Speedwell (Veronica) Plant Care and Growing Tips

Updated: May 08, 2024

Speedwell, also known as Veronica, is a long blooming, pollinator-friendly perennial that brings flower power to the summer garden.

How to Grow Speedwell (Veronica)

Pw Veronica Ever After Apj21 7 speedwellwww.provenwinners.com
Magic Show Ever After
  • Common name: Speedwell
  • Scientific name: Veronica hybrid
  • Zones: 4 to 8
  • Attracts: Bees, butterflies
  • Light needs: Part sun to sun, but flowers best in full sun (6+ hours a day)
  • Size: 12- to 32-inches tall and form a 12- to 24-inch wide clump
  • Flower color: Purple, blue, white or pink

Chris Fifo, product representative for Kieft Seed and Darwin Perennials, says, “Veronica prefers high light and full-sun garden locations. Plant it in well-draining soil that is not too heavy in clay.”

While Chris notes that speedwell will require watering until established and during dry periods, do note that these plants will not tolerate heavy, soggy soils, which may lead to root rot.

When to Plant Speedwell

Chris says these perennials are best planted in early spring, after the risk of frost has passed, and into early summer. In my Wisconsin garden, Veronica begins to bloom in mid-summer, a few weeks after native salvia varieties. Deadhead the plants for more flowers.

Is Speedwell a Native Plant?

Veronica americana (also known as American speedwell or American brooklime) is native to North America. 

Do Deer Eat Speedwell Flowers?

Speedwell plants are not often bothered by deer and rabbits. “Veronica are a good choice for deer resistance, but not fully deer-proof. Honestly, deer will take a bite of everything if given the chance,” Chris says.

Do Speedwell Plants Spread?

Veronica Perfectly PicassoWalters Gardens, Inc
Perfectly Picasso

These perennials are well behaved in the garden, meaning they stay put where you plant them and don’t reseed or become weedy.

“Most Veronica species form a clump but do not truly spread,” Chris says. Clumps can be divided when they get large enough.

Speedwell Plant Problems

Chris says some Veronica plants are susceptible to powdery mildew. Look for varieties that offer powdery mildew resistance.

Preventative sprays of organic lightweight horticultural oil and synthetic fungicides can also be beneficial. As always, read and follow label directions, whether using organic or synthetic chemicals.

Cultivars to Try

Screen Shot 2024 05 08 At 2.13.56 PmDarwin Perennials
Skyward lilac

Magic Show Ever After is of the longest-blooming speedwells available, Ever After features almost 1-foot tall purple flower spikes that extend the growing season from early to midsummer. The flowers are self-cleaning so they will always look fresh for the pollinators that love it.

This speedwell will perform in many places in the garden, including a border or mass planting. But it also serves as the thriller in a potted combination.

Other Magic Show speedwells include White Wands and Wizard of Ahhs, which has even bluer blooms than Ever After.

Veronica Skyward is a new series offered by Darwin Perennials. Chris says Skyward has strong stems that do not fall open, and this series is also selected for superior mildew resistance.

For bubblegum pink flowers that attract bees, try Perfectly Picasso.

Sources

  • Proven Winners
  • Darwin Perennials
  • Walters Gardens, Inc.

About the Expert

Chris Fifo works as a product representative for Kieft Seed and Darwin Perennials. He earned a degree in horticultural science from Iowa State University.

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