Verbena bonariensis

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Verbena bonariensis: A Majestic and Tough Addition to Your Garden

When it comes to creating a captivating and vibrant garden, few plants can rival the Verbena bonariensis.

With its slender stems, tiny purple flowers, and tall, statuesque presence, this perennial herbaceous plant has become a favorite among gardeners worldwide.

In this blog post, we will explore the beauty and versatility of Verbena bonariensis, as well as some popular varieties that can elevate your garden to new heights.

verbena bonariensis growing in a border

The Alluring Verbena bonariensis

Verbena bonariensis, commonly known as tall verbena or purpletop vervain, is native to South America.

It has long, thin stems that can reach up to 6 feet (1.8 meters) in height, crowned with clusters of small, delicate purple flowers.

This enchanting plant blooms from mid-summer through fall, attracting pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to your garden.

I can honestly attest to the fact that this easy-to-grow plant is a magnet for both hummingbirds and butterflies in my garden.

I only have one caution, it reseeds itself wantonly and if that is something you don’t mind dealing with (I don’t) then rest assured you will love this Verbena!

All the best garden tips

Flowers that Reseed Themselves!

Beautiful cottage flowers that reseed themselves. A simple way to get masses of gorgeous flowers on a budget. Start with one and get a hundred more!

Popular Varieties

Verbena bonariensis Lollipop:

This compact variety, Verbena bonariensis lollipop, reaches a height of around 2-3 feet (60-90 centimeters).

It maintains the plant’s characteristic long-lasting purple flowers but in a more condensed form.

‘Lollipop’ is perfect for smaller gardens or containers, adding vertical interest without overwhelming the space.

I have this in my garden and it did fine last summer but I am waiting to see if it did reseed itself and if it will come back this year. At the point of writing this, it is May.

verbena bonariensis flowers close up

Meteor Shower:

With its name inspired by its appearance, ‘Meteor Shower’ is a stunning cultivar of Verbena bonariensis.

It offers an abundance of flowers, creating an ethereal effect reminiscent of a celestial event.

Meteor Showers is a Proven Winner offering and is popular for those that want not only a shorter selection but one that does not set seeds as readily.

Instead, it puts all its energy into flower production. I have not tried this one yet but if I spot one at a garden center I certainly will!

This variety is a great choice for adding drama and beauty to your garden borders or as a focal point.

verbena bonariensis in a garden with other flowers


Known for its compact and bushy growth habit, ‘Vanity’ is a charming cultivar of Verbena bonariensis.

It reaches a height of around 2-3 feet (60-90 centimeters) and produces an abundance of deep purple flowers.

Vanity’ is an excellent choice for container gardening or for adding a burst of color to borders and rock gardens.

By including ‘Vanity’ in your garden, you can enjoy the captivating beauty of Verbena bonariensis in a more compact and controlled form.

I have a bunch of Vanity Verbena started from seed and I will share an update on it after this summer. I do hope it will reseed well.

You can get the seeds from Park Seeds


Offering a unique twist on the classic Verbena bonariensis, ‘Finesse’ is a captivating variety known for its delicate and feathery foliage.

This cultivar showcases finely dissected leaves that add a textural element to your garden.

Finesse maintains the plant’s characteristic slender stems and produces clusters of lavender-purple flowers that gracefully sway in the breeze.

Finesse bonariensis is an excellent choice for adding a touch of elegance and sophistication to borders, cottage gardens, or mixed perennial plantings.

With the inclusion of ‘Finesse’ in your garden, you can appreciate the distinctive foliage while still enjoying the charm and allure of Verbena bonariensis.

Find seeds for Finesse here!

lollipop verbena bonariensis with buttefly on flower

Cultivation and Care:

Verbena bonariensis is a relatively low-maintenance plant, making it a great choice for both novice and experienced gardeners. Here are some cultivation and care tips:


Choose a sunny location with well-drained soil. Verbena bonariensis is adaptable and can tolerate various soil types, but it thrives in moderately fertile soil.


This plant is drought-tolerant once established. Water regularly during the first growing season to help it establish deep roots, but avoid overwatering.


Cut back the plant in early spring before new growth emerges to encourage bushier growth and maintain its shape.

Most don’t need deadheading but cutting away spent flowers will keep it a bit tidier as well as keep it from reseeding more than you would like.

Winter care:

Verbena bonariensis is a perennial in zone 7 – 10 and will die back in winter but regrow from the roots in spring.

Mulching around the base can provide some insulation during colder months.

In colder regions, treat it as an annual but remember, most varieties will come back from seed readily on their own.

Verbena B. also makes a great flower for cutting!

Start a Cut Flower Garden

If you’re looking for a way to add a little bit of beauty to your life, consider cut flower gardening. It’s easy to get started, and it’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors.

The Verbena bonariensis is a remarkable perennial that brings elegance, height and a touch of wild beauty to any garden.

Its tall, slender stems adorned with clusters of vibrant purple flowers make it a favorite among gardeners and is suitable for drought-plagued areas or rock gardens.

With popular varieties like Lollipop, Meteor Shower, Finesse, and Vanity you can choose the perfect Verbena bonariensis cultivar to suit your garden’s style and aesthetics.

By incorporating these varieties into your landscape, you’ll not only enjoy the stunning visual appeal of Verbena bonariensis but also attract pollinators, creating a thriving and dynamic ecosystem within your garden.

Happy Gardening!

Hi, I’m Pamela

I am a 40-year master gardening enthusiast who loves to share the simple tips, tricks, and inspiration I have learned from personal experience.
My goal is to cultivate the love of gardening and help make your gardening life more enjoyable!
a Garden Friend!

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