Common names: Vervain, Blue Princess Verbena
Botanical Name: Verbena x hybrida ‘Blue Princess’
Characteristics: A Texas Superstar, thriving in full sun, flowering from spring through fall, and requiring average water. ‘Blue Princess’ has a trailing habit which makes it ideal for retaining walls, ground cover or hanging baskets. Although technically a perennial plant, the verbena hybrids are usually grown as annuals. According to Floridata, “Verbena X hybrida, the Verbena hybrids or garden verbenas, are a product of garden cultivation and do not occur naturally in the wild. However, some cultivars have escaped and become established in the southern U.S.”
Size: This lovely verbena will grow 12 inches tall and 36 inches wide.
Color: Dark green notched leaves below fragrant lavender-blue flowers.
Pests and disease problems: ‘Blue Princess’ is subject to powdery mildew if not planted in full sun, at least 8 hours, and in well-drained soil. Spider mites can be a problem. The plants should be sprayed with Red Spider Mite spray, insecticidal soaps or sulfur dust.
Growing in North Texas
Blue Princess Verbena will thrive in neutral to mildly acidic soil with average amounts of moisture. It is subject to mildew if over watered. For the best show of flowers, this plant must be pruned after blooming for a second crop of flowers. An application of slow-release, balanced fertilizer once a month is also beneficial. The plant can be cut back close to the ground after the first frost and will return to full growth beginning in late winter. Plants can be propagated by root ball division or layering. The flowers are attractive to bees and butterflies and are good for drying.
Texas Superstar Blue Princess Verbena
“Verbena–Queen of Summer Beauty”; Dr. Jerry Parsons, Texas Cooperative Extension, San Antonio, Texas
Greg Grant, Lone Star Growers; San Antonio, Texas
Keywords (tags): full sun, perennial, flowering, border plant