Veronica , also called Speedwell, is a carefree and easy-to-grow perennial with long spikes of small petals in purple, blue, pink, or white. This attractive plant grows in clusters from 1 to 3 feet tall, and blooms from spring to autumn.
There is also a bushy ground cover variety (Prostrate speedwell) which features dense clusters of flowers and grows to about 10 inches tall.
- Grow in moderately fertile, well-drained soil in full sun.
- Plant in the spring. (Veronica can be sowed by seed in containers in a cold frame in autumn but most people start this perennial as a transplant from the nursery.)
- Loosen the soil and mix in compost. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the plant’s container.
- When placing the plant in the hole, ensure the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface.
- Water thoroughly.
- Water in the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week.
- Stake tall varieties.
- Keep covered with a thin layer of compost, followed by a 2-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture.
- Deadhead to extend bloom time.
- After the first killing frost, cut back stems to an inch or two above the soil line.
- Divide perennials in autumn or spring every few years.
- ‘Crater Lake Blue’ is a mat-forming perennial that grows 12 to 18 inches tall with beautiful deep, dentian-blue flowers in early summer.
- ‘Sunny Border Blue’ is a clump-forming perennial that grows to 20 inches tall and bears erect sturdy spikes of tubular, dark violet-blue flowers from early summer to late autumn.
- ‘Red Fox’ has very deep pink flowers on a narrow spike and grows as a mat-forming perennial to 12 inches tall, blooming from early to late summer.
- ‘Dick’s Wine’ is a ground cover that grows to about 10 inches tall and produces an abundance of rose-wine-colored blooms—so many that they actually hide the dark-green foliage.
Inspired? See (and send) this gorgeous image of a spring memory garden with veronica (speedwell), knock out roses, ‘happy returns’ daylily, coreopsis, salvia, purple coneflower, dianthus, and Japanese iris.
Credit: Deronda Adams