Veronica Royal Candles

It is late September 2012 and I’m mourning the transition from summer to fall while I hum Taylor Swift’s “We are never getting back together”. I am in complete denial of the impending cold weather and in order to further facilitate that denial, I head online to find me some plant deals. The hunt for a bargain is always exciting and it allows me to dream of a better, warmer day.

One of the places I always check out is Santa Rosa Gardens. They are always good for some heavily discounted plants near the end of the gardening season. I have purchased a ton of ornamental grasses from them in September/October/November of each year with wild success.

On this day however, I find no grasses to my liking. But I am still desperate to acquire some new plants. After long deliberation, I remain calm and conservatively decide to buy a few bulbs. Nothing overly exciting but I still get off fantasizing about March/April blooms.

Right before I submit my order, I check out the “Bargain Bench” section one last time and without much thought, throw in an order of 6 plants at a super cheap price. To prove I’m not fibbing, you can see my actual order below.

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Those 6 “throw-in’s” were Veronica ‘Royal Candles’.

A plant I had zero experience with.

A plant I had never researched.

A plant I had no plan for in terms of location (shocking, I know).

A plant that didn’t necessarily work with my conditions.

And a plant of which I now own over two dozen.

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Isn’t that how it always works? The best plan is no plan at all.

After I received these 6 Veronica (Speedwell) through the mail, and in a move of desperation, I stuck them in the ground in a known wet spot just hoping they would miraculously survive the winter. Solid decision making there.

Not only did they survive the winter, they survived Hurricane Sandy only a few days after I planted them.  And they bloomed their little asses off that spring. I figured the rabbits or deer would eventually get them but they remained untouched all the way into fall.

Was it a stroke of a luck? I was leaning in that direction, so I didn’t touch them as we rolled into and through 2013. This would be the true test.

Sure enough, they kicked more booty and were once again OK with the waterlogged clay soil, the rabbits and the deer. I was hooked. Time to add a bunch more for that great punch of color.

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I found them dirt cheap at my local nursery this spring and purchased a few trays. I literally placed them everywhere at the front of my beds.

 

 

 

And all I’ve gotten in return is purple awesomeness and hosts of happy critters along the way.

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One of the complaints I’ve read about these perennials is how the blooms start to “brown up” from the bottom which takes away from the overall look of the blooms.

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While this is true, I’ve found that with a quick snip of the blooms, they are quick to recover, usually blooming again within two weeks.

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Yes, it is solely the blooms that make this plant interesting, but some times you simply want large bursts of color all at once and to date, this dwarf perennial has delivered the goods.

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A few additional notes on this Speedwell:

  • Prefers full sun, but I have most of mine in partial sun with outstanding results
  • Size maxes out at approximately 12″ x 18″
  • Survives in zones 2-9
  • Apparently easy to divide and I will test this out next spring

You’ll be sure to hear more about these from me in 2015 as together we’ll see if they hold up well in year 3.

 

 

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “Veronica Royal Candles

    1. jmarkowski Post author

      Michaele – I had three rounds of bloom staying pretty vigilant with the pruning. Also, I had some bloom all the way into late November.

  1. Eric

    I enjoy these plant profiles, thanks. One question: Does the basal foliage of this veronica remain for the winter, or does it die to the ground after a hard freeze? I always like to know what a perennial looks like in winter given that it accounts for 4-5 months of the year here in the north.

    1. jmarkowski Post author

      Eric – yes, the basal foliage remains which is another added benefit to this plant. Any green is good through the long winter.

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