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Temari Verbenas Arrive For Spring
By Norman Winter
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center
This spring you have got to look for the hot, new verbenas called Temari. Temari, which means "a handful of flowers," is being brought to us by Suntory, the same firm who gave us Surfinias and Tapien verbenas.
Temari verbenas are available in bright red coming from the orange and yellow hues, violet and bright pink. These flowers' colors are very bold and bright. They are trailing type verbenas that actually live up to their claim of having baseball-sized flower clusters.
Temari verbenas need full sun in moist, well-drained soil. These tender perennials thrive in heat and are cold-hardy to about 14 degrees.
Temari verbenas are resistant to powdery mildew and are very vigorous. They will excel in landscapes as well as baskets, patios, window boxes and balconies. Fertilize once a month for those planted in the landscape and every two weeks for those in containers.
The past few years have been great for gardeners looking for new verbenas that are not plagued by powdery mildew. The first to catch our eye was Homestead Purple, which was declared a Georgia Gold Medal winner and has received high praises in Louisiana and throughout the Southeast.
In Mississippi trials, Port Gibson Pink has performed outstandingly, coming back from single digit temperatures and extremes in moisture availability. Port Gibson Pink reaches about 12 inches in height, has good fragrance for a verbena and is loaded with large clusters of flowers in all shades of pink. It is also very vigorous. Commercial growers are starting to produce the verbena, and they sell like hot cakes.
The Tapien verbenas that came out almost three years ago are now available in five colors: blue-violet, which looks purple; lavender, which is the color of the ageratum; pink; soft pink; and powder blue, which is white with a hint of blue.
Tapien may very well be the ultimate ground cover. It makes a dense carpet of green foliage topped with gorgeous flowers all summer. The foliage is deep green and feathery in appearance, almost resembling carrots or parsley. The plant is a prolific flower producer and is heat resistant. In other words, it blooms all summer through fall. Tapien is considered perennial, taking 14 degrees. They have returned in my garden each year.
Tapien verbenas reach only six to eight inches in height and spreads with ease. They will root at each node along the branches or stems, so plant on 18- to 24-inch centers, as your bed is sure to fill in fast.
Plant in full sun for best flowering, but some shade is OK. Tapien is super in hanging baskets, containers, window boxes or anywhere a cascading plant is needed.
Tapien will work as a border plant and on slopes. They can bloom for months on end in well prepared, organic-rich beds. This is the preferred way to grow them, but I also planted some in soil fit for bricks, and they performed superbly there, too!
All of these verbenas are superior butterfly plants and much loved by the swallowtail, fritillary and the painted lady.