Medicinal verbena is a very interesting wild plant, both for its health benefits and therapeutic value as for its qualities as a fragrant herb.
Key medicinal verbena facts
Name – Verbena officinalis
Family – Verbenaceae
Type – perennial, grown as an annual
Height – 8 to 16 inches (20 to 40 cm)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – light, well-drained
Flowering – from June to September
Sowing medicinal vervain
Spring is the best season to sow medicinal verbena.
- Medicinal vervain loves light and well drained soil.
- It likes very sunny spots.
Medicinal verbena is a very hardy plant that requires sun. It thrives in light soil, rather poor but cool in summer.
Sowing medicinal vervain
You can start your covered sowing early in March and April or directly in the ground starting from mid-May, after any risk of freezing has disappeared.
- When sowing in a sheltered place, ensure minimum temperatures of 60°F (15°C).
- Broadcast seeds and cover the seeds in a shallow layer of seedling soil mix.
- As soon as the first leaves appear, thin to 1¼ to 1½ inches (3 to 4 cm).
- When the plants have born 4 or 5 leaves, transplant them to a nursery pot.
- Transplant to the ground when the last frosts are past, towards mid-May.
If you’ve got a few seeds left over, sow them in bare spots of your vegetable patch, they’ll grow and attract pollinating insects there.
The only true enemies of common vervain are slugs, a bane in spring.
Caring for common vervain
Medicinal verbena, although it’s a perennial, is grown as an annual.
Common vervain is a plant that requires little care but some attention must be given in order to extend the blooming for a while.
- Remove flowers regularly (deadheading) in order to boost flower-bearing.
- Use the flowers in infusions either fresh or dried.
- In pots, containers or hanging arrangements, water when the soil has dried up.
- At the end of summer, adding fertilizer may rekindle the blooming and enhance autumn colors.
After the first fall frost spells, you can pull your medicinal verbena out; the following year’s blooming will be insignificant.
That is the time to common vervain flowers and leaves for your winter herbal tea.
Since it is vulnerable to aphid attacks, read up on how to treat against aphids if need be.
Harvesting common vervain
Also called the Venus herb, common vervain has long been used for its medicinal properties.
Harvesting common vervain is most often performed from May to September, or even October in warmer climates.
The flowers are the plant part that are collected from medicinal verbena, and they can be used both fresh or dried.
Collect flowers often during the vegetation phase, when flowers appear and use them as needs as needs arise or condition them for storage.
All there is to know about common vervain
It can grow up to 8 or 16 inches (20 to 40 cm) tall and the flowered tips and dried leaves are what is used for its health benefits and therapeutic value.
It can easily be found in the wild, in prairies or along pathways, and it’s used for both herbal infusions and to flavor dishes.
Lemon verbena (Aloysia triphylla, Aloysia citriodora) is the species most used to prepare herbal tea from, but it is a different species altogether.
Read also: ideal for flower beds, garden verbena
Smart tip about common vervain
Feel free to water in warm weather.