How To Grow Creeping Speedwell

A perennial with modest growth, Creeping Speedwell prefers moist soil, shade, adequate fertility, and short mowing heights. Available in many greenhouses, Creeping Speedwell is sold as an attractive ground cover.

Similar to ground ivy, Creeping Speedwell spreads by stolons and blooms in the spring with blue-violet flowers. The blossoms, which have four circular petals in pink, purple, or blue hues, are produced throughout the spring and summer. 

These plants proliferate swiftly, forming mats up to 30 inches across. Although good for covering wide areas, this spreading propensity can cause them to spread outside of their designated growing zones.

Because it is so well adapted to the majority of lawn management techniques, creeping speedwell can be challenging to control. Frequently, damp, shaded, nutrient-rich soils are ideal for creeping speedwell growth. Increasing sunlight and raising the mowing height will help to lessen the competitiveness of this troublesome perennial. 

But because the speedwell is so invasive, it is frequently essential to kill it with a herbicide. Once the infestation has been eliminated, good management techniques will work considerably better to stop further infestations.

Types Of Creeping Speedwell

In general, these are usually quite hardy plants. There are numerous Veronica species, but we’ll focus on a handful of the most well-known ones in this article.

Veronica Filiformis

A particular variety of creeping speedwell called Veronica filiformis prefers to grow in shade and damp, loamy soil. It is often sold as an attractive ground cover and has a low mowing height.

This type of creeping speedwell can grow out of the landscaping beds and spread by stolons like ground ivy. In the spring, Veronica filiformis blooms with blue-violet flowers. 

Veronica filiformis has very tiny, opposing, scallop-shaped leaves. The stems create a fibrous root system that roots at the nodes and spreads in patches as it grows quickly.

Veronica Repens

Speedwell variation Veronica Repens is particularly well-liked. Early summer and late spring is normally when it produces its little white flowers. This plant is ideal for planting in the spaces between paving stones when used as a ground cover over a sizable area. It may thrive in either direct sunlight or partial shade.

It is robust and adaptable by nature, and it can withstand light foot activity. You can divide the plant with ease by tearing it apart and planting new seeds. All types of soil with average moisture content are suitable for its growth.

It has white flowers and a deep green leafy canopy. It has a maximum height of 1 to 2 inches and it can spread up to 15 to 30 inches. This kind is among the most common if you’re seeking a grass alternative. It has some drought resistance, more so if there is mulch or compost at the base of the plants.

Veronica, ‘Tidal Pool’ Hybrid

The creeping speedwell known as Veronica Tidal Pool is a cross between Veronica Armena and Veronica Pectinata ‘Rosea’. This hybrid blend of creeping speedwells was developed in the Chicago Botanic Gardens and is dense with the capacity to spread quickly. Deep blue flowers are produced in late April to mid-May, together with vibrant green foliage that has a silvery tint.

It works as a beautiful ground cover that can withstand both cold and heat all year round. It does well under different humidity levels and can withstand drought. It can extend out to a maximum of 22′′ wide and is typically approximately 2′′ tall.

It is simple to grow new plants by splitting apart its clusters in the early spring or late fall. It will quickly develop a pleasing appearance and has a rapid rate of development.

How To Care For Creeping Speedwell

Creeping speedwell grows naturally on lawns, fields, and meadows and is relatively simple to maintain. It can withstand mowing and foot activity well and is fairly resilient. In actuality, mower-blown chopped bits readily take root and disseminate the plant further. These plants are wonderful additions to footpaths or rock gardens.

If the soil is kept excessively damp, they are subject to root rot and other fungal issues. Be aware that the dense mats the plants have produced may include parasites and fleas. They are also deer and rabbit resistant.

Light

It is possible to cultivate creeping speedwell in both full sun and shade. However, when growing in warm climates, the full sun may be too harsh for creeping speedwell. Full shadow plants frequently do not blossom well. Planting creeping speedwell in a partially shaded area is perfect for growth and bloom, especially in the afternoon.

Soil

Hardy creeping speedwell is a common sight in fields, meadows, and lawns. It can tolerate some clay but favors loamy, sandy, draining, and moist soil. Although they can thrive in slightly acidic and slightly alkaline soils, these plants thrive in soil that has a pH level that is neutral.

Water

Creeping speedwell is regarded as drought-tolerant once it has been established. Only water these plants after the top inch or two of the soil starts to dry out to prevent issues with damp soil. It is preferable to water speedwells more frequently while they are young and newly planted until they get established. To maintain the health of established plants, 1 inch of water each week is sufficient.

Temperature And Humidity

As long as it is planted in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 9, this groundcover plant can withstand a wide range of temperatures and humidity levels. The plant will remain evergreen in warm areas, but not in regions where greater seasonal temperature variations are anticipated.

Fertilizer

Since creeping speedwell requires little water and can even grow in unfavorable soil, frequent fertilizer is not required. However, if you want to make sure the plant gets the nutrients it needs, incorporate compost or a well-balanced fertilizer into the soil in the early spring.

Pruning 

Although it may be desirable, pruning is not required to prevent the plant from spreading. To achieve this, simply clip the plant with garden snips. A lawnmower is the greatest tool for efficiently completing the task of cutting down huge sections of creeping speedwell that are utilized as ground cover. However, it is recommended to use a collection bag when mowing these plants if you don’t want the trimmed parts to take root.

Especially for plants cultivated in regions with cold winters, stop pruning in the late summer. The plants can then produce enough mature leaves to provide protection during the winter. Late-season pruning will result in new growth that is too delicate to withstand the winter.

Propagating Creeping Speedwell

Creeping speedwell spreads well, which makes it simple to grow additional plants. Division, cutting, or layering can be used to accomplish this.

For plants whose cores start to look sparse or scraggly, division is a fantastic alternative. You will need a hand shovel, snips, gardening gloves, and a garden shovel to divide the plant. then adhere to these guidelines:

  • Use a garden shovel to carefully dig around the plant in the early spring to dislodge the roots. Continue doing this up until the plant can be lifted out of the ground by its root system.
  • Remove the plant from the ground slowly.
  • Divide the plant into whichever many portions you desire using the shovels and snips. Just make sure that the roots and leaves in each portion are strong. Throw away any empty spaces.
  • Place each section where you want it to be.

You’ll need a tiny pot, wet, well-drained soil, and a sharp pair of snips to propagate by taking some cuttings. Then simply follow these steps:

  • Cut a stem below a leaf node using the snips. Trim a piece of about 6 inches in length.
  • Leaves on the lower half of the cutting should be removed.
  • Bury the cut end in a damp patch of ground. As this is where roots will form, be sure that multiple nodes are buried.
  • Keep the ground wet but not drenched. Till roots form, place the cuttings in bright, indirect light.
  • By gently tugging on the cutting, you can check for roots. If there is opposition, roots have developed. When that occurs, harden the cutting-off and relocate it to its final destination.

You will again need a hand shovel, a set of snips, and a pair of gardening gloves for the layering process. Once equipped with the necessary items, follow these steps:

  • Locate a node on the stem where you want to spread the plant.
  • Place the node underground. A few weeks should pass before roots emerge.
  • By gently tugging on the concealed node, you can check for roots. Resistance indicates the formation of roots. You can either leave the node in place at this stage or cut the stem that connects it to the rest of the plant, dig out the new root system, and plant it where you like.

How To Grow Creeping Speedwell From Seed

Creeping speedwell can be developed from seeds that are sown both indoors and outdoors. Eight to ten weeks prior to the last frost, sow the seeds for indoor development. A wet, well-draining seed starting mix, like a peat moss combination, and bright, indirect illumination are also required. Then follow these directions:

  • The seed starting mix should be moistened before being added to the pots.
  • The small seeds should be lightly sprinkled and then gently pressed into the wet mixture. Because they require light to germinate, you don’t need to bury them.
  • Put the pots in a location with strong, indirect light.
  • Continually moisten the soil.
  • Harden off your seedlings as soon as the risk of frost has passed. After that, plant them in their dedicated garden locations.

Follow these guidelines if you wish to start seeds outside:

  • Clear the area of weeds and work in organic material, such as compost, once the threat of frost has passed. Given that the seeds are tiny and susceptible to wind-blown movement, it is better to pick a location that is wind-sheltered.
  • Spread the seeds thinly across the ground and lightly tap them into the soil to help them take root. Because they require light to germinate, don’t bury them.
  • As the seeds grow and sprout, keep the soil moist. Reduce watering gradually after the plants are larger and more established.

Potting And Repotting Creeping Speedwell

Growing creeping speedwell in a container is a simple approach to keep it under control. Make sure the container you choose has openings for free-flowing drainage because damp soil might lead to fungus issues. You will eventually need to divide the plant or put the creeping speedwell in a larger pot because it will eventually spread out and fill the pot.

When this happens, the pot should then be turned on its side and tapped on all sides to release the roots. When it is feasible, slide the plant out and either divide it with a shovel or a pair of snips or put it in a larger pot with loamy, well-draining soil.

Overwintering

Creeping speedwell does not need additional care to survive the winter when it is planted in the proper growing zones. Just watch out for too much moisture in the soil, as this might cause issues that could ultimately result in the plant dying. You might wish to cover the plant with plastic to keep some of the water out if the winter is particularly wet.

How To Get Creeping Speedwell To Bloom

Creeping speedwells are hardy plants that require little assistance to blossom. Pollinators like bees and butterflies are drawn to its small blossoms.

Just make sure to find a planting location that receives a few hours of sunlight each day to promote blooming. The ideal location would have morning sun and afternoon shade. 

Pests

This perennial hasn’t been associated with any pest issues, but some insect species, including ticks and fleas, may find it to be a sanctuary. The eggs and larvae of fleas and ticks that might be hidden among your plants can be eliminated by adding beneficial nematodes to your soil.

Larger animals also typically avoid plants of the Veronica species. This makes it the perfect choice for you to use as ground cover if you’re in a sparsely wooded area with some shade and wild animals.

Common Problems

When the soil is either too wet or too dry, is when creeping speedwell plants experience the most problems, which show up as withering, soggy, or yellowing foliage.

This is frequently observed in warmer climates where the soil dries out quickly. If so, attempt to place your crawling speedwell where it will get afternoon shade. To ensure the plant gets enough water, increase the quantity and frequency of watering.

On the other hand, if you notice yellowing, wilting, and soggy foliage, this is a sign of root rot and is an indication of overwatering. If so, water less frequently and only when the top inch or two of the soil feels dry. Dig up the plant and remove any affected roots and foliage if root rot is suspected. Before replanting, amend the soil with a material that drains well, like sand or compost.

Final Thoughts

Due to creeping speedwell’s invasion of their yard, some people in some locations dislike the plant. But why resist it? This lovely ground cover can completely take the place of your grass, providing an attractive and low-maintenance option. With the advice we’ve given above, this plant might become a beloved element of your landscaping if you allow it to grow.