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Veronica spicata ‘Glory’ Royal Candles

Plant Materials - Green Guide

This easy-to-grow perennial offers long-lasting color

Fran Setbacken | August 31, 2009

Veronica Royal Candles flowers best if given a spot in full sun, although in the South it perfroms best when grown under partial shade.Royal Candles was selected in Kent, England, by Heather and Mike Philpott. It’s an erect, bushy, clump-forming, compact spiked speedwell cultivar with an upright growth habit that reaches a height of only 15-18 inches in bloom and a spread of 12-18 inches. Abundant masses of vibrant violet blue flower spikes start to appear in May and continue through August, providing a continuous show of color until fall. Stems typically rise only 3 inches tall and are topped with the dense, vertical, tapered-at-the-top, flower spikes (racemes to 12 inches long).

The blooms atop Royal Candles are mounded and even in height, unlike other varieties. It is a vigorous plant, and the non-invasive clumps remain a dark green all season long. The bottom remains healthy, does not lose its lower leaves, and does not exhibit browning — characteristics that some other varieties of veronica do not have.
 

Adaptable and easy to grow
Veronica Royal Candles is hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 3-8. It is great for the first-time gardener and needs minimal care and can handle neglect. Plants grow best in moderately fertile, loamy soil; however, they are tolerant of a wide range of soil types. Veronica Royal Candles needs consistent, regular moisture. Root rot may occur in wet, poorly drained soils, particularly in winter.

SPECIFICS
Name: Veronica spicata ‘Glory’ Royal Candles

Common name: Spiked speedwell

Family: Scrophulariaceae.

Hardiness: USDA Zones 3-8.

Habit: 15-18 inches tall in bloom spreading to 12-18 inches.

Landscape benefits: Compact growth habit, clean leafy foliage topped with numerous vertical flower spikes, and deep blue-purple flowers, lasting from late spring to midsummer.

Veronica Royal Candles flowers best if given a spot in full sun, although in the South it performs best when grown under partial shade. It is best to feed in early spring with composted manure and then twice again during the summer with fish emulsion. Deadhead the flowers and cut back faded flower stems after the first bloom to prolong its bloom time. Shear the foliage if it becomes worn-looking after flowering. This perennial spreads by a creeping rootstock, but is not invasive. Veronica Royal Candles is the most disease-resistant perennial in its family.

Versatile uses
The distinctive characteristics of Veronica Royal Candles provide multiple choices for use in the garden. Its shorter habit makes it ideal for the front of the border or as an edging. It can be used in mixed container plantings, alpine and rock gardens, or as an attractive small area groundcover.

The striking deep blue-violet hue of the flower spikes contrasts beautifully with reds and yellows in the perennial border and also provides lovely cut flowers. Veronica Royal Candles attracts butterflies and is deer- and rabbit-resistant. With the characteristics of compact growth habit and long-lasting blooms, it is well-suited for production in small container sizes.

For more: PlantHaven, www.planthaven.com.