Duranta: Low care outdoor plants suitable for terrace garden and making hedges

Duranta: Low care outdoor plants suitable for terrace garden and making hedges
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Image Source: Mokkie / CC BY-SA

They are evergreen outdoor plants grown for hedges and ornamental plants. They are also known for attractive blue or violet flowers which add a blast of blue colour to the garden. They are easy to grow and propagate. They require very little care and maintenance.

Quick Details of Duranta

Other Common NamesDuranta, Sky flower, Golden Dew Drop, Pigeon Berry
TypeOutdoor ornamental plant
MaintenanceLow
FloweringLate spring/ early summer
LightLow to moderate bright direct sunlight, can tolerate partial indirect light.
WaterRegular watering
TemperatureWarm and humid conditions
SoilWell drained potting soil
FertilizerAny house plant fertilizer
HabitatMexico, central and South America.
ToxicityBerries are toxic to animals and human
Common DiseasesWhite flies
Scientific nameDuranta spp.

Duranta Buying Instructions

Please take care of below points if you are buying for your home:

  • Plant should be bushy.
  • There are about 17 species of Duranta, please choose as per your expectations.
  • Stem should be strong and thick.
  • It grows best in direct sunlight, so before buying make sure the place you have selected to keep this plant is getting 5-6 hours of direct sunlight.

Overview of Duranta

It is an evergreen shrub or small tree belonging to the family of Verbenaceae. There are around 17 species belonging to this genus. They are grown for its attractive blue or violet coloured flowers. Some species also develop white flowers. A species called Variegata’ or ‘Gold Edge develops golden or white colour leaves. These are mainly grown for their leaves. They can easily grow in warm and humid regions.

Special features: The plant produces red or orange coloured berries. These are poisonous to humans and animals. However, they are a food source to birds.

Usage of Duranta

Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz / CC BY-SA

  • They are grown as ornamental plants.
  • Widely used for making hedges in public places such as gardens, offices, colleges and hospitals etc.

General Care for Duranta

Soil: They require rich loamy well drained soil for their growth. The plants can also      thrive in lean soil with proper drainage with pH ranging in between 5.6 to 7.5.

Water: They require moderate watering. The plants can be watered when the top soil is dry.

Light: They require bright direct light to thrive. When grown in shade the plants may lack the energy and can look unhealthy.

Humidity and temperature: The plants can withstand harsh summers. They can also survive in humid conditions as well as dry conditions. They are also seen to grow near beaches where the salt content of the air can be more. However, the plants do not survive in cold conditions and should be shifted to places or indoors where the temperature is warmer.

Special care for Duranta:

Pruning: When grown in plants, duranta can adjust to the shape of the pot. The plants grown in gardens can spread and occupy the space of other plants and can even grow on the other plants blocking the supply of light. The tips of the plant can be cut to half its height during winter for the growth of new blooming tips. The plants can also be pruned to maintain the shape.

Repotting: The plants can be re-potted ones they outgrow the pot. The re-potting should be done with care. The plants have spines that can pierce the skin if not taken care of. The plants can be re-potting into any potting mixture. A little amount of any house plant fertilizer or compost can be added to the soil before re-potting the plant.

Fertilizer: They do not require any supply of fertilizer and can easily thrive in garden soil or any potting mixture. However, the plants grown in loamy sandy soil can be supplied with fertilizer ones in a month during their growth period.

Pests and other problems for Duranta

The plants are not prone to any pests or diseases. However, sometimes the plants can be attacked by white flies. These can be prevented by spraying the plant with any pesticide or neem oil or simply hose spraying water ones in a while.

Propagation of Duranta

The propagation can take place through seeds, or cuttings from leaf, stem or soft wood. They form roots easily from the cuttings making propagation easy and hassle free. The cuttings from the plant can be inserted into a moist potting soil and watered regularly. The pot can also be covered with a plastic bag or a clear container to maintain moisture. The tips of the cutting can be dipped in rooting hormone to fasten the development of the root. The cuttings are mostly collected during spring when the growth hormones in the plants are high and active.

The seeds can be collected from the ripe berries of the plant and sown on the soil. it should be watered regularly to maintain moisture. The seeds may take around 30-40 days to germinate. The time required to germinate depends on the climatic conditions.

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