Natural Plant Partners: Callicarpa & Verbena

I am resigned to thinking that they probably can’t be partners in my garden (though I am going to try – just in case).  Callicarpa isn’t the problem, it’s the Verbena (will it work in zone 5? – supposedly not, but I have found evidence from other gardeners that it might).

verbena bonariensis purple flowers plant


But there is something about this ridiculously pretty purple color in hazy effect that I just can’t get enough of.   Are you buying seeds that might not work where you live?  I always do — sometimes I strike lucky and it is just worth the risk.

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.
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  1. Ryan Miller on January 11, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    I think my Beauty Berry will need some pollination help this summer, I got so few berries this last year…

    Seed that might not work in where I live? Most definitely, the biggest piece of zonal denial might be my Bomarea hirtella seeds.

  2. Lorraine Roberts on January 12, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Verbena bonariensis, as shown in your photo, is an annual that will self seed readily in Zone 5.
    I have grown it for many years in our gardens at Plant Paradise. We have not been so lucky with Callicarpa in our Zone 5 gardens. It just doesn’t winter over well.
    Verbena canadensis ‘Homestead Pink’ has wintered over beautifully. It blooms from June until frost and grows only 8 inches high. A great perennial verbena for Zone 5.

  3. rochelle on January 12, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    yea! lorraine that is so encouraging (at least about the verbena) – I think my beauty berry will be fine – though I just planted it this year. But my neighbors have it too and theirs has flourished for many years. The variety that I have is Callicarpa Early Amethyst…is that what you tried? It is supposed to be good to zone 5.

  4. Amanda Thomsen on January 13, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Here we grow Callicarpa like a sub-shrub and cut it back ever spring, I’m zone 5 too…

  5. norma bean on January 14, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    that verbena did not do well in my Tampa garden . I grow the white beauty berry– has had some cold damage, but am sure it will be ok—haven’t had it a year yet

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