Dwarf morning glory (Evolvulus glomeratus), also known as blue daze, produces rare true-blue blooms over a mat of fuzzy, silvery-green oval-shaped leaves. In cooler growing zones, it is grown as an annual but can be a sturdy perennial subshrub in warmer climates. These plants bloom from late spring until the first frost and attract plenty of bees and butterflies that love the nectar-rich blooms. A member of the morning glory family, the blooms of this Brazilian native close on cloudy days, at the end of the day, and in the hot afternoon sun. But unlike morning glory, this is not a climber, but a low, mounding plant sometimes grown as a ground cover.
Dwarf morning glory is usually planted from a potted nursery start in the spring after all danger of frost has passed. It is a fast-growing plant that will reach flowering maturity within a few weeks.
|Common Name||Dwarf morning glory, blue daze, Brazilian dwarf morning glory, evolvulus|
|Botanical Name||Evolvulus glomeratus|
|Plant Type||Perennial, annual|
|Mature Size||9–24 in. tall, 2–3 ft. wide|
|Soil Type||Moist, well-drained|
|Soil pH||Acidic, neutral|
|Bloom Time||Summer, fall|
|Hardiness Zones||8-11 (USDA)|
|Native Area||South America|
Dwarf Morning Glory Care
Dwarf morning glory is easy to grow if given well-draining soil and a location that gets at least six to eight hours of direct sun. It is a low-maintenance and self-cleaning plant, so there's no need to remove spent blooms. It thrives in summer heat and is fairly drought-tolerant after it is established with consistent watering.
As the growing season progresses, dwarf morning glory can look ragged with reduced blooms. Trim back the plant to tidy it up and encourage new bushy growth. Dwarf morning glory has no serious pest or disease problems.
Plant dwarf morning glory in a location with full sun, six to eight hours per day, to encourage continuous flowering throughout the season. Sunlight helps these plants maintain their compact shape and lush foliage. If dwarf morning glory is planted in too much shade, it can become leggy, sprawl, produce fewer blooms, and lose the silvery sheen on its foliage.
This plant performs best in average, loamy, well-drained soil, whether it's planted in a garden bed or grown in a container. It prefers slightly acidic soil pH but tolerates neutral soil.
Dwarf morning glory does best when it receives consistent, even moisture but it does not like to sit in soggy soil. In good well-draining soil, about one-half to one inch of water per week (rainfall and/or irrigation) will cause it to thrive, but in dense soil, this might be too much water.
Once established, this plant has good tolerance for drought conditions, making it a great option for neglected areas of your garden or in containers that might not receive adequate water. One of the quickest ways to kill dwarf morning glory is by overwatering and causing root rot.
Temperature and Humidity
This plant is happiest and flowers best in temperatures above 65 degrees Fahrenheit and thrives in the summer heat. It cannot tolerate even mild frost. It has no preference for humidity levels.
Feed dwarf morning glory monthly in spring and summer. Use a general-purpose liquid fertilizer and apply it according to the label instructions. Do not feed the plant during the winter in warm climates where it is reliably hardy as a perennial.
Types of Dwarf Morning Glory
There are only three cultivars of E. glomeratus commonly sold in nurseries:
- 'Blue Daze' grows to about 18 inches tall and up to three feet wide. It has exceptionally brilliant blue flowers, about one-half inch wide, that bloom from late spring into fall.
- 'Blue My Mind' has slightly larger flowers and grows 12 inches tall, and up to 24 inches wide. It is a good choice for very hot conditions and full sun.
- 'Hawaiian Blue Eyes' has one-inch blue blooms with silvery-green leaves.
Pinch back stems when the plant is young to force it into a bushier growth habit. Late in the growing season, as stems become somewhat scraggly, a hard pruning can stimulate new growth and make plants more attractive going into fall.
No deadheading of spent flowers is necessary, as these plants are self-cleaning; spent blooms fall off on their own.
Propagating Dwarf Morning Glory
These plants will reliably propagate from both seeds and stem cuttings, but rooting stem cuttings is the more reliable method of achieving plants identical to parent plants. Rooting stem cuttings is best done in summer to start plants for outdoor planting the following spring.
- Using sharp pruners, cut three to five-inch tips from healthy stems. Remove the leaves from the bottom one-third of each cutting, and remove flowers and flower buds.
- Dip the cut end in rooting hormone, then plant it in a small container filled with a commercial seed starter mix, or a porous mixture of sand plus peat moss or potting mix.
- Cover the pot with a loosely secured plastic bag, and place the pot in a location with bright indirect light (not direct sunlight).
- Keep the potting medium moist until roots develop (you will feel resistance when gently tugging on the cutting stem. At this point, transplant the cutting into a pot filled with standard potting mix.
- Continue growing the cutting indoors through the winter (or in a sheltered outdoor location, if you live in a region that does not freeze in the winter). In the spring, transplant the actively growing plant into the landscape.
How to Grow Dwarf Morning Glory From Seed
Whether collected from your own plants or purchased, dwarf morning glory seeds can be started indoors eight to ten weeks before the average last frost date in your area.
- Plant the seeds in pots filled with a seed starter mix, or a mixture of sand and standard potting mix, covering them with 1/4 inch potting mix.
- Keep the potting mix moist and set the pot in a sunny indoor location at a temperature of at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If you cover the pot or tray with plastic, uncover it for at least 20 minutes each day to allow in fresh air to prevent fungal infection.
- Once the plants have developed several sets of true leaves, carefully transplant them into individual pots filled with standard potting mix and grow for planting outdoors once all danger of frost has passed.
Potting and Repotting Dwarf Morning Glory
Dwarf morning glory can be grown in any well-drained pot filled with a lightweight, well-draining potting mix. Pots can be any material, but lightweight plastic is a good choice for hanging baskets.
Repotting should be done whenever the plant becomes root-bound. However, this plant is not a good permanent container plant, as the stems will become woody with sparse flowers. It is a rather short-lived perennial and is usually discarded after a couple of years. Before discarding, take stem cuttings to propagate new plants.
When grown as an annual, plants should be pulled out and discarded at the end of the growing season to prevent self-seeding, which can be prolific. In colder climates, potted plants can be brought indoors to overwinter as houseplants. Dwarf morning glory may continue to bloom all winter long if placed in a sunny window and watered regularly.
In warm climates, both plants in a garden bed and potted plants can survive outdoors year-round. Cut back the stems and reduce watering. Do not feed during the winter months. As the stems become woody with age, flowering is reduced. Most gardeners growing this plant as a perennial replace it every three or four years.
How to Get Dwarf Morning Glory to Bloom
Dwarf morning glory begins blooming in late spring, continuing right up until it is killed by frost in the late fall or winter. The small flowers bloom for only a day but are immediately replaced by new blossoms.
Lots of sun, regular watering, and monthly feeding are the only requirements for prolific blossoms.
Common Problems with Dwarf Morning Glory
The only notable problem with dwarf morning glory occurs if it is planted in dense, poorly draining soil or gets too much water. Under these circumstances, the plants will do poorly and may collapse from root rot.
Where should I plant dwarf morning glory?
When planted in a sunny spot, this low-growing, spreading plant will create a sea of ocean-blue flowers atop green foliage with hints of a silvery sheen. This plant will flourish when planted in a garden bed as a low-growing ground cover plant as well as cascading in a container or over retaining walls.
Is dwarf morning glory toxic?
The plant is not know to be toxic.
Are there other species of Evolvulus to consider as garden plants?
Yes. Evolvulus arizonicus (Arizona blue eyes) is a 1-foot tall mounding plant that is excellent for low-moisture gardens. It is hardy in zones 7 to 10. And Evolvulus nuttallianus (shaggy morning glory) thrives in moist soil and is hardy in zones 4 to 10.