How to Plant and Grow Veronica

This reliable perennial adds interesting texture to gardens with its flower spikes.

Veronica graces the garden with spires of flowers that bloom spring through fall, depending on species, with some reblooming for an extended show. Also known as speedwell, this easy-to-grow perennial is available in many sizes and colors, including shades of blue.

With colorful, blooming spikes, veronica brightens any full-sun garden and adds interesting texture. Many of the spring-blooming types form mats of low-growing flowers. Some grow silver foliage that contrasts with the rich blue flowers. Summer-blooming types may soar to higher heights and are more generous rebloomers. These taller species feature a broad spectrum of colors, including pinks, purples, blues, and whites.

Plant scientists are working to improve disease resistance and enhance reblooming potential to further extend the veronica season. Some new veronica flowers are more novelty than anything else, with heads that are short and branched, creating blossom clusters that are almost ball-shaped. You can also find varieties with lovely gold and silver foliage for added visual interest.

Veronica Overview

Genus Name Veronica
Common Name Veronica
Plant Type Perennial
Light Sun
Height 6 to 36 inches
Width 8 to 24 inches
Flower Color Blue, Pink, Purple, White
Foliage Color Blue/Green, Gray/Silver
Season Features Fall Bloom, Spring Bloom, Summer Bloom
Special Features Attracts Birds, Cut Flowers, Good for Containers, Low Maintenance
Zones 10, 11, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Propagation Division, Seed
Problem Solvers Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Groundcover

Where to Plant Veronica

These versatile plants tolerate a variety of conditions but do best in a sunny site with rich, well-draining soil. Some species of veronica grow well in rock gardens. These are usually low-growing types that do well in dry conditions. Many veronicas grow only inches tall and make excellent groundcovers; others are taller and good additions to garden beds.

How and When to Plant Veronica

Plant nursery transplants in the spring in most areas or in autumn in warm zones. Dig a hole twice the size of the container, loosen the soil and add compost. Place the plant in the hole so that the top of the root ball is even with the soil level. Press down on the soil to remove air pockets and water well.

Spacing guidelines for multiple plants will depend on the variety you've selected. Consult the tag that came with your plants to ensure proper placement.

Veronica Care Tips

Veronica is an easy-to-grow perennial if you meet its needs.


Plant veronica in full sun for best results. Although it will tolerate some shade, flower production may suffer. Without full sun, the plants may be affected by foliar diseases such as powdery mildew and leaf spot.

Soil and Water

Veronica plants prefer well-drained, loamy soil with plenty of organic matter. Once established, the plants tolerate drought and need little supplemental watering. During peak bloom, however, they appreciate some water if conditions have been exceptionally dry.

Temperature and Humidity

Veronica does best in areas with moderate humidity. The plant is cold-hardy in USDA Zones 3–11. In areas with harsh winters, cutting the plants back to 2 inches above the ground and adding a covering of mulch provides protection.


Veronica doesn't require regular applications of fertilizer when planted in fertile soil. In other environments, fertilize once in the spring with a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer, following manufacturer's instructions. Veronica isn't a heavy feeder.


Care for this low-maintenance perennial by trimming spent blossoms back just below the base of the flower to encourage a second flush. Many tall species of veronica flowers are branched; if you cut these too low, you may sacrifice the next round of blossoms. As plants mature, consider dividing them. This is particularly helpful for mat-forming types that die out in the middle.

Pests and Problems

Aphids and whiteflies are attracted to veronica plants. These can be controlled with a blast of water from a garden hose or an application of insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Veronica is susceptible to foliar diseases such as powdery mildew and leaf spot. The best solution for these problems is prevention.

How to Propagate Veronica

Veronica plants can be propagated by divisions in early spring or late summer. Lift the entire root ball with a shovel and use a sharp spade to divide it into sections that have both roots and top growth. Replant the divisions in the garden or containers. Herbaceous veronica plants can be divided in late autumn or winter while they are dormant.

Although division is the easiest way to propagate veronica plants, you can sow the seeds in a cold frame in autumn for transplants the following spring.

Types of Veronica

'Christy' Veronica

purple 'christy' veronica
Denny Schrock

One of the lower-growing blue veronicas, 'Christy' is a late spring bloomer. It forms a mat of vibrant flowers that occasionally rebloom throughout the season. (Zones 6-8)

'Crater Lake Blue' Veronica

'crater lake blue' veronica
Denny Schrock

'Crater Lake Blue' produces deep blue flowers in early summer on 18-inch-tall plants. (Zones 6-8)

'Georgia Blue' Veronica

prostrate veronica purple flowers
Marty Baldwin

This veronica develops large mats of toothed, purple-tinged foliage. Clusters of small, saucer-shaped flowers bloom from early spring into summer, flaunting a deep blue color with white eyes on 12-inch tall plants. (Zones 6-8)

'Giles Van Hees' Veronica

Veronica 'Giles Van Hees'
Andrew Drake

'Giles Van Hees' has lance-shaped foliage and dense spikes of bright pink flowers in summer. It grows 6 inches tall. (Zones 4-8)

'Icicle' Veronica

white 'icicle' veronica
Andy Lyons

This striking Veronica spicata variety demands attention with its pure white flowers on spikes, towering up to 2 feet tall. (Zones 3-8)

'Purpleicious' Veronica

Veronica 'Purplicious'
Marty Baldwin

'Purpleicious' shows off rich lavender-purple flowers throughout the summer and into fall. It grows 2 feet tall. (Zones 4-8)

'Sunny Border Blue' Veronica

purple veronica with stone bunny statue
Perry L. Struse

As its name suggests, this variety is one of the best upright veronicas for sunny gardens. With glossy, dark green crumpled leaves and 7-inch-long spires of violet flowers from early summer on, the 'Sunny Border Blue' is truly a showstopper. It grows to 2 feet tall. (Zones 4-8)

'Waterperry Blue' Veronica

'waterperry blue' veronica
Marty Baldwin

'Waterperry Blue' is a groundcover with sweet sky-blue flowers in spring. It grows 6 inches tall. (Zones 4-8)

Veronica Companion Plants


yellow coreopsis grandiflora' early sunrise'
Bert Klassen

One of the longest bloomers in the garden, coreopsis typically produces sunny yellow daisy-like flowers that attract butterflies, although some varieties feature golden-yellow, pale yellow, pink, or bicolor flowers. It flaunts its color from early to midsummer—or even longer if it's deadheaded.

Lady's Mantle

Lady's mantle
Matthew Benson

Lady's mantle looks gorgeous whether growing in a garden or arranged in a vase. Its scalloped leaves catch rain or dewdrops, making them look dusted with jewels, while the chartreuse flowers form playful, frothy clusters above the foliage. This perennial is ideal for softening the edge of a shaded path or creating a groundcover in dappled shade.


may night deep purple perennial salvia
Peter Krumhardt

There are hundreds of different types of salvias, commonly called sage. What they almost all have in common are beautiful, tall flower spikes and attractive, often gray-green leaves. Countless varieties (including the herb used in cooking) are available to decorate ornamental gardens. Featuring square stems clothed with often-aromatic leaves, sages show off spires of tubular flowers in bright blues, violets, yellow, pinks, and reds that mix well with other perennials in beds and borders. They're valued for their very long season of bloom, right up until frost.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which insects are attracted to veronica plants?

    Butterflies, bees, and other pollinating insects are attracted to the veronica blooms. Hummingbirds love them, too.

  • Do deer eat veronica flowers?

    The plant is deer-resistant and rabbit-resistant. It's also reported to be groundhog resistant. One theory is that wildlife, including squirrels, rabbits, and deer, are repelled by the strong herbal scent characteristic of many veronicas.

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