Step-by-Step Guide to Growing Creeping Speedwell

The creeping speedwell is an attractive perennial ground cover with small flowers. Veronica filiformis, a trailing perennial with only a 5 inch height, produces tiny flowers. The flowers are made up of four petals that have rounded edges and come in pink, purple and blue shades. They appear in spring and summer. The scalloped leaves are evergreen and can be found in warm climates.

The mats they create can be up to 30 inches in width. Although this spreading ability is good for covering large spaces, it can also spread outside their intended growing area. In some places, the species is regarded as an invasive weed.

Common NameCreeping Speedwell, Slender Speedwell
Botanical NameVeronica filiformis
FamilyPlantaginaceae
Plant TypePerennial, groundcover
Mature Size: 2-5 in. tall, 20-30 in. Wide: 20-30 in.
Sun ExposureFull, partial
Soil type Loamy or sandy soil, clayey soil, well-drained but moist
Soil pHNeutral
Bloom Time Spring and summer
Flower Color Pink, Blue, Purple
Hardiness Zones 3-9 in the USA
Native Area Europe and Asia
Creeping Speedwell Care
It is easy to maintain and can be found growing in fields, lawns or meadows. It is a hardy plant that can handle mowing, foot traffic and other stresses. Cut pieces that are blown around by a lawnmower easily take root and spread the plant. These plants are great for rock gardens and pathways.

They are resistant to deer and rabbits. If the soil is too wet, they are susceptible to fungal diseases or root rot.
WARNING
Some areas consider creeping speedwell invasive because of its rapid spread and hardy nature. According to the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health in West Virginia, Veronica filiformis, for example, is considered invasive.

The scalloped leaves of the creeping speedwell plant are clustered together with tiny blue flowers.

Closeup of a creeping speedwell with blue-striped flowers and leaves
Closeup of a creeping speedwell with scalloped leaves and small blue flowers
Light
Both full sun and shade can be used to grow creeping speedwell. In warm climates, however, full sun may be too intense. Full shade plants often don’t flower very well. Planting creeping speedwells in partial shade is best for growth and bloom.
Soil
It is common to find this hardy plant in fields, lawns and meadows. It likes moist, loamy soil that drains well. However, it can tolerate clay. They grow best with neutral pH soils, but can tolerate slightly acidic or slightly alkaline soils.

Water
Once established, the creeping speedwell can tolerate drought. Water these plants only when the top inch of soil starts to dry. It is better to water speedwells more frequently until they become established. Established plants can be kept healthy with an inch of water every week.
Temperature and Humidity
The groundcover is tolerant of a wide range in temperature and humidity, provided it’s grown within USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 9. Remember that this plant will stay evergreen in climates with warm temperatures, but it won’t in areas where temperature changes are more frequent.
Fertilizer
It is possible to grow creeping speedwell in soils with poor fertility, and it can be grown even under these conditions. Regular fertilization is therefore not required. If you want to make sure the plant gets the nutrients it needs, you can add compost or a balanced fertilizer in the early spring.
Pruning
It is not necessary to prune the plant, but it can be done if you want to prevent it from spreading. To do this, simply trim the plant using garden snips. A lawnmower can be used to quickly cover large areas with creeping speedwell. If you don’t want the pieces of these plants to grow, use a collection bin when mowing them.

Avoid pruning plants in the late summer, particularly if they are grown in an area with a cold winter. The plants will be able to produce enough mature foliage for protection through the winter. If you prune too late in the season, the new growth will be too fragile to survive winter.

Propagating Creeping Speedwell
These plants are easy to propagate due to their spreading nature. You can propagate the plant by division, cuttings or layering.

Plants whose center begins to look scraggly or bare are a good candidate for division. You will need a gardening shovel, hand shovel and pair of scissors to divide the plant. Follow these instructions.

Use the garden shovel in early spring to loosen the roots. This should be done until you can lift the entire plant, including its roots.
Lift the plant gently out of the soil.
Divide the plant as many times as you like using the shovels or the scissors. Make sure that each section contains healthy roots and foliage. Remove any bare spots.
Plant each section at the desired location.
You will need a pair of sharp snips and a pot with moist, well drained soil to take cuttings. Follow these instructions to get started:

Cut a stem using the snips below a node of a leaf. Trim a 6 inch section.
Remove the lower leaves of the cutting.
Bury the stripped-off end in moist soil. Bury several nodes, because this is where the roots will grow.
Keep the soil moist but not wet. Keep the cuttings in indirect, bright light until they form roots.
Gently tug on the cut to check for roots. If you feel resistance, it means that roots have developed. If this occurs, you can harden and move the cutting to its permanent position.
You will need garden gloves, hand shovels, and snips to layer. Follow these instructions.

Find the node on the stem that you want to propagate your plant.
Bury the node. Wait for a few weeks to see roots form.
Gently tug on the node buried to check for roots. If you feel resistance, roots are forming. You can either leave the node or cut the stem that connects it to the rest and dig up the root system.
How to grow Creeping Speedwell from seed
You can grow creeping speedwell from seed, either indoors or outdoors. Indoors, you can start seeds 8-10 weeks before the last freeze. Small pots, bright indirect lighting and a seed-starting mix that is moist and drains well, like a peat-moss mixture, are required. Follow these instructions.

Fill the pots up with the seed starter mix, and dampen it.
Sprinkle the seeds lightly on the moist mixture, and gently press the seeds into it. They need light to germinate, so do not bury them.
Place the pots where they will receive bright indirect light.
Keep the soil moist at all times.
Harden your seedlings once the danger of frost has passed. Plant them in their permanent garden space.
Follow these instructions to start seeds outside:

Once the frost threat has passed, remove weeds from the area and add organic materials, like compost. The best place to plant is one that is protected against wind. Seeds are small and easily blown around.
Sprinkle the seeds lightly over the soil, and tap the seeds gently to fix them. They need light to germinate, so do not bury them.
As the seeds germinate, keep the soil moist. Reduce watering gradually once the plants are larger and more established.
Repotting Creeping Speedwell
Growing creeping speedwell in a container is an easy way to keep it contained. If you choose a pot, make sure that it has drainage holes. Soggy soil can lead to fungus problems. You will eventually need to divide it or move it into a bigger pot because creeping speedwell spreads and will fill up the pot. Then, turn the pot on its side and tap the sides to loosen up the roots. When possible, slide the plant into a larger container with well-draining, loamy soil. You can also divide the plant using a shovel and snips.

Overwintering
If grown in the right growing zone, it does not need extra care to survive winter. Make sure that the soil is not too wet. This can cause problems and even kill the plant. You may cover the plant in plastic if the winter has been particularly wet. This will keep the water from getting to the roots.

How to get Creeping Speedwells to Bloom
The flowers of the creeping speedwell are small and four-petaled, appearing in shades of blue, pink, and purple. They have white centers. The creeping speedwell is different from other Veronica species in that it produces only one flower per stalk, as opposed to a spikey raceme of flowers. These tiny flowers attract pollinators like bees and butterflies.

Due to their toughness, creeping speedwells don’t often require much assistance in order to bloom. Choose a location that gets a few hours each day of sun to encourage blooming. Ideal is an area that gets morning sun, and afternoon shade. By deadheading flower blooms, you will encourage new flowers to grow.

Creeping speedwell: Common problems
The creeping speedwell is very tough and doesn’t cause many problems. It is more likely that the plant will cause problems for gardeners due to its overgrowth. Even the most hardy of plants can have problems. When the soil is either too wet, or too dry, the biggest problem for creeping speedwells is wilting or soggy foliage.

Wilting Foliage
In hot climates, the soil can dry out very quickly. Try to plant the creeping speedwell where there is afternoon shade. To ensure that the plant gets enough water, increase the frequency and amount of watering.

The Foliage is Yellowing, Wet, and Soggy
Water only when the top inch of soil is dry. Dig up the plant, and remove any foliage or roots that are infected if root rot is suspected. Before replanting, amend the soil with a material that drains well such as sand.
The FAQ
Is creeping Speedwell an invasive plant?
In some places, creeping speedwell can be considered an invasive plant.

Is creeping Speedwell perennial?
The creeping speedwell does flower perennially. This ground cover is an evergreen in areas that have warm winters.

How quickly does creeping speedwell grows?
This groundcover is fast growing and spreads quickly. Due to its rapid growth, most gardeners are concerned about containing it.


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