brazilian verbena flowers

How To Grow And Care For Brazilian Verbena

Verbena brasiliensis, sometimes known as Brazilian Verbena or Brazilian vervain, is a flowering plant in the vervain family (Verbenaceae). Annual Verbenas have vibrant, powerful, and flexible blooms. They are ideal for spicing up the summer garden. It blooms all season, with small clusters full of brilliantly colored flowers.

Verbena looks as beautiful in home garden beds as it does in window boxes, pots, and hanging baskets. Verbena plants can also withstand summertime dryness and blistering heat without complaint. So, it makes them the perfect low-maintenance flower.

Growing The Brazilian Verbena

Vervain is a tall upright plant that acts as a “pop-up” or “see-through” plant in the perennial border, filling up vertical space while enabling plants behind it to be seen. Its clusters of small lavender blossoms bloom from early summer till frost, attracting butterflies and bees. They will be visited by yellow finches in search of seeds.

Here are some brief facts about the popular aesthetic plant:

  • Latin name: Verbena brasiliensis
  • Other names: Brazilian vervain
  • Native to: South America
  • Invasiveness: Yes
  • Tenderness: Herbaceous perennial 
  • Sun: Full sun
  • Water: As required
  • Soil: Well-drained
  • Hardiness zone: Zones 7 through 11
  • When to plant: Midspring or early summer
  • Spacing: 12-18 inches
  • Plant height: 2-7 ft
  • Bloom period: Spring, summer, fall
  • Time to maturity: 1 year
  • Container friendly: Yes
  • Fertilizer: 10-10-10
  • Toxicity: Non-toxic
  • Deer resistant: Yes
  • Pest resistant: Yes

Verbena brasiliensis is a perennial short-lived herbaceous plant with 1-2.5 meter tall upright, hispid, quadrangular stems. It tolerates a wide range of soil types as well as normal to dry conditions in full sun. They will spread through seeds, but undesired seedlings are easy to remove. Vervain is a South American native that has naturalized in the United States.


Several of the original species of these crosses are native to the Mediterranean or dry prairie environments, and their water requirements are similar to those environments. Until Brazilian Verbena has established itself, keep it uniformly wet. This plant requires an average amount of water after it has reached maturity (1/2 to 1 inch per week), although it can withstand short periods of dryness. Botrytis blight will kill soggy plants, but drought-stressed plants may invite spider mites.


Plant Verbena in direct sunlight, since in shaded areas, flowering will be greatly diminished. This plant requires at least six hours of direct sunlight every day, and eight to ten hours is preferable.


These plants like soil that is slightly acidic to neutral in pH. Except for the fact that it must be well-drained, Verbena is not fussy about soil. Heavy clay can cause root rot, so add several shovels of compost or leaf mold to dense soils.


Verbenas are not heavy feeders. However, they can benefit from a monthly dose of balanced, slow-release flower fertilizer. It will help them maintain their bloom display, which can last from spring through winter. Follow the product package recommendations for the quantity of fertilizer to use.


Verbena is native to South America, specifically Brazil, but has recently expanded its range and has often become an invasive weed. It is a short-lived perennial herbaceous plant. It has purple blooms and was introduced as an attractive plant outside of its native habitat. Presently, it is now primarily regarded as an invasive species in these areas.

Growing The Brazilian Verbena  In Containers

Since Verbena is usually seen in hanging pots with a variety of flowers, it makes excellent “spillers.” You can also pot up Verbena plants that are growing in the soil for indoor overwintering. Sow Verbena seeds on flats with compartments. Fill each compartment with a few seeds and thin them out after germination. Since the germination of Verbena seeds requires darkness, completely cover the flat using black plastic or dust some dirt over the seeds.

Care & Tips

Harden off plants by progressively exposing them to outdoor conditions for a week. Plant outside after the weather has warmed up and the soil is workable. In full light, space plants 12 inches (30 cm) apart. Keep competing weeds away from seedlings and the soil moist but not wet. After a month, pinch plants back to create thicker, denser Verbena. So to stimulate additional blossoms, deadhead plants on a regular basis after they begin to bloom. Save extra seed at the end of the season to prolong the simple beauty of Verbena.

Common Problems

Powdery mildew can be reduced if you remember to water at the ground surface rather than spraying from above. Providing ample space for the plants to encourage air circulation can also aid in the reduction of fungal diseases. Verbenas might get too lanky and sparse at times. So the best course of action is to trim the plant severely and feed it, which will prompt thick new shoots and a burst of flowers.

Propagating The Brazilian Verbena

The conventional vegetative technique of propagating Brazilian Verbenas involves cutting off stem segments and rooting them. This is a tried-and-true strategy that works for a wide variety of herbaceous plants. Taking stem cuttings of Verbenas in the fall can be an excellent technique to keep plants alive through the winters. Grow them inside and then pot them up so you can prepare for outdoor transplantation in the spring.

Wildlife attracted by the Brazilian Verbena

Verbena brasiliensis attracts bees as pollinators, according to research from Florida. Large animals and terrestrial birds eat Verbena brasiliensis. It accounts for 2-5 percent of their diet. The Bay Skipper (Euphyes bayensis), is a tiny butterfly that is only found in herbaceous marshes in Texas and in Mississippi. It relies on Verbena brasiliensis as a major nectar supply. This flower is also known to attract monarch butterflies.

The History Of The Brazilian Verbena

Several botanists have previously ascribed the scientific name of the purple-top vervain, V. bonariensis, to this species by mistake. As a result, the popular names “Brazilian Verbena” and “Brazilian vervain” are ascribed incorrectly to purple-top vervain. Verbena brasiliensis is indigenous to South America, particularly Brazil. This species is becoming quite common. You can find Verbena along the European coast, South Africa, Australasia, and North America. It has just lately been introduced to Reunion and Madagascar.

Uses For The Brazilian Verbena

As a garden and decorative plant, Verbena brasiliensis has been employed. It has been grown for aesthetic purposes both inside and beyond its natural area.

The Verbena flower symbolizes healing, protection, creativity, and joy.

Inside hanging baskets, Verbena plants are an excellent choice for blossoms that are high and magnificent. The ability to withstand drought conditions is what most homeowners like about these flowering plants. They may maintain their attractiveness for a long time without displaying any fussy characteristics.

Mayukh Saha
Freelance Writer
Mayukh is a Content Marketer and Social Media Manager with over 5 years of experience in the industry. Mayukh believes in the power of content; how it can positively impact lives, scale businesses and touch people. In his spare time Mayukh likes to read about latest tech trends and loves to travel in the nature. You can reach him at [email protected].