If you are looking for an easy perennial that grows low to the soil, is deer resistant, and attracts butterflies, then Veronica repens is a winner. Veronica repens, also known as creeping speedwell, is an alpine plant that forms a dense green mat to cover the ground. The dark green leaves almost disappear when white or blue flowers appear in the spring and early summer. The flowers last a long time.
Veronica repens spreads out and covers the ground. You can plant them in flowerbeds, under azaleas or ferns, between stepping stones, or in a rock garden. Veronica repens grows in almost any type of well-draining soil and can tolerate some foot traffic. They hug the ground, growing to a height of 1 inch to 2 inches with a spread of 6 to 12 inches. If you are considering this plant in your landscape, plant the seeds after all danger of frost is past. The night temperatures should not fall below 40° Fahrenheit for successful germination.
Find a location that receives the morning sun and afternoon shade. Pull the weeds and grass growing in the area where you want to plant your Veronica repens seeds. Prepare the garden soil by placing 2 to 4 inches of organic compost over the top. If your soil is not well draining, include some sand over the top. Til or dig this into the soil.
Take your rake, pulling the tines through the soil until the ground is fine Toss out rocks, sticks, hard dirt clods or other debris that you find. Turn the rake over to level the garden soil. Allow the ground to settle for 3 to 7 days before planting your seeds.
Planting the Seeds
Combine the package of Veronica repens seeds with fine-grained sand. Use two or three times the amount of sand to the packet of seeds. Sprinkle the seed and sand mix thinly over the prepared bed. Because the seeds are so small, the sand helps you to see the areas you covered.
If you do not use the sand, or seed starting matrix, you will need to cover the seed with fine, sifted potting soil. Only use enough to cover the seed lightly. The seeds need light to germinate, but if planted too deep, they will not grow. Press the soil gently with your hands so the seed coat is in contact with the soil.
Water the seeded area using a fine mist spray or water weeping hose. If you use too hard a spray, the seeds will wash too deep into the ground. Keep the soil moist until the seeds germinate. When the temperatures are hot, the soil dries out fast and you may need to mist the soil 4 or 5 times a day. It is important that the seeds do not dry out until they germinate. It takes 15 to 30 days for the seeds to germinate. When the Veronica repens have their second set of leaves,it is time to thin them down to one plant every 8 to 10 inches. If you carefully dig out the small seedlings, you can transplant them into another prepared area.