Prostrate Speedwell (Veronica Prostrata ‘Buttercup’)

Plant: Table of Contents

Prostrate Speedwell (Veronica prostrata ‘Buttercup’): A Comprehensive Plant Guide

Prostrate Speedwell, scientifically known as Veronica prostrata ‘Buttercup,’ is a captivating low-growing perennial that is valued for its extraordinary ground-hugging capabilities and vibrant yellow blossoms. This plant’s versatility makes it a preferred choice for various landscaping applications, including borders, rock gardens, and containers.

In this comprehensive plant guide, we will delve into every aspect of the Prostrate Speedwell, including its culture, uses, propagation, common diseases, pests, and essential tips for cultivating and maintaining this exquisite groundcover plant.

What is Prostrate Speedwell (Veronica prostrata ‘Buttercup’)?

Prostrate Speedwell, also referred to as Buttercup Speedwell, is a member of the Veronica genus, which encompasses numerous species of flowering plants. This particular variety, ‘Buttercup,’ is esteemed for its prostrate growth habit and dainty yet radiant yellow flowers. Notably, it is an excellent option for those seeking a low-maintenance groundcover to enhance the aesthetic appeal of their gardens.

The Prostrate Speedwell exhibits an exceptional ability to spread horizontally, forming a lush carpet of foliage adorned with clusters of bright blossoms. Its compact, mat-forming nature and adaptability to various growing conditions make it a popular choice among gardeners, landscapers, and horticulturists.

Key Takeaways – Prostrate Speedwell (Veronica prostrata ‘Buttercup’)

Before delving into the specifics of cultivating and caring for the Prostrate Speedwell, let’s summarize the key takeaways about this remarkable ground-hugging plant:

  • Scientific Name: Veronica prostrata ‘Buttercup’
  • Common Names: Prostrate Speedwell, Buttercup Speedwell
  • Plant Type: Low-growing perennial groundcover
  • Flower Color: Yellow
  • Growth Habit: Prostrate, ground-hugging
  • Versatility: Suitable for use in rock gardens, borders, and containers
  • Attributes: Low-maintenance, vibrant blooms, extensive spreading
  • Uses: Groundcover, landscaping, container gardening

Now that we have a brief overview of the Prostrate Speedwell, let’s explore the various aspects of its cultivation, maintenance, and applications in greater detail.


Cultivating Prostrate Speedwell involves understanding the ideal conditions and practices that promote its healthy growth and abundant blooming. Let’s take a closer look at the cultural requirements of this charming groundcover plant.


  1. Landscaping: Prostrate Speedwell is widely utilized as a groundcover in landscaping, where it adds vibrant color and greenery to various settings, including slopes, banks, and edging.
  2. Rock Gardens: The low, spreading nature of this plant makes it an ideal choice for rock gardens, where it can elegantly cascade over rocks and other hardscape features.
  3. Borders: Due to its prostrate growth habit, Prostrate Speedwell is well-suited for creating attractive borders, enhancing the visual appeal of garden beds and pathways.
  4. Container Gardening: Its versatility extends to container gardening, where it can be used to create cascading displays in pots, hanging baskets, and other containers.


Prostrate Speedwell requires moderate watering, especially during its initial establishment phase. However, once established, it exhibits good drought tolerance and can thrive with minimal additional irrigation, making it an ideal choice for low-maintenance landscapes.


This ground-hugging perennial thrives in full sun to partial shade. In regions with hot summer climates, providing some afternoon shade can be beneficial to prevent excessive stress on the plant.


Prostrate Speedwell generally has low fertilizer requirements. A balanced, slow-release fertilizer applied in spring can provide the necessary nutrients for healthy growth and prolific flowering. However, it’s important not to over-fertilize, as excessive nutrients can lead to lush foliage at the expense of blooming.


The ideal soil for Prostrate Speedwell is well-draining and moderately fertile. It adapts well to various soil types, including loamy, sandy, or rocky soils. Good drainage is crucial to prevent waterlogging, which can be detrimental to the plant’s health.


Minimal pruning is necessary for Prostrate Speedwell. Deadheading spent blooms can encourage continued flowering, and light trimming in spring can help maintain a tidy growth habit and stimulate new growth. However, avoid heavy pruning, as this can impede its natural spreading and cascading growth pattern.


Prostrate Speedwell can be propagated through division or softwood cuttings. Here are the basic steps for each propagation method:

  1. Division: In early spring or fall, carefully dig up a mature plant and divide the crown and root mass into smaller sections, ensuring that each division has sufficient roots and foliage attached. Replant the divisions in prepared soil, and water thoroughly.
  2. Softwood Cuttings: In late spring or early summer, take 4-6 inch cuttings from healthy, non-flowering stems. Remove the lower leaves, dip the cut ends in rooting hormone, and plant them in a well-draining potting mix. Keep the cuttings consistently moist and in a shaded location until they develop roots.

Container Popularity

The compact growth and cascading nature of Prostrate Speedwell make it highly popular for container gardening applications. When deployed in containers, it can create stunning displays of vibrant yellow blossoms cascading over the edges, adding a touch of charm and color to patios, balconies, and other outdoor living spaces.

Common Diseases

Prostrate Speedwell is generally resistant to most common plant diseases. However, occasional issues such as powdery mildew and root rot can occur in conditions of high humidity, poor air circulation, or waterlogged soil. Maintaining proper cultural practices, including adequate spacing, good air circulation, and well-draining soil, can help prevent the onset of these diseases.

Disease Diagnosis

  • Powdery Mildew: This fungal disease appears as a white, powdery growth on the leaves, often leading to leaf distortion and leaf drop. To prevent powdery mildew, avoid overcrowding plants, and water the base of the plant to keep the foliage dry.
  • Root Rot: Excessive moisture and waterlogged soil can cause root rot, leading to wilting, yellowing foliage, and eventual plant decline. To prevent root rot, ensure well-draining soil and avoid overwatering.

Common Pests

While Prostrate Speedwell is relatively pest-resistant, occasional pest issues can arise. The most common pests that may affect this plant include aphids, spider mites, and snails/slugs. Regular monitoring and early intervention can effectively manage these pest problems.

Botanist’s Tips

  • When planting Prostrate Speedwell as a groundcover, space the plants approximately 12-18 inches apart to allow for proper spreading and coverage.
  • Mulching around the base of the plant can help retain soil moisture and regulate soil temperature, contributing to its overall health and vigor.
  • To encourage a compact growth habit and abundant flowering, consider light pruning and deadheading after the first flush of blooms.

Fun Facts

  • The vibrant yellow flowers of Prostrate Speedwell attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies, making it an excellent choice for pollinator-friendly garden spaces.
  • The Prostrate Speedwell is native to the mountainous regions of Europe and Asia and is known for its resilience in alpine and rocky environments.

Links to External Resources

For further information and resources on Prostrate Speedwell and related topics, consider exploring the following links:

  1. Royal Horticultural Society – Veronica prostrata ‘Buttercup’
  2. Missouri Botanical Garden – Veronica prostrata ‘Buttercup’
  3. University of Florida IFAS Extension – Selecting Groundcover Plants

In conclusion, the Prostrate Speedwell (Veronica prostrata ‘Buttercup’) is a charming and versatile groundcover plant that offers an array of uses and benefits in garden and landscape settings. Its low-maintenance nature, vibrant yellow blooms, and ground-hugging growth habit make it a valuable addition to any outdoor space, whether in traditional garden beds, rock gardens, borders, or container displays. By understanding its cultural requirements, propagation methods, and common pest and disease issues, gardeners can cultivate and enjoy the beauty of this exceptional plant variety while enhancing the overall appeal of their landscapes.

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Peter Taylors

Expert botanist who loves plants. His expertise spans taxonomy, plant ecology, and ethnobotany. An advocate for plant conservation, he mentors and educates future botanists, leaving a lasting impact on the field.