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Royal Candles Speedwell
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Regal splendor! Royal Candles Speedwell will grace your garden with scores of stately spikes in the most exquisite hue—a deep, rich, mesmerizing purple with a hint of blue. The blossoms keep coming for weeks; if you snip out the spent bloom stalks, you may enjoy flowers all summer and well into fall. Although Royal Candles is a smaller version of the popular Spike Speedwell, it lends a strong vertical element to the border with its fiercely upright flower clusters. Place it at the front of your beds to provide a welcome contrast to low, spreading groundcovers. Choice.
There are hundreds of species of Speedwells around the world. To botanists, these plants are known as Veronicas. That name goes back to Saint Veronica, who is said to have watched Jesus trudge towards the Cavalry. In sympathy, she gave him her veil so that he might wipe his brow. When he returned it, his image was miraculously imprinted upon it. Royal Candles is a selection of Spike Speedwell. An English plantswoman named Heather Philpott discovered it in 1987. She noticed it was more compact than other Spike Speedwells she grew and the flowers were more purple than blue.
Most Spike Speedwells have a habit of losing their lower leaves as the summer goes on, eventually getting “bare ankles.” Royal Candles Speedwell was a breakthrough, because it didn’t succumb to this fault. It retains its smooth, green leaves all season and looks sharp from head to toe!
How to Grow
For maximum flower production, give Royal Candles Speedwell a spot where it will enjoy direct sun all day. The soil should be relatively rich, organic, moist, and well drained. Water regularly (once a week if no rain falls), and mulch annually with shredded bark, pine straw, or compost to help hold in moisture and moderate temperatures in the root zone. To keep the plant blooming all season, prune out spent flower spikes promptly. New buds will follow. At the end of the season or any time before new growth resumes in spring, cut old stems and leaves down to the ground.
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