How to Grow and Care For Creeping Speedwell
Image by Bernt Fransson from wikimedia
Creeping speedwell is a plant native to eastern and western Europe with round or kidney-shaped leaves and lovely flowers. It is a plant that clings to the ground and can withstand some foot traffic. Additionally, it makes a wonderful display in rock gardens or between paving stones. Spreading perennial creeping speedwell is a ground cover plant with delicate flowers. Veronica filiformis is a trailing perennial that grows to a maximum height of 5 inches and bears tiny, solitary flowers. The blooms, which have four rounded petals in pink, purple, or blue hues, are produced in the spring and summer. In warm climates, the scalloped foliage is always present.
|Common Name||Creeping Speedwell, Slender Speedwell|
|Botanical Name||Veronica filiformis|
|Plant Type||Perennial, groundcover|
|Mature Size||2-5 in. tall, 20-30 in. wide|
|Sun Exposure||Full, partial|
|Soil Type||Moist but well-drained (Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand)|
|Bloom Time||Spring, summer|
|Flower Color||Pink, blue, purple|
|Hardiness Zones||3-9, USA|
|Native Area||Europe, Asia|
|Spacing||10 to 12 inches apart (25cm– 30cm)|
|Water Needs||Low, Average|
|Soil Drainage||Well-Drained, Moist but Well-Drained|
|Foliage||Green (light, dark, and greyish)|
Types of Veronica Speedwell
The speedwell family contains many different varieties. Here are some of the more well-known varieties of speedwell:
‘First Love‘, a veronica variety with an abundance of pink flowers and longer-lasting blooms than other varieties.
‘Sunny Border Blue‘ is a taller specimen with blooms that are a deep violet blue and measure 20 inches (50 cm).
‘Dick’s Wine‘ is a low-growing groundcover with rose-colored blooms that is about 9 inches (22 cm) tall.
The 12- to 18-inch (31- to 46-cm) tall “Crater Lake Blue” has a dark blue hue.
‘Goodness Grows‘ is a low-growing plant with deep blue blossoms that is 6 to 12 inches (15-31 cm) tall.
Pink flowers on 12-inch (31-cm) spires are called “Red Fox” blooms.
One of the tallest, ‘Sunny Blue Border,’ has light blue blooms and can reach a height of 24 inches (61 cm).
‘Royal Candles‘ has blue blooms and reaches a height of 18 inches (46 cm).
White “Icicle” can reach a height of 18 inches (46 cm).
Caring for Creeping Speedwell
The creeping speedwell is simple to grow and maintain. It is simple to grow and maintain due to its tenacious nature and capacity to flourish in any circumstance.
However, because this perennial can be aggressive in nature, you might need to keep an eye on its growth. It quickly outgrows its landscape area and can use runners to enter other areas.
Deer and rabbits are not attracted to creeping speedwell. If the soil is kept too wet, they are susceptible to root rot and other fungal issues.
It is possible to grow creeping speedwell in both full sun and shade. However, when growing in warm climates, full sun may be too intense for creeping speedwell. Full shade plants frequently do not flower well. Planting creeping speedwell in a partially shaded area is ideal for growth and bloom, especially in the afternoon.
This perennial plant grows slowly and can be grown in a variety of soils. When given the choice, it favours either sandy or slightly loamy soil. To keep it happy, choose a surface that drains well but retains moisture.
As long as the soil isn’t extremely acidic or extremely alkaline, pH isn’t a major concern for this plant. A neutral soil pH is easiest to maintain, like with most ground covers, but it’s acceptable to err slightly to one side or the other.
Once established, creeping speedwell is drought-tolerant. Only water these plants when the top inch or so of soil begins to dry out to avoid problems with soggy soil. It is best to water newly planted speedwells more frequently until they are established. An inch of water per week is sufficient to keep established plants healthy.
Temperature and Humidity
This groundcover plant can tolerate a wide range of temperature and humidity levels as long as it is grown in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 9. Keep in mind that the plant will remain evergreen in warm-weather climates but not in areas with more seasonal temperature fluctuations.
Fertilizer isn’t usually necessary for this ground cover. It can survive in conditions where other ground covers cannot, such as poor soil nutrition.
In the early spring, apply an organic 5-10-5 fertiliser to encourage a healthy spread. The increased phosphorus level will encourage flowering, and the light fertiliser addition will keep the plant happy. If necessary, a second half-strength feeding can be added in mid-summer.
Instead of using a traditional fertiliser, work some good compost or leaf mould around the base of the plants in the spring. This has the added benefit of maintaining consistent soil moisture.
Propagating Creeping Speedwell
Plants of the Veronica genus spread via runners beneath the soil surface. They will easily self-produce in this manner. They will form roots at stem nodes and are therefore suitable for cuttings or air layering. Plant division is another option. You can take cuttings and press them into moistened potting soil. Make sure a couple of stem nodes are beneath the soil’s surface, and keep the cuttings in a bright but indirect light source until they take.
Additional plants can be rooted in place by pressing a stem node beneath the soil’s surface. This is an air layering variation that works particularly well with Veronica species. Colder temperatures can cause the centre of older plants to die out and turn brown. It’s a good idea to divide your plants before they begin actively growing again in the spring. Remove the dried-out centre of the plant by cutting it into multiple segments with attached roots with a shovel. Replant your new starts into the soil, and it will grow back.
Pruning Creeping Speedwell
In order to prevent the plant from spreading, pruning is not required but may be desired. To do this, just trim the plant with a pair of garden snips. A lawnmower is the best tool for efficiently completing the task of cutting down large areas of creeping speedwell that are used as ground cover. However, it is best to use a collection bag when mowing these plants if you don’t want the pruned pieces to take root.
Especially for plants grown in regions with cold winters, stop pruning in the late summer. The plants can then produce enough mature foliage to provide protection throughout the winter. Late-season pruning will result in tender new growth that won’t be able to withstand the winter.
How to Grow Creeping Speedwell From Seed
You can also start growing creeping speedwell from seeds, both indoors and outdoors. Start the seeds eight to ten weeks before the last frost for indoor growth. Small pots, bright indirect lighting, and a moist, permeable seed-starting mix, like a peat moss mix, are all necessary. then adhere to these guidelines:
Wet the seed starting mix before adding it to the pots. The tiny seeds should be lightly sprinkled and then gently pressed into the wet mixture. They need light to germinate, so don’t bury them. Put the pots in a location that gets plenty of bright, indirect light. Continually moisten the soil. Harden off your seedlings once there is no longer a risk of frost. Plant them in their permanent garden locations after that.
Common Problems With Creeping Speedwell
The plant known as creeping speedwell is very resilient and rarely causes issues. In actuality, overgrowth issues are more likely to present difficulties for the gardener. However, even very resilient plants occasionally run into issues. When the soil is either too wet or too dry, creeping speedwell plants experience the most problems, which show up as wilting, soggy, or yellowing foliage.
In hot climates where the soil dries out quickly, this is frequently observed. If so, try to place your creeping speedwell there where it will get afternoon shade. To make sure the plant gets enough water, increase the quantity and frequency of watering.
Soggy, Wilting, and Yellowing Foliage
This is a symptom of excessive moisture and may indicate root rot. If so, water less frequently and only when the top inch or so of the soil feels dry. Remove any suspect roots and foliage if root rot is suspected by digging up the plant. Before replanting, add some well-draining material to the soil, like sand or compost.