No color arouses the passion of serious gardeners like blue. Sure, we like orange, yellow, red, and pink, but blue is the must-have color for mixed containers and baskets. It’s like having sapphires in our pocket plantings at the main entrance to the house. Because of this, The Garden Guy was eager to put Superbena Imperial Blue Verbena to the test.
Not only have I sorted my supply of Imperial Blue into various baskets and bins, but I’ve also given some to my son James, the guru of all colors, in the commercial landscape. As always, it hit me like a drum in the design, but I’m used to it.
Superbena Imperial Blue will arrive at your garden center in spring 2022. So put on your camouflage and be ready. I assume that (as usual) there won’t be enough for everyone who wants this new verbena.
There’s a reason it’s called Imperial. It is nothing short of intense in color. It’s the blue that makes your heart beat faster.
If you haven’t tried Superbena verbenas, you need to get on the train. I’m in my third year with Superbena Stormburst and the best white guy on the planet, Superbena Whiteout. Despite all the other butterfly plants I have in my garden, the superbenas always seem to attract attention – not just from butterflies, but also from hummingbirds.
Like most other Superbenas, Superbena Imperial Blue grows 5 to 12 inches tall by 30 inches wide. They need fertile, well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight to develop their true potential. Mostly, superbenas are considered annual, certainly of exceptional value.
I live in zone 8a, and in my zone and warmer we may bring them back in the spring, resulting in an outbreak of the eternal happy dance. The caveat is good soil drainage. James and I also believe in pruning the verbena regularly to rejuvenate the growth and bring in new flowers. It also helps minimize the risk of spider mite infestation.
In my baskets and containers, I have combined Superbena Imperial Blue Verbena with other new plants coming out in 2022, such as Boldly Coral Geranium and Supertunia Vista Jazzberry Petunia. James, on the other hand, created dazzling horse troughs by partnering the Imperial Blue with Superbena Whiteout, Supertunia Bordeaux, Luscious Bananarama lantana and the new Suncredible Saturn Bush Sunflower, which also debuted in 2022.
From the pollinator’s point of view, it was really amazing. Eastern tiger swallowtails, spice bush swallowtails, and pipeline swallowtails have all found Superbena Imperial Blue as a regular feeding place. But also smaller butterflies like the American one often come to visit. I think the most exciting thing of all is to see the ruby-throated hummingbirds.
Make sure to try the superbenas in baskets – I think the down-to-earth aspect and cascading flowers are a natural draw for the lobsters.
Norman Winter, gardener, garden spokesman and author of “Tough-as-Nails Flowers for the South” and “Captivating Combinations: Color and Style in the Garden”. Follow him on Facebook @NormanWinterTheGardenGuy.