Veronica, also known as speedwell; is one of those perennials that most every gardener should have a bed or two of. The bright blues and purple hues of this medium to tall standby not only attract butterflies, color up your lawn wonderfully. Excellent source of cut flowers, they last a long time even indoors.

You can grow veronica from seed, or buy the young plants from a local gardening center. Since veronica is clump forming, you will need to dig them a nice, deep hole, about twice as deep and wide as the pot they are received in, and fill in with a half mixture of the exsisting lawn soil that has been mixed with your own diy soilless mix. Fertilize them at the time of planting and water well, at least an inch per week, for the first summer until they establish themselves.

Plant the taller varieties about 2 foot apart, and the shorter cultivars 1 foot apart. They will quickly fill in the gaps, and every few years you will be able to divide the clumps and plant new beds, or share with other gardening friends. Taller types are excellent for the back of a flower bed.

Veronica enjoys full sun and loamy soil with sand, so that it drains well. In the deep south, you can plant veronica so that the hottest part of the day, it is somewhat protected from the scorching sun. Be careful, too much protection and you risk losing blooms. This is not a shade loving plant.

Veronica is easy to care for, needing a good kick of regular lawn fertilizer in spring after the last threat of frost, and a thin layer of compost in fall when they are ready to die back for winter. Then spread a few inches of eucalyptus mulch over to further protect the root crowns, and cut off the dead top growth.

If you do grow veronica from seed, it takes about two years for it to flower, and one year before it is large enough to place out in the garden beds.

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