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Can anyone suggest why my verbena bonariensis every year looks healthy at the end of winter and then dies off outside?
I do hedge my bets though and take cuttings each autumn which I find easily root, and overwinter in a cold greenhouse where most survive.
Maybe it is just too cold outside for the parent plants here in Central Scotland?
It doesn't cope well with very cold temperatures so that's probably why you're losing it. I wonder if it would be worth while digging them up and potting them and keeping them in the greenhouse over winter with your cuttings
I haven't yet peeped under the deep mulch of my ones in the garden, but the ones in a pot in the garage seem to have survived. Hopefully!
My Lincolnshire garden is exposed to cold easterly winds and last year the temperature dropped to -10C on several occasions, and we had lots of snow. My verbena bonariensis got cut back to ground level but then regenerated (as well as lots of new seedlings). It is a lot hardier than some older gardening books suggest.
I've never managed to get vb through a winter yet, altho it sets seed all over the shop and comes up in the most inconvenient places the following year (so the seed must be pretty rhobust). My OH doesn't like VB so I'm having a go at V. rigida instead this year...
Its a lovely plant, but the seeds get into the gaps between my paving slaps where it spreads like a weed. But its stil one of those plants that I must have each year.
Mine usually get through the winter here (in the East Midlands). I always take cuttings but often find that the seedlings that seed themselves around the garden look a lot healthier than mine once they get going in the spring. My best ones are the ones that self-seeded outside the dining room window, right by the wall and in fact over the edge of the concrete 'raft' the house stands on, so ultra dry and very shallow soil - makes you wonder why you bother to garden, just let Mother Nature sort it out!
I have a few in my garden in a sunny spot I mulch them in winter with leaves ,they have survived four years now i live in Glasgow area.
Thanks everyone for the replies. I think the consensus is that it is not a perennial in my part of the world and that I am best to continue to keep up taking cuttings. Sadly I don't even get self seeding going on.
I depend on self seeding but more likely to get survival in the garden than in my cold GH