Lollipop Love

Verbena bonariensis with its tall, narrow, sparsely-leafed stems on top of which flattened heads of bright lavender-purple flowers appear in late-summer can grow to 6 ft (180 cm) tall and can spread to 3 ft (90 cm) wide. This is Verbena ‘Lollipop’ which is a dwarf cultivar and grows at half the height, although mine is much closer to 6 ft! Possibly because I didn’t cut it back.

Its nectar-rich flowers help sustain bees and butterflies well into autumn. To make it bushy cut back the stems in spring to about 6 inches above the ground and lightly prune the tips of the plant throughout summer.

These white-tailed bumblebees were having a feast.

21 Comments

  1. girrrrrl_of_two_worlds says:

    ooooh, pretty!
    πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

  2. restlessjo says:

    The close ups are superb, Jude πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    1. Heyjude says:

      Hard to get away from all those happy bees! I just wish there were more honey bees and butterflies!

  3. Ann Mackay says:

    Lovely bee pictures! I have the tall verbena bonariensis, but this shorter one would be a great addition and it seems to flower more densely too.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I wouldn’t say this is short! At least not as short as I expected it to be. The fullness of it may be because I didn’t cut it right back as there was new growth already in the spring that I was reluctant to cut.

  4. margaret21 says:

    I don’t think I knew verbena came in this kind of shade too. Lovely.

    1. Heyjude says:

      The close-up colours are paler for some reason. From a distance it is very much purple!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Very much so πŸ™‚

  5. Leya says:

    I bought one last year, but yours look much better. Thank you for the pruning tips! Gorgeous photos, Jude.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Last year mine wasn’t as good as it is this. And the colour is much deeper than the close-up photos appear. Try taking cuttings from the prunings, I have managed to strike a couple.

      1. Leya says:

        I’ll try!

  6. Lovely images. I’ve just bought verbena bonariensis seeds to sow next year. Thanks for the tip on pruning to reduce height. The packet says 4 feet tall! I will have happy bees too πŸ™‚

  7. Jo Shafer says:

    I remember verbena in my mother’s garden. Hers were pink and rose, some lavender, but not purple. Lemon verbena, on the other hand, is a fragrant herb that once grew in my garden. I should have potted it and brought indoors for winter.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I have lemon verbena – it is so delicious smelling like lemon sherbert! The other type is an annual verbena which comes in lots of colours and popular in hanging baskets.

  8. beetleypete says:

    Lovely to see the bees busy on that plant, Jude.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

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