itís just hard to improve on the best. Such is the
case with the Homestead Purple verbena.
more than 20 years it has stood the test of time as the
verbena to which all others are compared. It is still a
sea of purple that is dazzling in the spring paired with
daffodils, or in front of forsythia or spirea.
also notice that Homestead Purple is not overcome by
disease, and produces hundreds of the largest blossoms
you will see in verbenas. It got its fame in Georgia
courtesy of the quick eyes of Dr. Allan Armitage and Dr.
Michael Dirr, both renowned horticulturists with the
University of Georgia. Not only was it a Georgia Gold
Medal Winner but has been similarly honored throughout
the United States.
lot of other verbenas have tried to tag on to the name
but they are not the same. This is simply the best there
is. It is perennial in zones 6-10, meaning most of the
country can rejoice in its beauty. Even if you live in a
colder zone you can still grow it as an annual that will
be the showiest plant in your flower border.
was shooting pictures of it at the Columbus Botanical
Garden this week, and I kept noticing visiting
swallowtails, hummingbird or sphinx moths, and an
assortment of bees. You canít beat that for an early
have the most success, select a site in full sun with
well-drained soil. Soggy, winter soil is the enemy that
can prevent a spring return. In February we have over 12
inches of rain but the raised beds were able to move the
water away. Plant nursery-grown transplants this spring
at the same depth they are growing in the container,
spacing 12 to 18 inches apart. Water to get them
established, but then sparingly, depending on the
verbena responds to feeding every four to six weeks with
a light application of a slow-release, 12-6-6
fertilizer. Just as important as feeding is cutting back
to rejuvenate vegetative growth and produce more blooms.
This verbena rewards those who cut back. Leaving all the
old stems because of four or five flowers will hurt the
verbena and make the gardener unhappy with this great
the flower color being a royal violet think about yellow
or white for your companion plants. Iíve already
mention spirea and forsythia for nearby shrubs. As it
get established it will allow you to design beds with an
assortment of daffodils or yellow tulips for an
absolutely stunning show. They are also outstanding in
mixed baskets and containers. You could hardly pick a
better plant to cascade over a window box.
could fill up a table just with the new verbena series
showing up in the market since Homestead Purple made its
debut. Each series probably boasts 5 to 6 colors, and
even some of those are multi-colored. But the verbena
that is still the best and beats out the rest is
Homestead Purple. Plant some this spring.