The evolvulus is unique in that it comes in one of the most elusive colors in the world of horticulture—a bright and brilliant cobalt blue. It's a tough yet tender perennial in the southern part of the country, but other regions consider it an annual and replace it every year. Evolvulus makes a perfect addition to any garden bed or container; when planted in a sunny spot, this spreading plant will create a sea of ocean-blue flowers atop silvery blue-green foliage.
These plants bloom from late spring all the way until the first frost, and will attract plenty of bees and butterflies, who love the nectar-rich blooms. A member of the morning glory family, evolvulus flowers will typically close in the afternoon--so be sure to grow this cheerful groundcover in a place where you can enjoy its blooms before they close each day.
Better yet, evolvulus is considered to be a fairly low-maintenance and self-cleaning plant, so there's no need to remove its old, spent blooms. It thrives in the heat of summer and is fairly drought-tolerant. This plant will flourish when planted in a garden bed as a low-growing groundcover plant, as well as in a container.
|Common Name||Dwarf Morning Glory, Blue Daze|
|Mature Size||1-3 feet tall, 1-2 feet wide|
|Sun Exposure||Full sun|
|Soil Type||Moist, well-drained|
|Native Area||North and South America|
How to Grow Evolvulus Plants
When you're first growing evolvulus, be sure to prune the plant back somewhat to encourage branching. You can also give the young growing tips an occasional pinch to help to encourage a bushy plant. As seasons pass, evolvulus plants may begin to look a bit tired, and the blooming slows down. At that point, you should cut back the plant to help encourage new growth and make them look fuller and tidier.
To make the most of your evolvulus plants, you'll want to be sure to plant them in full sun, which will encourage continuous flowering throughout the season. Sunlight will also help these plants maintain their compact shape and pretty silver foliage. If it's planted in too much shade, the evolvulus plant can take on a more sprawling appearance, in addition to blooming less frequently and losing some of its foliage's silvery sheen.
This is a plan that performs best in well-drained soil, whether it's in the ground or a container. However, one of the quickest ways to kill the evolvulus plant is to get it too wet, so the soil should never be flooded and these plants should not be over-watered.
This plant's drought-tolerant nature means it's an ideal option for neglected areas of your garden, or even in containers that might not receive an abundance of water. It's also perfect for creating a pop of color in hotter, drier sections of your yard.
Temperature and Humidity
The lowest temperatures that these vibrant plants can grow in are 30 to 40 degrees. They are happiest and flower best in temperatures above 65 degrees, which is why they thrive in the hot summer months.
It's not a bad idea to apply approximately two pounds of fertilizer per 100 feet of growing space at planting time in order to give your evolvulus flowers a good start. You'll want to be sure to feed the plant on a monthly basis throughout the spring and summer (do not fertilize in fall and winter). Use a general-purpose liquid fertilizer that's applied according to label instructions.
Potting and Repotting
When potting evolvulus, fill a container with a potting mixture that's lightweight and drains well (think sand, perlite, or vermiculite). Moisten the mixture with a spray bottle until it's evenly wet, but make sure the container has a drainage hole. After making a planting hole, pinch off the leaves on the lower half to two-thirds of the stems so the leaves won't touch the potting mixture, and then plant the stems. Place the container where the cuttings will be exposed to bright but indirect light.
These plants will reliably propagate from both seeds and softwood cuttings, which can successfully produce a transplantable shrub within just two to four months. However, you'll want to start the seeds indoors before the final frost of the year; the cuttings will grow best when started outdoors in the summer months.
Common Varieties of Evolvulus
- Blue Daze: Larger blue flowers, slightly hairy gray-green foliage.
- Dwarf Morning Glory: Pure sky blue flowers, bloom all season.
These flowers are considered self-cleaning, so no deadheading is required to eliminate spent blooms (they will fall to the surface of the soil). However, pruning these plants back a bit will help them to maintain their luster; pruning will help control the height and direction in which your plant grows, while promoting their natural form.