Aromatic plants

Verbena officinalis

Main characteristics of verbena officinalis

Verbena officinalis is a herbaceous type plant that gives blooms characterized by an intense fragrance. It belongs to the verbenaceae family and was imported to Italy from Latin America. It is grown to decorate private gardens but also to embellish terraces and balconies. The plant, over the years, forms very intricate open bushes. The stems are erect and have a quadrangular section and the maximum height they can reach is eighty centimeters. Verbena has oval leaves with prominent veins and slightly indented margins. Flowering begins in early June and continues until late September if the temperature remains mild. The flowers are numerous and grouped in quite voluminous spikes.

Environment and exposure

La Verbena officinalis should be placed in full sun during the coldest time of the year as well as in spring. In summer it prefers semi-shaded places. For this reason, it would be better to plant it in pots in such a way that it can be moved according to climate changes.It survives the summer heat but cannot stand the harsh winter temperatures. If the mercury starts to drop below seven degrees centigrade, the plant shows obvious signs of suffering such as the yellowing of the stems and their change in consistency. If you have verbena bushes planted directly in the garden or vegetable garden, protect them from the cold by wrapping them with non-woven fabric. Only in this way will you save them from the frosts and see them recover in early spring.

Land and planting

The verbena officinalis plant thrives in porous, light and well-drained soils. Before planting it, prepare the soil by adding peat mixed with river sand to the soil already present on site. Instead, if you simply need to repot it, get a container slightly larger than the previous one. Do not exaggerate with the size otherwise the root system will begin to expand dramatically at the expense of foliage and flowering. Create a layer of gravel on the bottom, add two thirds of peat and one third of pozzolan, then plant your bush with all the soil. Fill the empty spaces with some mature manure and water it all so that the various layers are compacted.

Verbena officinalis: Watering and fertilization

Verbena fears stagnation of water but does not tolerate even long periods of drought. The right method of dealing with this is to do regular watering, always checking that the soil is dry before watering it again. In our latitudes these plants must be irrigated only in summer while in winter the rains are enough to satisfy its water needs.To ensure regular growth for the plants, they can be fertilized with manure or liquid fertilizer available from agricultural consortia . It is sufficient to dilute it in water and administer it according to the methods shown on the package.However, if you use the leaves and flowers of the plant for food purposes, avoid synthetic products and opt for natural ones.

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