© RHS / Graham Titchmarsh


Perennial Veronica

Common name: Gentian speedwell, prostrate speedwell, speedwell

These undemanding perennials provide slender vertical accents in the late summer border. The colourful flowers contrast well with many other summer-flowering plants. Shorter growing forms are excellent for border edging and ground cover. The flowers are good as a cut flower and very attractive to bees and butterflies. 


They flower over a long period in summer and sometimes into early autumn. The blooms are slender, upright stems, ending in tapering spires of small but usually densely packed blue, lilac, purple, rose, pink or white flowers. The leaves are usually bright green or greyish, pointed or rounded in shape.


Perennial veronicas grow best in soils that don't dry out in summer (so you might need to water) and are not waterlogged in winter. They are happy in full sun or light shade.


They do not do well in very dry or permanently wet soil, and will not flower in deep shade.

Did you know?

Hebes are still sometimes known by the common name 'shrubby veronicas'. Veronica and the evergreen New Zealand shrub Hebe are in the same family and have similar flowers so were once grouped together under the genus Veronica - a name that's stuck, even though we now know they are different.

Growing guide

Browse veronicas

Choosing veronicas by height for garden borders

Perennial veronica we recommend

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