If you are looking for a colorful ground cover that reaches a foot at maturity then the moss verbena is the answer. If you live in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 8 through 10 then you are lucky enough to have this plant as a perennial. For the rest of us, this plant is an annual.
The dark green leaves of the moss verbena are divided into leaflets. The flowers are located on spikes and can be found in white, purple or blue. While this plant does have the ability to bloom from spring to fall, the best presentation will occur in the spring.
When it comes to growing moss verbena, this plant requires a well draining soil that is located in full sun.
Moss verbena can be propagated through seed and stem cutting in the spring. Due to the limited area by which moss verbena is a perennial, only seed propagation will be covered.
To start your moss verbena from seed starts off with the cleaning and sterilizing of the container. This is easily done by first filling a basin with water and adding a capful of bleach to the water. Next, put the container or flat in the water and soak for a few minutes. Once it has soaked, scrub to remove any soil and rinse in clear water. Allow to sit out to dry in the open air.
After that is done, fill the container with a good all purpose potting soil. Moisten the soil and allow it to sit for 24 hours before planting.
Once the 24 hours has passed, sprinkle the seeds on the soil surface and cover with 1/8-1/4 inch of soil. Since this seed requires darkness to germinate, this step is very important.
To make sure that the seeds are covered, lay down black plastic over the top of the container. Keep the plastic on until you see evidence of seeds germinating, which will be between 10 and 20 days.
The next step is to remove the plastic after seeds begin to germinate and expose the seedlings to sunlight.
Keep in mind that all this needs to be done 12 to 14 weeks prior to your local frost free date.
Once your seedlings have their second set of true leaves, it is time to transplant them into individual pots. Continue to monitor soil moisture and 2 weeks prior to your local frost free date you can harden them off, which is gradually exposing them to the outside.
When they are ready to be planted outside, make sure to space them 12 to 18 inches apart. Give them water as needed but back off on the watering once they are established. The reason for this is established moss verbena is drought tolerant.