Veronica spicata is a species of the genus Veronica
Veronicas spicata has a sterling reputation of being the best of the rest. The true blue blooms of Veronica are eye-catching for their blue colors are like a pair of blue jeans that goes with every other color, but mainly it’s their tall spikes that act as excitement-exclamation points in the garden.
Veronica varieties like the early-blooming, ground-hugging, repens add the much needed blue to spring gardens. Medium-sized Veronicas like ‘Crater Lake Blue’ are famous for their zone-one hardiness and bloom in late-spring. But the star performers are the spike Veronicas or Veronica spicata.
Veronica spicata blooms later in the season. In the high mountain valleys they bloom mid-summer into fall but this bloom time varies in other climate areas and with new Veronica cultivars. This perennial is very well behaved not requiring deadheading and they rarely drop seeds. It requires little effort, grows well in the alkaline soils and intense sunshine of the west and is both drought-tolerant and deer-resistant. The foliage is lush, healthy and never needs staking. Removal of the center spike as it finishes blooming will force outer spikes to develop giving a thicker plant. This plant is more dynamic in gardens when grown in clumps of three or more but occasionally when crowded or allowed to dry out, their bottom leaves turn brown. Simply cut the plant to the ground and it will return, fuller and thicker than before. If your plants outgrow their space, divide them in spring. Dig the entire plant and slice the crowns into smaller sections containing a sturdy crown. Replant these starts, knowing the success rate will be near 100%.
Other colors of new Veronica are being offered for sale in nurseries and garden centers. A short pink variety like ‘Red Fox’ is lovely and so is the white ‘Icicle’ but they are not as hardy usually listed as zone-five plants and have shorter lives. ‘Sunny Border Blue’ is a top-notch variety of the blue spiked perennials and even won the coveted Perennial Plant of the Year Award.