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Georgia Blue Speedwell

01/01/0001 - 01/01/0001


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Article and photos submitted by:  Sherri McCalla, Horticulture Assistant, Memphis Botanic Garden    

Georgia Blue Speedwell

Botanical Name: Veronica umbrosa (ver-ON-ih-kah um-BRO-sah) ‘Georgia Blue.’  

This was previously misnamed Veronica peduncularis.  

Attributes: Georgia Blue Veronica, discovered in 1979, is named for its country of origin: the Republic of Georgia.  This groundcover grows 4-6 inches tall and 2 feet wide.  It has 1 inch long elliptical shaped, finely toothed evergreen leaves and spring-blooming tiny blue flowers with white centers.  

 Growing Tips:  Georgia Blue is hardy in zones 5-8 (Memphis is zone 7).  This herbaceous perennial prefers full sun to partial shade and has average water requirements.  Amend the planting site well: this veronica requires good drainage to thrive and spread.  Growth may be encouraged the first year by applying a fertilizer such as Espoma brand Flower-tone - or any fertilizer promoted for the use of flowering perennials - every two months during the growing season.  Water regularly until the new plant is established.  Once it has finished blooming for the season, cut it back by half – this will encourage more blooms the following year.  After the first year, fertilize once in early spring and again in late summer.

  Landscape value:  Georgia Blue Speedwell can be used as an extraordinary statement in the garden.  Interplant this blue carpet like mass with spring blooming bulbs such as daffodils.  Imagine something in your garden that appears to be a true blue carpet interspersed with yellow, white, and cream-colored flowers - what a dramatic contrast!  The foliage is a dark green with bronze tips during the warmer portions of the year.  It is normal for GB to have so many flowers blooming at one time that it may seem to be a solid sea of blue.  The flowers bloom from February to May and may rebloom sporadically throughout summer.  GB’s semiprostrate form makes it a great plant to use in the garden wherever you need a spiller – flowing over edges of walls, rocks, and pathways like an herbaceous waterfall.  Plant this Veronica and watch the bees and butterflies descend.  The visual interest continues into fall and winter with the evergreen foliage turning a decided bronze color.  Propagate by division in spring or fall.  

 Location:  This plant may be viewed at the Memphis Botanic Garden in the following locations:  the eastern most bed in front of the Horticulture Building, the western wall inside the Sensory Garden, and the north bed in its most southwestern corner in the Butterfly Garden.  


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