Day 17 of the perennial plant challenge. Finally, a California native!! Verbena lilacina ‘De La Mina’, Purple Cedros Island Verbena, is a native of the islands off the coast of Baja California. OK, perhaps not a California native, but a very happy and easy to grow native of the Californias. This plant is hardy to 25 degrees, but may be a tad bit more hardy, especially when planted near homes, fences and streets. Verbena ‘De La Mina’ is a semi evergreen herbaceous subshrub with a mounding habit of 18 to 24 inches tall, and up to 3 feet wide. The foliage is very fine and feathery, and the dark purple flowers are fragrant purple, star shaped flowers. Verbena blooms most highly in spring and summer, but can bloom almost year round if it is protected. Stalks sit about 8 inches above the foliage, encouraging butterflies and honeybees to visit. The plant looks so very delicate, but is so very sturdy.
Verbena lilacina ‘De La Mina’ grows best in full sun to part sun, wanting to be in sun during the hottest part of the day. Once established, it will grow with absolutely no summer water, although deep watering once a month keeps the plant lush looking and blooming continuously. Besides growing well on mounds or in Mediterranean borders, it also does well in large, sunny pots. It seems to be very adaptable to soil types, thriving equally well in clay and sandy soils.
Verbena ‘De La Mina’ is resistant to deer and rabbit browsing. Deadheading it once or twice during the season will keep it blooming for a longer period. During the winter, wait to do any hard pruning until March, since the old growth will help protect the crown of the plant during a hard freeze.