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How to Grow and Care for Speedwell Plants

Veronica species

Speedwell are easy to care for perennial plants that fall into two main categories.
The bushy or mat forming groundcovers grow anywhere from one inch to a foot tall and produce dense clusters of flowers.
Tall, spiked types form large clumps and produce tight spikes of butterfly friendly, brightly colored flowers.
Sinclair the Garden Gnome

Growing Requirements for Speedwell Plants

Veronicas can be grown in full sun or partial shade, but for the best results, plant them where they will receive morning sun and afternoon shade.
They are tolerant of a wide range of soil types, but thrive in evenly moist, well-drained soil that has been enriched with a generous amount of compost or other organic matter at planting time.
Apply a 2" layer of mulch in the summer to help retain moisture.
Veronicas tend to wilt quickly if they are allowed to dry out,
but quickly revive if they are watered in time.
Remove spent flowers or spikes promptly to extend the blooming season.
Water in the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week.
Stake tall varieties.
After the first killing frost, cut back stems to an inch or two above the soil line.

Species Height
X
Spread
Plant Characteristics and Notes USDA
Zones
Growing Requirements
and Benefits
Alpine Speedwell
Veronica allionii
8"x18" Groundcover, Rock Gardens, Containers, Lawn Substitute
This evergreen Veronica forms a tight mat of soft green foliage. An abundance of small spikes of light blue flowers arise in early summer. Mow or shear flower spikes down after bloom to keep neat.
4-9 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringThis plant needs a thorough, deep weekly watering, Double icons require boggy or wet conditions
Hummingbird PlantNo Deer
blue flowering plant
Alpine Speedwell
Veronica alpina
8"x18" Rock Gardens, Containers
Easy to grow creeping evergreen with 1"-2", glossy green or fuzzy gray foliage. Blooms mainly in spring, flowering on and off until fall, producing airy spikes of white, rose, pink, pale or deep blue flowers.
3-8 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringThis plant needs a thorough, deep weekly watering, Double icons require boggy or wet conditions
Hummingbird PlantNo Deer
White flowering plantblue flowering plant
Hungarian Speedwell
Veronica austriaca
12"x18" Groundcover, Rock Gardens, Borders, Containers
Mound forming evergreen with 1"-2", oval, deep green leaves. Six inch spikes of intensely colored, deep blue flowers appear in summer and last for 3-4 weeks.
5-9 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringThis plant needs a thorough, deep weekly watering, Double icons require boggy or wet conditions
Hummingbird PlantNo Deer
blue flowering plant
Gentian Speedwell
Veronica gentianoides
18"x18" Rock Gardens, Borders, Containers
Easy to grow, compact mat forming evergreen with deep green, glossy foliage. Produces loose, 10" spikes of powder blue to white flowers in late spring to mid-summer. Tolerates periods of wet soil.
4-9 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringThis plant needs a thorough, deep weekly watering, Double icons require boggy or wet conditions
Hummingbird Plant
White flowering plantblue flowering plant
Turkish Speedwell
Veronica liwanensis
3"x24" Groundcover, Rock Gardens, Lawn Substitute
Tough, drought tolerant evergreen, mat forming plant with tiny, glossy, evergreen leaves that turn reddish bronze in hot sun. Covers itself with clusters of bright blue flowers all summer. Tolerates occasional walking. Requires good drainage
5-9 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayOnce established this plant requires little or no supplemental wateringThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic watering
No Deer
blue flowering plant
Tall Speedwell
Veronica longifolia
36"x18" Containers, Cut Flowers
Deciduous, clump forming plant with soft, deep green foliage with serrated edges. Produces long lasting, dense, 6" spikes of tiny flowers from late spring until mid summer. Cut plant back to 12" after blooming for a repeat show in the fall.
6-10 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringThis plant needs a thorough, deep weekly watering, Double icons require boggy or wet conditions
Hummingbird PlantButterfly FlowerNo Deer
White flowering plantPink flowering plantblue flowering plantPurple flowering plant
Mountain Speedwell
Veronica montana
3"x12" Groundcover, Rock Gardens, Borders, Containers
Spreading, mound forming groundcover with small, variegated, cream and green leaves with scalloped edges. Produces small clusters and tiny lilac flowers in late spring into early summer.
3-9 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringThis plant needs a thorough, deep weekly watering, Double icons require boggy or wet conditions
Hummingbird PlantNo Deer
Pink flowering plantblue flowering plant
Creeping Speedwell
Veronica prostrata
6"x24" Groundcover, Rock Gardens, Borders,
Woody, mat forming plant with coarsely serrated edges. Produces loose spikes of small blue, star shaped flowers in early summer. Deadhead spent flowers for a rebloom in early fall. Drought tolerant once established.
5-9 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayOnce established this plant requires little or no supplemental wateringThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic watering
No Deer
blue flowering plant
Creeping Speedwell
Veronica repens
1"x18" Groundcover, Rock Gardens
Forms a fast growing, spreading evergreen mat of small, glossy green leaves. Produces small, pale blue or white flowersall spring. Ideal for growing between flagstones.
5-9 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic watering
Hummingbird PlantNo Deer
White flowering plantblue flowering plant
Spike Speedwell
Veronica spicata
24"x36" Containers, Cut Flowers
Compact, spreading, clump forming plant with deep green or silvery, felt-like foliage. Produces 12" airy spikes of tiny flowers all summer. Remove spent flower spikes regularly to extend blooming season.
6-10 This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringThis plant needs a thorough, deep weekly watering, Double icons require boggy or wet conditions
Hummingbird PlantButterfly FlowerNo Deer
White flowering plantPink flowering plantblue flowering plantPurple flowering plant

Propagating Veronica Plants and Growing them from Seed

To keep them looking their best, Speedwell plants should be divided every three or four years in the early spring or early fall. The more vigorous, outer portions can be re-planted.

Softwood cuttings can be taken in late spring or summer.

Sow Veronica seeds directly in the garden anytime from spring until two months before the first frost.
Sow seeds indoors, maintaing a temperature of 70° in the growing medium until germination, which takes 15-20 days.

Speedwell
Veronica longifolia
A Speedwell Plant Blooming in the Garden Pink Flowers of a Speedwell Plant, Veronica longifolia