them. I literally tear them into bits. A piece of stem with a little bit of root and a shoot or two attached to it is all you need for a new plant. I've learned over the last couple of years that you can be rough as you like with these plants.
  • MsCatFlyMsCatFly Galway, IrelandPosts: 68
    Loxley said:
    Oh yes. It will start shooting from the base in a few weeks, if it hasn't already started to do so below ground level. It will probably not shoot from the old stems, although it might do from any that are still green.

    Have you put mulch or manure around it? That's not necessary with this plant. Treat it mean and keep it keen!

    As soon as shoots begin to appear, you can pull the plant apart into several pieces, and replant these where you want them. I literally tear them into bits. A piece of stem with a little bit of root and a shoot or two attached to it is all you need for a new plant. I've learned over the last couple of years that you can be rough as you like with these plants.
    Very helpful advice for me too! Thanks!  :)
  • edited March 2021
    Thank you @Loxley - that's really given me hope! I did put a little leftover manure/compost mix, hoping to give them a better chance.

    Will keep everything crossed for new growth, and will definily be truing to replant new shoots when they appear.

    Should I cut the old stems back?
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,238
    Yes, the new shoots will carry the flowers this year. You can however if you want just cut them by half and they should then branch out which gives you a taller plant quicker if that makes sense.
  • Mary370Mary370 Limerick, Ireland Posts: 2,003
    Don't forget to take cuttings for more plants next year, they don't reseed in my garden
  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 3,797
    If you left the flowerheads on until spring then it may well have reseeded, but you might not see the results this year. I think I had mine a couple of years before suddenly there were loads (and the 2nd year I'd left a lot fewer flowerheads).

    But in answer to your question, I'm pretty sure those bits will sprout, don't worry.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 5,544
    Yes - self seeding. It takes a little while and then suddenly they are coming up everywhere - if you're not too tidy with the weeding
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 4,451
    For the first couple of years I had no self seeding either, but now they come up between the slabs on my patio, in the lawn, in the gravel around the top of pots, I even have one growing out the mortar of the wall....
  • Fran IOMFran IOM Posts: 1,727
    I have numerous self seeded plants of VB. As far as I can remember I have only ever bought one plant. I pot a lot of them up rather than planting them in the ground and put them in between other plants where I wouldn't want to disturb the soil and as long as the pot can't be seen it looks as though they are growing naturally in the ground and of course you can move them about if you decide they aren't in the right place.  :)
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