Caring For Speedwell Plants: What You Need To Know

  • By: Succulents Plants
  • Date: December 27, 2022
  • Time to read: 7 min.
Speedwell Plants
Photo by courtesy of Ben185

Are you looking for a beautiful, easy-care plant to add color to your garden? Speedwell plant is a graceful and colorful flower perfect for all gardening levels. Not only is it stunning, but it’s also relatively low maintenance. In this article, we’ll be exploring the basics of growing and caring for speedwell plants. We’ll discuss what a speedwell plant is, when and where to plant them, how to care for them, and more. Let’s get started!

What Is a Speedwell Plant?

Speedwell (Veronica spicata) is a family of flowering plants native to Europe and parts of the United States. The most common type, the common speedwell, has deep blue flowers and reaches up to 20 inches in height, with flat, round-toothed leaves and a creeping stem. Speedwells are annual plants that bloom from spring to fall and rely on regular watering, fertilizing, and weeding for optimal growth.

Speedwells come in various colors, including white, pink, and purple, and are a popular choice for rock gardens, borders, and edging. They are also known for their medicinal properties and have been used to treat a range of ailments, such as colds and coughs. Speedwells can be grown in pots or in the ground, and they prefer well-drained, moist soil.

When to Plant Speedwell

The best time to plant is in early spring or late autumn for that growing speedwell from seed. Plant the seeds directly in the soil and ensure they get plenty of sunlight and water. Once the seedlings have sprouted, they should be thinned out to give the developing plants more space to grow.

The best time to do so for those planting speedwell by cuttings is in the summer. Cuttings should be taken from healthy, mature plants and planted in moist, well-drained soil. Use a sharp knife or scissors to snip off a section of the parent plant and then carefully place it in the soil. This method is beneficial for propagating varieties of speedwell that don’t produce viable seeds.

If you’re starting with established plants from a nursery, keep them properly watered until they can take root in the soil. Planting in either the spring or fall is best for established plants, particularly when it comes to hardy varieties that can handle cooler temperatures. Planting in the summer can sometimes shock the plants and cause them to die.

Above all, make sure you’re planting speedwell in a sunny and well-drained spot. Speedwell prefers full sun but can also tolerate partial shade, especially in hot climates. In general, it’s best to plant speedwell in larger patches, making it easier to maintain and control its spread.

Where to Plant Speedwell

First, it’s important to note that all speedwell varieties require some sunlight to thrive. Although they’ll grow in partial shade, they need five to six hours of direct sunlight per day to flourish. This makes them the perfect addition to gardens and flower beds that receive plenty of sunlight (particularly in the mornings or evenings).

Speedwells also make excellent container plants for decks and patios. They’re a low-maintenance option for these spaces since they require minimal watering and occasional deadheading for maintenance.

While speedwells are a great option for gardens and containers, they’re also excellent for rockeries and hanging baskets. They’re a relatively low-maintenance plant, so they tend to thrive in these spaces, needing minimal deadheading and occasional watering. Speedwells can also add beautiful texture and color to rockeries and hanging baskets, making them an excellent option.

Finally, speedwells can also be planted on lawns. They tend to spread quite vigorously, making them an excellent choice for filling lawn spaces. Although they won’t need much maintenance, they may require occasional cutting back to ensure they don’t take over an entire lawn.

Watering Speedwell

When you water your speedwell plants, aim for slow and deep watering. This gives the plant’s roots time to absorb the water and gives them more of their needs. Water your plants in the morning, so they have plenty of time to absorb the moisture before the sun comes out and dries the soil.

If you’re unsure if your speedwell plants need water, stick your finger in the soil and see how it feels. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water. If the soil is damp, wait a few days before you water again.

If you’re growing your speed well in containers, water your plants more often, as the soil dries out faster than soil in the ground. You may also want to add a layer of mulch to the top of your container to help the soil retain moisture.

Finally, pay attention to the weather. If you’re having an especially hot or dry season, you may need to water your speedwell plants more often than usual. Monitor the soil carefully and adjust your watering schedule accordingly.

Fertilizing Speedwell

Speedwell plants are notoriously hungry and require regular fertilizing every 6-8 weeks with a general-purpose fertilizer to thrive. It’s important to note that you should use a low-nitrogen fertilizer with speedwell plants. This is because fertilizers with high nitrogen levels can lead to leaf burn, so go with a fertilizer that has a balanced and more equal ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, such as a 10-10-10 or 12-12-12 fertilizer.

When ready to fertilize, add about ½-3/4 cup of fertilizer for every 25 square feet of soil around the plant. To apply the fertilizer, lightly sprinkle it around the base of the plant and gently work it into the soil. Be sure to keep the fertilizer away from the stems and foliage of the plant, as applying it directly to the leaves can cause damage.

When fertilizing speedwell plants, it’s best to do so in the early morning or the evening. Also, water your speedwell plants after fertilizing to ensure that the soil absorbs the fertilizer. To keep your speedwell plants at the peak of health, feed them with a general-purpose fertilizer every 6-8 weeks during the growing season.

Deadheading and Pruning Speedwell

Deadheading is the process of removing spent or wilted flowers from the plant. This helps prevent the plant from expending energy on seeding, allowing it to focus on growing and producing new blooms. You can deadhead by simply pinching off the bloom just below the flower head.

Pruning is also vital for speedwell plants. Not only does it help keep the plant looking neat and attractive all season, but it can also help control the size and shape of the plant. Pruning should be done in late autumn after the flowering season has ended. Start by removing any dead, broken, or diseased stems. Next, look for stems growing too close together or crowding out other parts of the plant. Finally, cut back all stems to the desired size and shape, carefully avoiding cutting them into healthy branches.

Pest and Disease Control for Speedwell

Speedwell plants are particularly susceptible to aphids, tiny insects that feed on the sap of the plant and can cause significant damage to the foliage. The best way to control aphids is to spray the plant with insecticidal soap, which will kill them and keep them from coming back. If the infestation is severe, you may need to use a chemical insecticide.

Fungal diseases can also be a problem for speedwells. Fungal diseases are caused by fungi that infect the plant, leading to stunted growth, yellowing of the leaves, and wilting. The best way to prevent fungal diseases is to ensure the plant is in an area with good air circulation and to avoid over-watering the plant. If the fungus is severe, you may need to use a fungicide.

Spider mites can also be a problem for speedwells. These tiny mites feed on the plant’s sap, causing yellow spots and webbing on the foliage. The best way to control them is to spray the plant with insecticidal soap or an insecticide.

Slugs and snails can be a problem for speedwells. These pests feed on the plant’s leaves, leaving large, ragged holes. The best way to control them is to scatter slug and snail bait around the base of the plant.


Speedwell plants are a fantastic type of low-maintenance, flowering marvel. They have been used for decades as groundcover and can even be used to create a carpet effect in your garden. They are low maintenance, beautiful, and easy to care for. Just remember that when planting, be sure to give them enough space and make sure they get adequate sunlight. Additionally, water is regularly and occasionally fertilized— deadhead and prune when needed. Finally, keep looking for pests and diseases and treat them accordingly. With the proper care and attention, your speedwell plants will be a beautiful and vibrant addition to your garden.


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