Friday, April 30, 2010

Plant of the Week: Lilac Verbena

Many plants I just don't get what all the fuss is about.  Petunias.  Huh?  And those garish Verbenas!  Yikes, too much. Well, enter Verbena lilacina 'De La Mina.'  I decided to give her a chance in one of my latest gardens- dense clay soil, ravenous deer, furnace-like full sun against the house and lots of hungry bees.  She didn't even flinch and bloomed so impressively right out of her one gallon container.  Verbena lilacina brings the lace to the tea party- soft, feathery foliage and delicate lavender blossoms that carry on all year when planted near the coast.  She was found on Cedros Island (Western coast of Baja) and introduced to the trade by the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.  Yay! 

Sun:  Full sun to part shade
Soil:  Sandy to clay, but less water if planted in more clay soils
Plant:  As soon as you can get your hands on it!  Anytime should be fine.  It's most often grown from cuttings.
Buy it:  Many wholesale growers have it, so talk to your local nursery or ask Annie's, Yerba Buena, Bay Natives, or California Flora Nursery
Good for:  Notorious plant killers wanting to reform their murderous ways and wanting to start out with something easy, attracting butterflies & other pollinators, year-round bloom, hot sun, deer-resistant gardens, native cottage garden borders


  1. Ooooh, pretty, and deer resistant too? I love the color. One more to add to the list. Maybe I'll see if Yerba Buena has it when I stop by next. Sounds like propagating it might not be too difficult either if they're cutting-grown.

  2. Maybe you want to mention that this is not your average verbena and that she grows easily to 4x4 feet, if not a bit more. But then, she doesn't smell of cat's pee, so I have a strong preference for her over the usual garden variety.

  3. I really like this plant but I'm not sure it loves me. It really wants a little more water than I give it over the summer, but it hangs in there and returns in the fall with lots of lilac flower clusters. I'm hoping mine eventually get huge--I saw an amazing one up at the Tree of Life Nursery.