Gentian Speedwell Veronica gentianoides 'Variegata' (v)
Veronica gentianoides 'Variegata', commonly known as variegated gentian speedwell, is a visually striking plant with distinctive foliage and modest flowers that contribute to its ornamental appeal. The leaves are elongated, lance-shaped, and feature a creamy-white variegation along their edges, giving a contrasting edge to the otherwise deep green color. This variegation can vary in width but consistently creates a pattern that is quite eye-catching across the foliage. The delicate flowers of variegated gentian speedwell are pale blue to violet in color, forming small, tubular shapes that are arrayed on slender, upright stems. These blooms can lend a soft, pastel touch to the overall appearance of the plant. The flowering stems rise above the foliage, creating a layered look as they seemingly float above the variegated leaves. While it blooms, the blossoms can add a gentle splash of color, making this plant a pleasing choice for gardeners seeking visual texture and contrast without overwhelming height.
About this plant
Gentian Speedwell, Variegated Gentian Speedwell.
Veronica gentianoides 'Variegata'.
Speedwell is generally not considered toxic to humans. There are no well-documented symptoms of poisoning from ingesting Speedwell, as it is typically not harmful. However, as with any plant, individual allergies or sensitivities could potentially cause mild stomach upset if ingested in large quantities.
Speedwell is not known to be toxic to pets. There should be no symptoms of poisoning to be concerned about if a pet ingests parts of the Speedwell plant. It is generally considered safe for animals, but keeping an eye on your pet for any signs of unusual behavior or digestive upset is always a good precaution.
Color of leaves
1 foot 2 inches (35 cm)
1 foot (30 cm)
- General Benefits
- Attractive Foliage: The variegated leaves of Veronica gentianoides add visual interest and brighten up garden spaces.
- Drought Tolerance: Once established, this plant has low water requirements, making it suitable for dry or xeric gardens.
- Easy to Grow: It's a hardy plant that can thrive in a range of soil types and doesn't necessitate extensive care.
- Long Blooming Period: Offers an extended display of flowers, usually from late spring to early summer.
- Pollinator Friendly: The flowers attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects to the garden.
- Ground Cover: Its mat-forming habit makes it useful for covering bare spots and suppressing weeds.
- Cold Hardy: Can survive in colder climates, making it suitable for gardens in many regions.
- Ornamental Flowers: Produces striking blue flower spikes which can be used as cut flowers in floral arrangements.
- Versatility in Landscaping: Suitable for borders, rock gardens, and containers, adding flexibility to garden design.
- Medical Properties
- This plant is not used for medical purposes.
- Air-purifying Qualities
This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.
- Other Uses
- Watercolor Dye: The petals of Speedwell can be used to create a delicate, natural watercolor dye for artistic purposes.
- Photographic Subject: Speedwell's intricate variegated leaves and striking blue flowers make it a popular choice for photographers specializing in plant and garden photography.
- Fairy Gardens: Due to its diminutive size and enchanting flowers, Speedwell is a whimsical addition to fairy gardens.
- Potpourri Ingredient: The dried flowers and leaves of Speedwell can add a subtle fragrance and beautiful color to homemade potpourri mixes.
- Floral Arrangements: Fresh Speedwell flowers can be used in small-scale floral arrangements or as fillers in bouquets.
- Edging Plants: Speedwell can be used as an attractive edging plant in garden paths or flower beds to create defined borders.
- Garden Contrast: Planted among dark-foliaged plants, the variegated leaves of Speedwell provide a striking contrast.
- Culinary Garnish: The flowers can be used as an edible garnish on cakes and pastries (provided they haven't been treated with pesticides).
- Textile Printing: The leaves and flowers can be used in textile printing to create botanical patterns on fabrics.
- Literary Inspiration: The unique appearance of Speedwell may inspire writers and poets seeking botanical imagery for their work.
- Feng Shui
The Speedwell is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
The Speedwell is not used in astrology practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Fidelity: The plant's common name Veronica is associated with Saint Veronica, who is a symbol of loyalty and faithfulness. Hence, Veronica gentianoides 'Variegata' may symbolize fidelity and steadfastness in relationships.
- Healing: Historically, plants in the genus Veronica have been used in herbal medicine. This association lends the symbolism of healing and soothing properties to Veronica gentianoides 'Variegata'.
- Clarity: Its clear, bright blue flowers can represent clarity and the clear vision that is often symbolized by the color blue, as well as the clear-eyed beauty that it brings to a garden space.
The Variegated Gentian Speedwell prefers evenly moist soil, meaning watering should be done when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch. Generally, this results in watering approximately once a week, but this may vary depending on the local climate and the plant's environment. Providing about one gallon of water per square foot every week should be adequate, with adjustments made during hotter, drier periods or if the plant is in a particularly windy area. Overwatering can be detrimental, so ensure good drainage to prevent water from accumulating around the roots.
The Variegated Gentian Speedwell thrives best in full to partial sun conditions. To achieve ideal growth and flowering, plant it in an area where it will receive at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day. While it can tolerate some light shade, too little light can lead to leggy growth and fewer blooms. Avoid placing it in spots that are in deep shade or that receive intense, scorching afternoon sun which might stress the plant.
Variegated Gentian Speedwell is hardy and can tolerate a broad range of temperatures, but it performs best when the temperature is between 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It can withstand minimum temperatures down to about -30 degrees Fahrenheit, making it suitable for many temperate regions. Ensuring that the plant is not exposed to prolonged temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit will help to prevent heat stress.
Prune Variegated Gentian Speedwell to maintain its shape, remove any dead or damaged stems, and encourage thicker growth. Pruning should be done in early spring or after the plant has finished flowering to stimulate new growth and additional blooms. Cutting back the spent flower stems can also help to prevent self-seeding if that is a concern.
Veronica gentianoides 'Variegata', commonly known as Variegated Gentian Speedwell, thrives in a well-draining soil mix rich in organic matter. The best soil pH for Variegated Gentian Speedwell is slightly acidic to neutral, ranging from 5.5 to 7.0. A mixture containing garden soil, compost, and perlite would make a suitable combination for supporting its growth while ensuring proper drainage.
Variegated Gentian Speedwell does not need frequent repotting and can be repotted every 2-3 years or when it outgrows its pot. It's best to repot in spring before new growth starts.
- Humidity & Misting
Variegated Gentian Speedwell prefers moderate humidity levels. It can tolerate average indoor humidity but benefits from a slight increase, especially during drier winter months.
- Suitable locations
Plant in well-draining soil, provide bright light, and water moderately.
Place in full sun to partial shade and well-draining soil.
- Life cycle
Veronica gentianoides 'Variegata', commonly known as Variegated Gentian Speedwell, starts life as a seed that germinates typically in spring under favorable conditions of moist soil and partial shade. The seedling develops a root system and foliage in the form of variegated leaves with characteristic white edges. It enters a vegetative stage where it grows and spreads, forming a low mound of foliage and sending up flower stalks that bloom with pale blue to lilac flowers mainly in late spring to early summer. After pollination, usually by insects, the plant sets seed in small capsules, completing its reproductive cycle. As a perennial, after flowering, it will go dormant in the winter, retreating to the root system before re-emerging the following spring. Over several seasons, the plant may spread through clumping and can also be propagated by division.
Propogation: Veronica gentianoides 'Variegata', commonly known as Variegated Gentian Speedwell, is typically propagated through division. The best time to do this is in the spring or early fall when the plant is not actively blooming. To propagate by division, carefully lift the plant from the soil, ensuring that you preserve as much root as possible. Gently tease the plant apart into smaller sections, each with a healthy section of roots attached. Replant these divisions at the same depth they were originally growing, spacing them about 9 inches (approximately 23 centimeters) apart to allow enough room for growth. Water the new divisions thoroughly to help establish them, making sure the soil remains moist but not waterlogged in the following weeks. This method of propagation allows gardeners to quickly and effectively increase their stock of Variegated Gentian Speedwell while maintaining the variegation and vigor of the parent plant.