Veronica (Speedwell)

How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Veronica Plants

Veronica spicata - Speedwell
Masaki Ikeda/Wikimedia Commons


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Veronica, also called Speedwell, is a carefree and easy-to-grow perennial with long spikes of small petals in purple, blue, pink, or white. Here’s how to grow veronica in your garden! 

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 (Veronica prostrata), which features dense clusters of flowers and grows to only 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.


Recommended Varieties

Reader Comments

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Veronicas overgrown

Wechave experienced a very wet spring and summer in Southern Ontario. I have had my veronica plants for over 10 years in E facing garden. They are always beautiful and I get 2 to 3 blooming periods a year due to deadheading. This year they are taller and have fallen in a circle. The bottom leaves have turned brown and crispy. I cut them all down to the ground level (july 20) in hopes they will grow again. Did I do the wrong thing.

heavy rains

Overwatering and heavy rains can cause speedwell to fail. Your cutting it down is not a bad thing; that’s recommended at the end of season, so you’re just ahead of schedule. As a perennial, it should come back next year. To help it through heavy rains in the future, you might want to work the soil a bit to ensure tha it is well draining. Ten years is a lot of time and the plants and soil may be packed it. (This will not necessarily eliminate problem in a similarly wet year but it could minimize the effect on the plants.)

Black spot on Veronica?

Hello, my speedwells looked so healthy and flowered beautifully their first round of flowers. When I deadheaded them to encourage a new set of flowers I noticed they appeared to have some black spot on their leaves, like I've seen roses get. Can speedwell get black spot too and how can I prevent it from getting worse? Thanks!

black spots

It could be overwatering. Make sure that the soil drains well and let the plants dry out between waterings. Watering at night could also cause some of the browning of the leaves if they get wet and stay moist all night. It’s recommended to water Veronicas early in the day to give the foliage a chance to dry before nighttime. If you’ve experienced frequent rain, amend the soil to improve drainage—as well as you can without disturbing the plant.


These flowers also attract bumblebees, which made them unpopular with my young son. But I plan to add them to my garden at our new place. I didn't have any trouble growing them.

Royal candles

How do you dead head speedwell plant

Deadheading Speedwell

To deadhead, cut the entire spent spire (flower) off down to a set of two healthy leaves.


Got plant on sale is it too late to plant in late June in Denver,CO? thanks


I just bought Veronica flowers the first of July. Can I get away with planting it now? I'm in Nashville, TN.


I have 5 Veronica plants a few years old. The groundhog ate them down kind of low when they were starting to grow. Will they still grow and bloom or did he ruin them for the season. The greens are starting to grow again currently.


If you are seeing new growth, then they are on their way! You will likely see some blooms.

veronica high plant-4foot plus

1 saved seed spikes last fall, would like to start new plants from seed this spring. any advice would be appreciated/ we live in Manitoba,Canada.

The seeds are very tiny and

The seeds are very tiny and sometimes hard to see. Start some seeds indoors in containers or a flat. Moisten the potting soil first and then press the seeds into the soil but do not cover with soil. Cover the containers with plastic and put in a sunny spot. When seedlings emerge remove the plastic and water if the soil is dry. When the soil outside is warm and you have no more cold nights sow some seeds directly in the garden. Transplant the indoor seedlings after frost danger has passed. Space them about 10 inches apart.


do u have any veronica to spare , I have some seeds to spare ,what are u looking for :)

Our Veronica [Speedwell]

Our Veronica [Speedwell] looks like it burned up! All of the spring and summer rains were keeping it looking wonderful. Then we suddenly had 90+ degree days. Is there a chance she is still alive?

Hi, Nadine, Veronica is a

Hi, Nadine,
Veronica is a perennial, so it normally dies back in the fall. The temp shift may have hastened the process—or it was coincidental to the plant's normal decline. It's probably fine—er, still alive, just resting until next spring.

I have brown specks all over

I have brown specks all over my red fox perennial it is still in its original pot until I find out hat is killing my plants leaves. however still getting the red spike flowers.

Dahlias. I bought a potted

Dahlias. I bought a potted beautiful white dahlia. Is it ok to leave this in the pot. I live in the Midwest.

Dahlias can be grown in

Dahlias can be grown in containers. The dwarf or low-growing types are best for this use. Make sure your container is large enough--at least a cubic foot per tuber, or even larger for larger varieties. Place in full sun (8 to 10 hours). Keep soil slightly damp.
For more information about dahlias, visit:

Help! I have a question that

Help! I have a question that you've already answered 5 times but I don't like to read. What do I do? ??

:-) We appreciate the smile.

:-) We appreciate the smile. :-)

Mine is quite large can I

Mine is quite large can I move this plant . (Speedwell ) and if so when can I move it

To control size, perennials

To control size, perennials are usually divided into two or three plants. Divide in spring or late summer/early fall. According to the USDA, "In spring, divide plants just as new growth emerges. Most perennials divided in late summer/early fall (mid-August through September) should be mulched in November. A 4- to 6-inch layer of straw placed over the plants should reduce the possibility of winter injury. Remove the mulch in early April."

We bought a Veronica plant

We bought a Veronica plant from the garden centre a month ago with flowers soon ready to bloom. All the other plants for sale were in full bloom with vibrant purple flowers. When ours started to bloom they were purple but they quickly lost their colour (to white) and the tips are looking brown. The leaves are beginning to be a little limp too. We are on a balcony with only a little light in the mornings. Am I watering it too much? Why are the flowers white and looking 'dead'? PS, we're novices to plants but trying so hard. Thank you for any help!

Veronica will grow best in

Veronica will grow best in full sun. If you only have a little sun in the mornings that could be the problem. Make sure that the soil drains well and let the plant dry out between waterings.

Help... I planted my Veronica

Help... I planted my Veronica on spring .... It's was doing well until couple of days a go I saw half of the plant look like burn but half of the plant were ok. Btw, i planted my speedwell on east of our house where they can get sun from morning till around 2-3pm. And today I saw the whole plant are dying, ... I water it pretty much everyday... Do you think I still have a chance to save the plant ???

You may be over watering. I

You may be over watering. I have a ton of them on the side of my house, they get sun all day until about 4pm. They are typically fine unless it does not rain for one week.

I planted one about early

I planted one about early May. Was full of flowers but now are all gone. The plant is still alive...what happened?

Try cutting back your

Try cutting back your speedwell. This should encourage more blooms.

I'm new to gardening. Can

I'm new to gardening. Can someone describe the best way to deadhead speedwell and st what point? Do you use scissors below the base of the bloom?

When it comes to speedwell,

When it comes to speedwell, cut off whole spikes or clusters of small or wilted flowers.

First time planting Veronica,

First time planting Veronica, a variety called "Royal Candles" and it is beautiful- has new spikes forming but the ones already flowered are turning brown from the bottom up. Was going to cut these dying ones off but do not want to destroy an otherwise healthy plant- would that be the correct thing to do? Thanks!

Help please with purplicious

Help please with purplicious Veronica's
My Veronica's have been susceptible to powdery mildew from first planting, however I have been very careful to spray with fungicide since the spring and they have been excellent . However since the very hot weather I have been watering nightly . I have also used some iron of sulphate to promote growth and stop leaves yellowing . Just over the last week the plants have really suffered but I'm not sure why . The leaves hAve turned brownish black and the spikes have dropped in half . Could this be overwatering or over feeding ?? What do I need to do ??

Hi Roslyn, It could be

Hi Roslyn,
It could be overwatering. Make sure that the soil drains well and let the plants dry out between waterings. Watering at night could also cause some of the browning of the leaves if they get wet and stay moist all night. It's recommended to water Veronicas early in the day to give the foliage a chance to dry before nighttime.

My speedwell is getting

My speedwell is getting pretty tall already and it is only the beginning of June. If I cut it now will it still bloom?

Yes, speedwell (Veronica)

Yes, speedwell (Veronica) will rebloom if cut back to the base of the primary spike.

Help! My veronica/speedwell

Help! My veronica/speedwell is taking over my garden. I originally planted it for the butterflies, but it is a shorter, white, spike variety that appears to be a ground cover. Will they choke out my beautiful day lilies? What can I do?

Yes, Veronica (or, Speedwell)

Yes, Veronica (or, Speedwell) can really spread quickly and become rather invasive. We suggest that you first try non-chemical means such as digging out. You can also suppress with mulch and mulch bare soil before growth begins next season to smother them and pull out any shoots that make it through the mulch. You can also rake out the weeds. If you must use chemical means, you need to spot treat using a weedkiller and avoid your lilies. Leave the weed for a few weeks for the weedkiller to take effect, before removing dead foliage. FYI: There are some varieties of Speedwell that are less invasive.

I have had some speedwells

I have had some speedwells for a few years and have yet to see them bloom...Im i doing something wrong

This could be a soil problem.

This could be a soil problem. Make sure that your bed is well-drained and supplied with some organic fertilizer, followed by mulch. Veronica needs moderate watering, too -- in the soil, not from above -- and won't do well (if anything) if located in a place where it will bake.

I cutback my Red Fox

I cutback my Red Fox Speedwell last week.I also have a garden full of Waterperry Blue Speedwell groundcover.Should I cut them back as well.It's early spring and they already have new growth on them.I live in zone 6. Help! I can not find any information on cutting back this wonderfull groundcover.

We usually cut back speedwell

We usually cut back speedwell in the fall. It's fine to cut back now. Just look for the buds and snip back to one or two buds.

I live in IN during the

I live in IN during the summer and leave state early Oct. When should I cutback my Speedwell?It is 2 years old.

After the first killing

After the first killing frost, cut back stems to an inch or two above the soil line

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