Verbena, ornamental plant and medicinal plant. How to grow verbena, the care to devote to the plant, where to find the seeds and how to ensure proper cultivation. Characteristics, varieties and species.
Verbena, plant and species
With the termverbena we refer to a common ideal flowering plants from cultivate both in pots and in the garden. As often happens, in the daily dialectic we tend to confuse "kind of plants" and "plants". The term verbena identifies a homogeneous group of 250 different species. It includes annuals and perennials, they are all flowering plants that can be herbaceous or semi-woody.
Theverbenethey are perfect for those who love inatural remedies: the genus also includes medicinal plants with unexpected virtues. Ofverbenethere are several species, both annual and perennial. Many perennial species, here in Italy, can be grown as annuals because they do not resist the winter frost, as is the case with the varieties derived fromverbenatender andverbenaPeruvian, both originally from Central America. Much cultivated for ornamental purposes is the verbena bonariensis while for the healing properties the most appreciated is the vherbena officinalis.
Thereverbenatender has dark green leaves, oval and with a slightly serrated margin. ThereverbanaPeruviana has light green or silver green leaves, deeply engraved margin. The flowers of these two plants are similar to each other with a size that reaches about 10 cm in diameter.
ThereverbenaPeruviana, with all its varieties, is perfect for coloring and edging flower beds. In fact, we are talking about creeping varieties, excellent for carpeting flower beds and borders.
Thereverbenatender, with its varieties, is ideal for growing in the garden, it lends itself well to making various also to hang and boxes for balconies and terraces (hanging gardens). For those who want a flowered balcony, can place twoverbenein a 40 cm long balcony and terrace box. For a flowered balcony, theseverbenethey can be associated in pots with bidens and petunias.
If you are going to buy oneverbena, make sure that the ground bread is soft and with tender, white roots. If the roots are dark and the soil is particularly compact, it means that the plant is very old and therefore will produce less vigorous blooms.
Thereverbena bonariensisit is a herbaceous plant which, due to its growth and the intensity of the scent of its flowers, can be perfect for those who already appreciate lavender. The stems can grow very tall (even up to 150-180 cm) and are accompanied by beautiful lilac floral spikes. For treatment, the same rules as seen in the article on how applyprune lavender.
THE verbena flowers they attract butterflies, bumblebees and bees.
Starting from the aforementioned varieties, hybrids (crosses between plants of different species) with very large and very decorative flowers were selected.
In the previous paragraph we focused on vervain plants to be grown for ornamental purposes. Thereofficinal verbenait is not as ornamental when the selected hybrids have small flowers. To be clear, the photo above shows a hybrid selected for its large flowers. In the photo below, on the left, the species is shownverbena bonariensiswhile on the right, more lean, is the plant officinal verbena.
Verbena, seeds and plant
Who is on the hunt forofficinal verbena seeds or its hybridsornamental verbena, can go to well-stocked agricultural consortia, garden centers or take advantage of online sales. On this Amazon page ", for example, you can find mixtures of seeds of various species of verbena, hybrids, the common verbena (verbena bonariensis) or theofficinal verbena.
Verbena, magical properties of the plant
Verbena, magical properties: why does anyone speak of magical properties associated with this plant? To give her thisaura of mysticismit's his story. Since ancient times, vervain has been associated with divine forces and supernatural powers! In some religious rituals, ointments based on officinal vervain are used to repel thedemonic diseases. In Italy, in the Middle Ages but also until the early 1900s, verbena flowers were hung near the beds of babies (or around the neck of babies) to protect them from evil spirits. This plant was widely used inwitchcraftespecially in association with silver objects or to make protection amulets.
How to grow verbena
Thereverbenait needs a position in full sun and soil that is always moderately humid but free from water stagnations. Thereverbenait can also be grown in a semi-sunny or partial shade place, but in this case it will bloom less abundantly. To have oneverbenaluxuriant, beautiful and healthy, it will need to be cared for throughout the summer:
- water the plants abundantly, preferably late in the evening: the blows of drought can cause the loss of buds.
- Irrigate with water at room temperature, preferably left to stand for a whole day.
- In the case of potted plants, before irrigating, check the soil, remembering that it must always be moist but never soggy.
- If the leaves of theverbenaturn yellow or lose color, add chelated iron to the irrigation water every 15 days at the recommended doses on the label.
- To improve the intensity of the coloring ofverbena,it is possible to add microelements such as magnesium, always following the doses indicated on the label.
Forcurethe verbenaat best, remember toregenerate plantsby topping 1-2 branches every week. It will be necessary to remove 4-6 cm of vegetation in order to stimulate the formation of new shoots and, consequently, of flowers.
Verbena for infusions and Verbena for essential oil
When it comes toinfusions and herbal tea of verbenareference is made to "vervain verva "also known as "common verbena" or simplyverbena! This plant, with a scientific nameverbena officinalis it has been known since the dawn of time for its remarkable virtues. The plant is used iflower headsemployed for the preparation ofherbal teasand infusions.
When it comes toverbena essential oil, instead, reference is made to the oil extracted from the parts of the plant (leaves and flower heads) of the speciesfragrant verbena, richer in aromatic compounds. Let's proceed step by step and see what these two plants have to offermagical properties!
Verbana officinalis: verbana herbal tea, properties
Thereverbena teait is popular for its numerousbenefits. Let's face it right away that, thanks to its active ingredients, theverbenait has calming, diuretic, astringent, immunostimulating and antipyretic properties. It is among themedical plantsolder and in the past it was used for the treatment of fever and particular infections.
Even today, thanks to its "magical properties" it is very widespread in the world of writers and used to overcome the so-calledwriter's block (thanks to its relaxing properties).
Where to buy vervain herbal tea? In the most well-stocked supermarkets or by taking advantage of online shopping. TOthis Amazon address, for example, you can find the classic Pompadour infusion filters in convenience packs.
How do you make verbena tea? Easy, heat 200 ml of water and, once it has boiled, add the filter. Let it steep for 5 - 8 minutes and enjoy yoursverbena tea!
Wanting to list thebenefitsand thepropertywhich over time have been associated withverbena teawe point out:
- Relaxing properties
- Stimulants of the gastrointestinal system
- Digestive properties
- Neuroprotective properties
- Astringent properties
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Antispasmodic properties
- Soothing properties on the respiratory mucous membranes
- Draining properties
Verbena herbal tea, contraindications
This herbal tea should be avoided in case of pregnancy, as some active ingredients could compromise embryonic development or even cause spontaneous abortions. It can be taken during breastfeeding.
Contraindicated for those suffering from hypothyroidism. In high quantities, verbena teas can cause vomiting.
Verbena essential oil
As stated, the essential oil is extracted from the species fragrant verbenawhich has aromatic compounds other thanverbenacommon used for herbal tea.
The leaves offragrant verbenathey can be used in the kitchen to enrich fish-based dishes, jams, desserts, puddings, yogurt ... even the same herbal teas adding a "lemon touch", its freshness, in fact, recalls the flavor of lemon.
Similarly, its essential oil can be spread in environments forsupport a state of relaxation, for tonic-relaxing massages or simply to refresh and perfume the environment in a natural way.
Unlike filters forherbal teas, the essential oil of verbena is more difficult to find. You can contact the most well-stocked herbalists or, once again, take advantage of online sales. On this Amazon page you will find an excellent essential oil of lemon verbena proposed at the price of 14 euros with shipping costs included.
We have recommended this product because the others essential oilsoffered on the web, do not indicate the starting verbena species or are made with "Spanish verbena" which is actually a plant much more similar to thyme!