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Verbena rigida

Hi all,
I'm hoping someone can help me with this plant please. I'm not really sure what to do with it now to prepare for Spring as it's the first year we've had them. We've had the more traditional, tall verbena many times before and always just cut them down at the end of the season. They've always come back fine the following year. I presumed that the Verbena rigida would be the same, but I can't seem to find anywhere online that confirms that. They are looking really quite tatty now like they should be cut down to ground level, but I don't want to do that if it will kill them. Please could someone help? Thanks so much.


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,881
    edited February 2023
    Hello @autumncrisp78
    and welcome to the forum 😊
    Verbena rigida is rarely hardy in this garden so I treat it as an annual. 
    if yours have survived I’d wait until the frosts are over (depending on where you are) before cutting back. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,837
    They always look rough here, but in the right place, they can withstand quite low temps - ie below minus 10.
    I cut mine back once I see new growth at the base doing well, which will be a while yet. Probably early April depending on what the weather's doing  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thank you both, I will leave until the spring, cut back and then keep my fingers crossed
  • @autumncrisp78 I thought that V rigida was an annual? If so you are lucky to have kept them growing this long. I assume you live in the south of the country as in the North all verbenas can struggle through the winter and some have to be under glass to survive.
    Do you have lots of new growth at the base? I would give it a few more weeks ay least if you can.Welcome.
     Retired Gardener, new build garden, clay soil, South Notts.

    The more I garden the less I know but the more pleasure I get from it. Monty Don 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,837
    edited February 2023
    Apologies - I always think I have rigida, but it's V. hastata I have, so ignore everything I said  :D
    V. bonariensis doesn't always survive winter here. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,296
    I have some growing amongst some roses.
    They vanish completely over winter and don't re-appear until around late April/May.
    The roots scramble around just under the surface of the soil and send up shoots, so hoeing where they are is not a good idea.
    I think mine are in the wrong place as they clearly don't thrive - just survive.
    It's quite easy to do root cuttings. Just dig up a bit of root about 6" - put it in a tray of gritty compost, leave somewhere sheltered outside and in a few weeks you should see new shoots appearing.

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,828
    Verbena Rigida is a tender perennial, doesn't survive cold wet winters. I had one that lasted 3 years. I cut it down each spring.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • Thanks everyone
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