Veronica ‘Sunny Border Blue’
1993 PPA Perennial Plant of the Year
Veronica ‘Sunny Border Blue’ was discovered by Robert Bennerup, owner of Sunny Border Nursery in Connecticut, in 1946 in a group of Veronica subsessilis. It was popular in the 1950’s but faded from popularity. Mr. Bennerup’s son, Pierre, reintroduced ’Sunny Border Blue’ in the 1970’s or 1980’s. Pierre and three other perennial plant growers founded the Perennial Plant Association and Veronica ’Sunny Border Blue’ was selected as Perennial Plant of the Year in 1993.
The genus, Veronica L., was described as such by Carl von Linnaeus in the first volume of the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753. Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 459 species in the Veronica genus (as of 2-28-21 when I last updated this page). It is a member of the plant family Plantaginaceae with 106 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made.
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I brought this Veronica ‘Sunny Border Blue’ home from Lowe’s in Greenville, Mississippi in 2009 while living at the mansion in Leland. I think it was my first Veronica…
I planted it in the ground in the backyard where continued to do OK. I liked its upright growth habit, dark green leaves, and especially its amazing blue flowers.
I transferred it to pot in the spring of 2011 and it seemed to do better. I found out it would grow from cuttings so I took a few to see what would happen.
The cuttings did well and flowered as you can see in the above photo taken on 8-3-11.
I really liked the Veronica ‘Sunny Border Blue’ with its long vivid blue flower spikes and dark green leaves.
Origin: Nursery selection.
Zones: USDA Zones 4b-9a (-30 to 25° F/-34.4 to -7.2° C).*
Size: 1 1/2 to 2’ tall x 1 to 1 1/2’ wide.
Light: Full sun tonight shade is best.
Soil: Average well-draining amended with compost as necessary.
Water: Average. Prefers soil with consistent moisture.
Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds and is deer resistant.
Great for borders, containers, cut flowers, and foliage.
Veronica seems to be easy to grow in average, well-draining soil. They appreciate regular watering but they don’t like soil that stays too wet. That is why I started growing them in pots since the backyard at the mansion was flat and didn’t drain well. If your soil has a lot of clay, you should dig the hole bigger and add compost.
I sold the mansion in 2013 and moved back to the family farm in west-central Missouri in February 2013. I brought a lot of plants with me but gave away around 200 pots. I forgot to bring the Veronica ‘Sunny Border Blue’ but I have tried a few other cultivars since I have been here.
Veronica are great plants for beds or containers, especially in mass plantings. They look great with other plants with gold, yellow, or white flowers.
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