Updated at: 28-06-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Plants in the verbena family, which are noted for their vividly colored flowers and rapid growth, thrive in the sun and can withstand dry spells. Even while you can find verbena plants already begun for sale at garden centers and nurseries, you might find it more cost-effective to start your own from seeds. Plant the seeds in a seed tray inside about 12 weeks before the last spring frost in your area to get a head start on enjoying your verbena. Shortly, you will have bright splashes of color to use as paint for your home’s landscaping.

Make your own seed starting soil with plenty of organic matter and good drainage. Mix in your backyard garden soil with one part sphagnum peat, one part sand, and two parts water. Combine the three components by stirring thoroughly.

How to collect verbena seeds - YouTube

In order to prevent diseases, weeds, and pests from spreading through your own potting soil, it is imperative that you sterilize it. For 30 minutes at 180 degrees Fahrenheit, bake the soil in a pan.

Once the sterilized potting soil has cooled, place it in a regular seed tray.

Spread a few verbena seeds across the top of the soil in each seed tray cell; there’s no need to bury them.

Put the seed tray in a spot that gets at least six hours of sunlight every day and has a consistent temperature of 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, away from the reach of youngsters and pets.

Once or twice a day, or more often if necessary, mist the surface of the seed tray with water with a spray bottle. Keep doing this for the full three to four weeks it takes verbena to germinate.

Once the seedlings have grown two or three sets of mature leaves, you should thin them out. Determine which seedling in each unit of the seed tray is the weakest and cut it off at its root. Take care not to take its roots out of the earth, as doing so could uproot the other seedling in the unit.

Summertime butterfly gardens benefit greatly from the addition of verbena.

Growing conditions

These plants prefer to be planted in full sun and well-drained soil once they reach their final destination.

When to Plant Verbena Seeds

Successful or unsuccessful planting depends critically on choosing the optimal time to plant seeds.

Seedlings may perish in wet or cold conditions if planted too soon. Planting after the prime flowering time could mean missing out on your blooms altogether. Verbena is sensitive to cold, and its seedlings are considerably more vulnerable.

In the spring, you can plant verbena seeds in a cold frame or raised bed outside, or you can start them indoors and give them a head start. It’s imperative that you rule out the possibility of frost. If you are in a different USDA hardiness zone, the exact month may be different. In most situations, cold stratification is necessary for successful germination of verbena seeds, which can take anywhere from 20 days to a month or more. You’ll need to be patient, since the seeds will vary.

What you need

  • Seeds for Verbena bonariensis
  • Sowing tray
  • To compost seeds
  • The label for the plant
  • Wrapping material made of transparent polythene
  • Vermiculite
  • Protection for your hands in the garden


How to grow

  1. Spread the seeds thinly over the surface of the soil in a seed tray that has been filled with damp compost. Spread a light coating of vermiculite on top.
  2. Place the bagged tray on a warm, sunny windowsill and seal the bag tightly. For the seeds to germinate, the temperature needs to be between 24 and 27 degrees Celsius for anything from two to three weeks.
  3. Each seedling should be transferred to a pot measuring 7.5cm once it has reached a size that makes handling easier.
  4. Plant outside once all danger of frost has passed by gradually hardening off the plants first. Always leave at least 50cm between plants before setting them out, as they will quickly become quite tall.

Flowers of Verbena bonariensis grow on long, wiry stems and complement many other perennials, including grasses. This plant’s long bloom time makes it perfect for low-maintenance flower beds and herbaceous borders.

Due to its height and airy aspect, Verbena bonariensis works well in a variety of garden settings, including cottage and contemporary gardens. Attracting wildlife, especially butterflies, is another perk.

Design ideas

Full-blooming Verbena bonariensis with rudbeckia and grasses.


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Sowing seeds of Verbena bonariensis

Planting some Verbena bonariensis

Caring for plants

Cutting back a verbena stem to a node just above the foliage

Comprehensive Guide On How To Grow Verbena From Seed

Step #1. Planning

Seeds, unlike cuts and divisions, require additional processes, therefore it’s important to prepare ahead and get everything ready. When is the ideal time to plant verbena seeds in your area, for instance? The seedlings need to be protected from the harsh heat and cold, therefore starting them indoors is the best option.

If you want flowers before the growing season finishes, careful planning of your planting schedule is essential. Keep in mind that verbena doesn’t begin blooming until the late spring or early summer. Since spider mites might be discouraged by cooler temperatures, growing verbena as annuals is recommended.

If you plan beforehand, you can protect your seeds from the elements and pests in your growing zone.

Step #2. Planting

When possible, it’s best to start verbena indoors, away from potentially damaging weather. Verify your hardiness zone since verbena seeds need to be started indoors a full year before they are set to be planted outside. Keeping to a schedule established by USDA hardiness zones will help you minimize damage from frost.

Verbena seeds can grow in as little as 20 days under optimum conditions, but they can take up to a month. There are other seeds that need to be cold stratified, meaning they need to be placed in a bag and placed in the refrigerator. Stratification procedures are important to learn, therefore devote plenty of time to studying them.

When planting verbena seeds, be sure to choose a potting soil that drains properly. Sowing seeds in a moist medium in a flat will facilitate subsequent thinning. Since the verbena seeds need to be in the dark to germinate, you’ll also need to cover the container with a piece of black plastic.

Step #3. Maintenance

Germination is optimal at temperatures between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and daily misting will keep the seeds damp. Depending on the conditions, germination might take anywhere from one to three weeks. Make sure the seeds are in good condition and nothing is disturbing them.

As soon as the seeds begin to germinate, the lids can be taken off the pots. When the first genuine leaves appear, you can thin the seedlings to a spacing of 12 inches apart. In addition, you may now have one verbena plant in each cubby.

Transplanting Verbena

Your indoor-started plants will need to be hardened off before being moved outside for good. For at least a week, gradually expose them to the elements outside, such as sunshine and wind. When the soil is workable and the temperature is warm, you can transplant the plants once they have hardened off.

Care for verbena

Find a spot that gets full sun and give them 12 inches of separation. Feed them a water-soluble fertilizer and keep the soil damp. Regular feeding of verbena can improve flowering, according to some gardeners; feeding them up to four times a season is recommended.

The development and flowering of verbena plants can be boosted by pinching them back after a month and by adding deadheading to your list of maintenance chores. When you pinch your plants, they will grow fuller and bushier, and when you remove spent blooms, they will produce more. Finally, you shouldn’t fret over health issues because they may be easily prevented by regular checks and surveillance.

How to Grow Verbena Bonariensis, a Cottage Garden Favorite - Dengarden

Problems like powdery mildew and rot are fairly typical examples. If you utilize a greenhouse for environmental monitoring and keep up with standard maintenance procedures, you may easily avoid these problems. Verbena is susceptible to pests like mites and aphids, but if caught early enough, they can be easily removed.


One of the most stunning garden blooms is the verbena. Learn how to cultivate verbena from seed if you don’t have access to cuttings just yet. Sow your seeds at the right time of year to have blooms in time for the season while keeping them safe from frost.

Once you know when to plant seeds, you may utilize the greenhouse to shield them from the elements and maintain a consistent temperature for rapid germination. While cold stratification may be required initially, once completed, simply placing the seeds in a moist medium and covering them should have them sprouting in no time. Please remember to keep the container covered and the plants moist.

Once the weather is warm enough and the soil is workable, you can harden off the plants and then transfer them outside. You can now safely apply your regular schedule of feeding and watering. Verbena plants can be pinched or deadheaded to stimulate bushy growth and additional blooms.