The gently nodding, richly flowered stalks of the sun-worshipping verbena are a splendid feature in any garden. How you plant verbena depends on whether you want to start from seed or plant. Fortunately, starting verbena from seed is an easy process, and you can try as many varieties as you have seed pots and space.
Starting Verbena from Seed
When starting verbena from seed, use a soilless or sterile mix that contains peat moss, vermiculite, and some pearlite. There are many prepackaged soilless mixes available from your local garden center, or you can make your own if you have the ingredients on hand. Using a soilless mix ensures there are no foreign elements challenging the seedlings’ tender growth.
Mix the soilless medium with water until it feels evenly moist, but is not wet. Cover seeds with approximately 1/8″ of additional mix.
Place under a growing light, or in a sunny location. Keep the seed trays moist throughout the seeds’ growth by regularly placing the seed trays in an inch or so of tepid water and letting it soak up through the holes in the trays.
When it is time to plant the verbena, place your seedlings outdoors in a sheltered location for about a week. Once the seedlings have been hardened off, they can be planted as soon as there is no danger of frost.
Verbena prefers dry soil, so choose a more arid portion of your garden, or amend the soil with plenty of sand to allow better drainage. It also appreciates nutrient rich soil; adding compost and fertilizer will not go amiss. Verbena will flourish when provided adequate sun and irrigation that always leaves the soil a little dry, but not desiccated.