June 15th, 2006
Duranta erecta

photo: Duranta erecta Sapphire Showers
2006-06-15. Austin, TX. Duranta erecta ‘Sapphire Showers’…or possibly ‘Geisha Girl’. The nursery didn’t identify it and some sources say that it’s the same cultivar under different names–ruffled, violet-blue flowers with white edges.

That last cool and rainy week in May I popped in at Barton Springs Nursery as a reward for my taking my car in for it’s yearly inspection before the sticker expired. My wandering into a nursery is as wise as an alcoholic browsing at a liquor store. The last two years I’ve put myself under a strict plant-purchasing moratorium, taking advantage of these drought years to focus on the hardscaping of the garden in hopes of adding some structure and manageability.

Like everything marketable, plants are subject to human whims in taste, to horticultural fashion. Before me lay all sorts of plants I didn’t know, but the first to catch my eye was a tropical looking plant with lime-green leaves and delicate panicles of violet blue flowers, Duranta erecta. It’s common names are golden dewdrop, or pigeonberry, for its golden fruit which is poisonous to humans but beloved by birds. It is an attractive nectar plant for butterflies and hummingbird. Golden dewdrop is very trendy in Austin this year because it’s been named a Texas Superstar plant.

Disregarding my own advice about buying plants in the summer, seduced by the cool light drizzle stirring up memories of my recent week in England, I bought three of them. After all, they were on sale. [They’re on sale because it’s summer. They’re doomed. Don’t do it! — Your Rational Mind]

Everything about golden dewdrop reminds me of plumbago: its multiple, arching stems form a small fountain of a bush; its five-petaled flowers hang in loose racemes at the tip of each branch; its glossy, green leaves withstand heat and sun. Also like plumbago, golden dewdrop will die back to the ground in a freeze. So, although it is naturally a large bush or small tree, in Austin it will remain a mid-sized shrub. In colder climes than Austin, golden dewdrop is often grown as a potted plant and brought indoors to overwinter.

In its native South America golden dewdrop grows on limestone which means it should be happy in Austin soils as long as it is planted in a well-drained spot and not in heavy clay. (The requisite caveat in all garden writing.) It is reputed to tolerate drought (What do gardeners in Puerto Rico consider a drought?), poor soils, and some shade but it grows and flowers best if planted in a nice garden bed and watered.

photo: Duranta erecta Sapphire Showers

In order to get them through the summer, I put the golden dewdrops in the front planter as potted plants. Recently, in order to clear the driveway of the gravel pile, AJM moved the stone into the reconstructed planter until I can use it elsewhere in the garden. Then I thought, hmmm, this looks like a design.

Garden History

Wandered into Barton Springs Nursery and came out with a 1-gallon Duranta erecta (on sale for $4.99, originally $5.95).

I did some research on them and went back and bought two more to fill in the front planter temporarily. (Golden dewdrops get big. Putting them in the front planter permanently is just asking for more costly stonework repairs.) Planted them in 3-gallon pots in a mixture of sifted compost, coffee grounds, and potting soil.

All three survived both drought and freezes. Transplanted the largest of the three into the front south border between the oleander and the redbud (where rose ‘Buff Beauty’ was). Most of the stems are still green and new growth is sprouting at the base.

by M Sinclair Stevens

56 Responses to post “Duranta erecta”

  1. From Annie in Austin:

    What gorgeous photos! Maybe I should have gone to Barton Spring, too – yours look lovely, and three of them at once . what riches! My one very small plant, bought in March, has not yet bloomed.

    One of the Divas of the Dirt grows Duranta in semi-shade, and another garden friend has it doing well in full sun. Last year I helped both of them with the big spring cleanup, removing a 5′ X 5′ mass of spikey dead branches from each plant before the new growth started. It was a big mess, but worth it to get that color.

    Thanks, Annie. I couldn’t resist that color. I’m always glad to get reports from the field from other Austin gardeners. I hadn’t seen any duranta around but when I haven’t been introduced to a plant I frequently don’t notice it. Most sources say that it needs full sun to bloom well. There’s not spot in my garden that gets full sun, so we’ll just have to see what happens. If this whimsical purchase does survive the summer, I have a lot of spots where rose bushes once bloomed that have opened up these last two years. — mss

  2. From ml (Maine):

    The alcoholic/plant-buyer analogy applies exactly to me, and I’m proud to say I’ve only hit the nursery twice this season–once to the tune of $54 and then just $15. I’ve had about a five-year moratorium in which I’m working on neatening up edges (yeah, sure).

    Anyway, glad to find your blog; its comforting to find another plantaholic.

    Plantaholic. I think you’ve coined the perfect term. I’m looking forward to exploring your garden at Full Fathom Five. Your photos of wisteria in bloom at Longwood Gardens are incredible. — mss

  3. From Patsy R. Laird (Florida):

    I live in Inverness, Florida and I bought one of the gorgeous Durantas last spring. It was in a hanging basket (and still is). It bloomed all summer and rewarded me with beautiful golden berries. Our temperature went into the 20s a couple of times last winter and it survived. Despite the fact that I also neglected it terribly. As I said it is still in that hanging basket. I had some dieback but not much. Of course, it hasn’t gotten any larger. I plan on planting it where it spent the winter, alongside of my fence in my back yard in partial shade. It flowered quite well in that location all last spring and summer. So if it can take all I dished out last year and still make it I’d say it definitely is a Super Star.

    And I too am a plantaholic.

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience with duranta. They seem like really tough plants, as well as being beautiful. — mss

  4. From Stephanie Pennsylvania:

    I recently visited Florida and purchased this beautiful plant for a friend. Where can I mail order this plant and grow it in my sunroom in PA. I would hope to grow it indoors for the winter and than transfer it outdoors in the summer.

    I bought mine here in Austin. I don’t know of any mail order source specifically. — mss

  5. From Barbara Pennsylvania:

    Stephanie, I don’t know what part of PA you reside but I bought my plants at Groff’s near Quaryville – Lancaster County. They have some beautiful plants and I’m hoping to be able to bring these beauties into my sunroom for the winter. The people at Groff’s think they will survive. Good luck.

  6. From Linda (San Antonio):

    I hope your Sapphire Showers are doing well.

    There are two types of duranta that are currently growing in San Antonio.

    One is the “Lilac Flowering” and the other is Sapphire Showers.

    There is a little twist to this: The lilac flowered has been on the market longer than sapphire showers. But, the catch 22, I can no longer find Lilac Flowered in the nurseries. It’s given way to Sapphire Showers.

    The lilac flowered seems to be hardier here. It starts blooming in early summer. It has a more upright habit, and is a decidous shrub.

    Sapphire Showers seems to bloom later in the season. My neighbor says that her’s died to the ground in the winter.

    The earliest that I saw Sapphire Showers in bloom was late July. This was at the San Antonio Airport.

    In our neighborhood, it started blooming mid-August.

    Yesterday, I was driving around and saw a huge Sapphire Showers in bloom. It was about 10 feet tall. It was in full sun and looked beautiful. (I’ll keep my eye on that one over the coming months!)

    I don’t know if Sapphire Showers blooms later in San Antono because the hybrid and the plants are still getting established, or if it is a trend with this hybrid.

  7. From Jenn:

    I just found this plant at Home Depot, and was doing a web search on it when up comes your site! Hey! How about that?

    The box store has these for $15 a pot (I think it’s a three gallon, and trained like a vine with a stick support – the whole set up is as tall as I am), and as I was reading the tag on them, a young male ruby throated hummer was busy zooming all around me to sample every flower. THAT is star power, baby. Give me some hummer crack for MY patio.

    I’m gonna buy one, or maybe two, tomorrow…

  8. From Sue Barnard:

    I live 40 miles SE of Gainesville, FL, and have sapphire showers planted on the east and south sides of my house (about 2 doz. plants total). Both my fire bush and sapphire showers are the most beautiful plants I’ve ever had. Both shrubs just took a hit when the temperature dipped to 28 F on November 16th. The leaves turned black and are drooping. Has this happened to other folks, and if so, did the plants recover in spring?

    The sapphire showers should be root hardy especially since you didn’t have a hard freeze. Scratch a little of the bark with your fingernail. If it is green (and the stems flexible) then they are still alive and new leaves should sprout in the spring. It is brown then they’ve died (but snap the branch to double-check). Root-hardy plants like the sapphire showers have a better chance of surviving a freeze if they have a nice thick mulch covering their roots. — mss

  9. From jeanne (Houston):

    Is it okay to trim off the berries if they are looking unsightly or do they serve some purpose to the plant? I have never had birds eat the berries, though the flowers draw lots of hummingbirds and butterflies. Mine has been planted in a very large pot on the south side of the house for about five years now. I’ve never wrapped it during freezes (we haven’t had a hard freeze in awhile)and it remains green all year. I’m in West Houston. I’ve recommended this plant to lots of people but all it takes is for someone to see it in full bloom and they are ready to go out and buy one or two.

    Berries serve one purpose, to make new plants. So trim them off if you don’t like them. Many people grow duranta for the decorative berries. Thus one of its common names is golden dewberry. I like that the duranta has violet flowers and golden berries on the same plant at the same time this time of year. — mss

  10. From Sharon Manthe Illinois:

    I was so happy to find this site. I was looking for info on duranta and here you all were, a absolute wealth. I run a greenhouse in Illinois and I am growing duranta for the first time this year. I have all the technical info I needed to grow it but it really helps to find out what everybody is saying about the plant, wheather they find it a pain or are happy with it. Up here it will be a annual and I am sure some customers will give it a try to take it inside into sunrooms to winter it over. You guys are great, owning a greenhouse business is what happens when being a plantaholic gets totally out of control. Sharon

    Glad you found us and hope you find more useful information as you explore Zanthan Gardens. –mss

  11. From Edith Beaumont, TX:

    Love your site! Bought my first Duranta last week at a local nursery. It was in a hanging basket and has purple flowers but no berries. It literally flowed down the basket. I have planted it next to my fence in hopes that it will eventually trail over the fence.
    Today a friend gave me another one-purchased at a different nursery-which is in a 5 gallon bucket- and is more of a shrub, upright-type with golden berries galore, and no flowers (yet).
    I’m wondering if I have 2 different species. I hope that the one next to the fence is not a low, ground hugging type. Your thoughts please.

  12. From lou charlotte, nc:

    I too suffer from plantoholics.
    I have a dew drop that froze last year in April, it lost all limbs but has since grown two 4-footers with an errant limb growing from one of them. Can I cut this back in order to force more limbs? And if so how far back should I cut it?
    Thanks in advance.

    Yes, you can cut it back to shape it anyway you want it. In colder places, it freezes to the ground each winter and comes back. It doesn’t mind being cut back harshly. — mss

  13. From Maryann, AZ:

    My son gave me two of these for Christmas. I’ve repotted them into bigger pots and placed them in my courtyard. Should I cut them back as the Plant ID tag suggests? They are looking pretty healthy so I hate to stress them now. Thank you. Love your photo and blog.

    Why does the Plant ID suggest you cut them back? If you are happy with them and they look healthy, then let them be. Cutting them won’t stress them too much. If you cut one shoot in half, it will form two shoots. So if you want them to be smaller or bushier, cut them back. But if you prefer their more graceful natural form, leave them as they are. — mss

  14. From Madelyn-Marie:

    Lovely photos! Bought this midsummer 07…in a half-barrel in a niche on the front entry (outside). I didn’t do enough research about overwintering. I did cut it back to 4-8cm above the root base, tho’ I cannot remember if it was in the fall, or midwinter after a hard freeze and mild snow. While the few twigs coming of the branches are flexible, under the bark is light brown. I have seen what looks like a greenish woody root, so I may hold out hope. I am in Upstate SC, and am wondering if it comes back at all, when would I first see signs of life? (It will have a place in our sunny breakfast room this winter!)

    I have two in the ground and one in a pot outside. All have come back. Duranta is supposed to be root-hardy and it likes the warm weather. Don’t give up on it until the temperatures are in the 80s consistently. — mss

  15. From Helen Knight Osoyoos:

    I would like more specific information to the plant that I bought at one of our local nurseries in the Okanagan, British Columbia.
    Duranta- purple ruffles. It didn’t come with a tag and the woman had little info. told me to go on line. I’m having a hard time trying to find the info. on how big it will grow, where I should plant them if it is perrinneal for our area ect… If you could send me this info. and pictures of the type I have purchased I would appreciate it very much, thank-you Helen

  16. From Desiree Fogal:

    Your plants are beautiful, I have two blue Durantas in pots (water savers, we are have water restrictions in Australia) and my plants are looking sad and droopy. I pruned them thinking it was a pest problem, now I think I may be watering them too much. The leaves are turning dark green at the tips and then a soft limp brown before falling. How can I save my plants?

    Pruning them should not have hurt them, only made them grow bushier. Overwatering them, especially leaving the plants in standing water could cause the roots to rot. They are fairly drought and heat-tolerant plants. Better to water too little than two late. If you suspect rot, then repot them. You’ll probably have to cut them way back on the top and any rotted roots. They still might not survive but since it looks like they are going to die anyway, you are simply upping the odds for survival. — mss

  17. From Anne:

    Just found this at HEB $16.99 I think it is 10-12 ” pot. It has many sprays of flowers and stands about 3′ and stands about 3′ high. The color is just beautiful. I am trying it in a partial shade spot on the front lawn. We saw it at the SA zoo outside the butterfly house. It is growing like a large shrub there.

  18. From Katy from Pompano Beach, FL:

    I have 3 sapphire showers and one varigated golden dewdrop. The varigated and one of the durant eractas are in the ground in nearly full sun. The other two are in hanging baskets. I’m having trouble with all four not producing many flowers! It’s mid-July and there are no flowers on the two in baskets and mostly only golden berries on the others, with an occasional flower spray. They are in well-drained soil, but I water and fertilize them regularly.
    Any ideas on what I can do to maximixe the flowers???

  19. From Bonnie from Discovery Bay, CA:

    My husband and I were at our favorite nursery just yesterday looking for a tree but left with 2 Duranta Erecta with the most gorgeous intense green leaves and just bursting with the beautiful purple flowers and tons of buds ready to open. We have a very sunny warm back yard. We planted them in a garden box along the back of the house that we had recently amended the soil-we have nasty heavy clay here in Discovery Bay. We will be watching them closely and hoping they like their new home. What is the appropriate care come late fall? Does the plant die back and should we cut it to ground level then?

  20. From Sandy Kovach:

    I just bought a 5 gal Duranta “Amethyst Rain” at Home Depot for $9.98 blooming lovely dark purple flowers. Do you ever fertilize these plants? I live in Central Texas a little north of Austin.

    Here is a tip for women who can’t dig holes with shovels. I bought a mason’s hammer, with a claw type end. It is so easy to dig a hole using this. I’m recently retired, I pull up a plastic chair sit and dig away.

  21. From Barbara Leibowitz (PA):

    I bought 2 Duranta small trees this summer, which I have put in 2 beautiful urns flanking the front door. They are doing very well and have both flowers and berries. I have put mulch around the base and plan to leave them there until frost, when I will bring them indoors to spend the winter in front of a bright sunny window. My question would be how low should I let the temperature get outdoors before bringing them indoors.

  22. From wendy,houston,texas:

    I have a large hanging Duranta on my driveway next to an iron fence. It is huge.
    Someone said this is the time to cut it back and let it grow up as a tree.
    Should I cut some of the stalks to the ground or just cut the hanging part and tie it to the fence to grow up. It is about 7′ wide and as tall….

  23. From Karen inGeorgia:

    I just bought two of these and aI can’t wait to get them in the gtound and to see them like the photos. They are beautiful, vibrant violet colors. Never have seen anything quite like them.

  24. From Hope Henderson / Yucaipa Ca:

    I purchased 3 duranta erecta months ago and planted them in full sun along a fence for privacy. I have not seen any growth or flowering. What am I doing wrong?

  25. From Miriam Saleeby-Benton Harbor, Michigan:

    I purchased my first Duranta Erecta, potted, and at least 4 ft tall. Its been staked, and has just started flowering so I can see just how beautiful the blossoms will be. However, what I thought was apart of the weeping habit, upon closer inspection were naked ares where scales (?) had destroyed the leaves and left the stems. Has anyone experienced this type of infestation? I will be taking this plant back to the nursery. Whether I receive reimbursement or not-they need to be aware. They are beutiful though, and I will be keeping my eyes out for a healthier version.


  26. From Woburn, MA:

    Hi ,
    My name is Carlos.
    I just have a quick question ; Last year i bought the duranta tree plant and, the flowers were so beautiful and tiny but the color was amazing almost purple and white around the petals.
    In winter time i had it indoor because i didn`t want my plant to die and it survived.
    This spring 2009 i put it outside , It looks nice and healthy very green but it`s not blooming at all . anyone knows what i can do to make my plant blooms ? i already put some fertilizer .
    Thanks so much.

  27. From Richard Nashville, TN:

    I have wintered my Duranta inside for a couple winters now. I put it in a pot for the winter and cut it back when I brought it in. Last summer it had beautiful blooms – this year nothing. Like Carlos above the plant looks very healthy, just no blooms.
    It’s getting pretty big to bring in the house but I’m afraid to see if it would winter over outside. Anybody have an ideas why no blooms.

  28. From Woburn, MA:

    Hi Richard ,
    It`s me Carlos.I am having the same problem as you . My Duranta plant it`s not blooming and it`s getting bigger.
    If you found out any information about it let it me know please ; I am giving you my e- mail : ariesterra@aol.com .

    Thanks and regards,


  29. From Richard Nashville, TN:

    Hey Carlos,
    I’ve searched high and low but still no answers. I have discovered we are not the only ones with this issue. One person was saying his plant was fine for 3 years and then no blooms – this is my plants 3rd season – hummm.
    It also appears to like acidic soil so I’m going to measure the PH and maybe try some stuff I bought for my Azaleas. The plant is in a corner of a concrete / stone wall and I know the concrete will mess with the soil’s PH over time. Stay tuned.

  30. From Carlos , Woburn, MA:

    Hello Richard,
    I got a big surprise this morning. I was putting water to my Duranta plant and it has a lot of buds , it will be blooming .
    I am very happy about it ; And as you said i put holly tone . is an acid for Azaleas and other plants and it is working.

    Thanks so much Richard.



  31. From Richard Nashville, TN:

    I’m finally seeing some flowers on mine too. I’m just not sure what triggered them. It could be the addition of soil acid or maybe it’s the change in seasons – shorter days and cooler nights. I’m happy for the flowers but I’m used to having them all summer. Maybe next year.

  32. From Carlos , Woburn, MA:

    Hey Richard,
    I am glad that your plant it`s blooming as well. Do you have any e mail address where i can send you some pictures of my garden?.
    My is ariesterra@aol.com. feel free to email me.

    until next time,

  33. From barbara sicily italy:

    Here in Sicily the temperature goes pretty high in summer and we don’t get frost in the winter; therefore, the lilac Durante is quite a common sight, but this summer I saw a lovely deep blue and white edged durante. Plantaholics are the same the world over. It now sits outside my front door amongst friends on the patio!

    We plantaholics do tend to lose our heads when we spot a plant we have to have for our own. My own durantas have grown quite big because we had no hard freeze last winter. We’ll see what happens this year and then I’ll have to update this post. — mss

  34. From Lara-Ann PE,South Africa:

    I bought seven of these purple beauties on a whim yesturday. It is the summer holidays and we are trying to establish our townhouse garden but have water restrictions! I have a boundary wall that I would like to hide and was going to use Bouganvilla, but the Duranta was on sale and, well you know the tale. I just hope that it will grow up and cover the wall – my fingers are only green for a day or so then my plants all seem to fail – or should I say – I seem to fail them. Will this possition work or should I rater put them in a planter?

  35. From Jennifer:

    I have a couple of Duranta and I LOVE them. Constantly covered in butterflys and the Humming birds love them. I am just sick that they froze with our last cold snap. It has to stay really cold for several days for them to freeze as this was the first time they froze in 5 years. I am wondering how and when to cut them back. They are massive when happy and given plenty of room to grow. I think they have to be in the gound a season or two before they really take off and bloom and make berries. I planted one 2 years ago and had to baby it some what to get it going. Once they are established they take very little care. They really like good drainage and lots of sun. My plants were at least 12 feet by 10 feet wide. Now it is a big dead mess. Should I wait till March and then cut to ground or wait and see if anything comes back on the branches?

    You can tell if a branch is dead my scratching the surface. If it is green under the bark, it is alive. Mine are dead to the ground; the bark is already cracking. I’m going to be cutting them back heavily, maybe all the way to the ground, soon because we have a brush collection coming up in two weeks. Just take it slow, checking for live wood, and cut back to the green wood. — mss

  36. From Vicky from Morgan Hill, Ca:

    I purchased a Durantha shrub at Home Depot a couple of years ago. I am pretty sure it was growing up a stick and was tied back. So, I bought a trellis and have been growing it up a trellis. The first year it was beautiful and last year it grew quite a bit but did not flower. It does not get a lot of sun in the winter and now the leaves are covered with black spots. I am thinking it is not sunny enough. I don’t know that I want another shrub in my yard. Do you think I cal still grow it up a trellis?

    Duranta sends out long arching canes. It’s not very shrubby. I think it would be easy to train it to a trellis with a little pruning of canes growing in the wrong direction. — mss

  37. From Darrell, Gretna,La.:

    I have two large 6′ Duranta “trees”. The trunks are about 4’high x 1-1/4″in dia. with the canopy about 2’high x 5′ wide. The freeze got to them this year and now i have NO folage at all. Will I have to cut them back all the way back to the ground or do you think the canopy will come back at 4, high?

  38. From Elise Gibbs, Wimberley, TX:

    Wa=hoo I found a site for practicing plantoholics; like myself. I found a duranta with beautiful purple flowers rimmed in white at a local nursery and now because of my interest I also found this site. How exciting. I love, love plants and the local nursery has so many unusual ones. I can’t stand to go into the shop without coming out with a least one new specimen. The duranta appeared to be the last one left and small, but flowering. I have a new partially raised bed, which I’ve added fantastically rich compost, and set it is set to go. It’s only drawback is it is in the shade, shade. Not partial, only shade and a little dapling light on occasion. Anyone with suggestions other than cast iron plants, purple hearts, caladiums, elephant and taro ears, mist plant, ferns. I plan to have a timed drip irrigation system set up. I am so excited and need to get a move on before summer arrives.

  39. From betsy - Austin, Tx:

    I have a white and a purple duranta – neither of them has flowered in 2 years! Once I took them out of the pot and into the ground, it was o-ver… I have cut them, moved them. Fed them the fishfood, bone meal, high sun, water and I cannot get them to bloom! Any suggestions?

    Nope. You’ve done everything I would do. Mine haven’t flowered this year either. They’re still growing back from the freeze of January 2010. They’ve put on a lot of leafy growth but still now flowers. — mss

  40. From Sue - Adelaide South Australia:

    Wow! A whole site dedicated to Duranta! 18 months ago I established a new garden. As my surname is Durant I was so excited when I found these beautiful bushes and just had to have them in front of my home. I have 28 standard geisha girls bordering my lawn and they are an absolutely gorgeous display when in flower. Unfortunately they have all suddenly developed black spots on the leaves and are not looking as healthy as they were. Does anyone know what this is and how I can treat it? I would hate to lose my beautiful namesakes.

  41. From virginia, hill country:

    Do deer like to eat them? Have a lot of deer that are eating my plants need one that they don’t like.

    I have no idea; there are no deer where I live. — mss

  42. From Robert, Houston:

    I recently bought a duranta on sale and will never regret it. It has been in full bloom ever since I bought it. It is on a West facing patio. In summer it drinks quite a bit of water. I believe this plant needs a cool winter to bloom. Also the time to prune is late winter-early spring. Then, shoot time release food to it. Pruning at the wrong time could inhibit blooms. In winter put it in a protected spot if in a container or, pull inside and place in a south window. This plant IS tropical.

  43. From Carla:

    I have had my durantha in a pot for 4 hrs. I live in north Louisiana. It stays on porch and has done very well through freezes, neglect and intense heat. Always seems to have flowers. I love how the hummers enjoy it. I will plant in ground soon and give it some well deserved nutrients and love. It is a 5 ft. Tall tree. I look for it to get much bigger. I wonder how tall it could potentially could get?

  44. From Libby Glass-Alabama:

    Can anyone tell me if Deer will eat Duranta? I’m so excited about the color but am concerned about deer eating them since we live in the woods where deer are prevalent. I had planted knock out roses prior to this and the deer ate them all. Does anyone know? Thanks, Libby

  45. From Michelle - Corpus Christi,TX:

    I just purchased my duranta this past weekend on the advice of an experienced gardener. I was looking for something that wouldn’t freeze here in South Texas.( I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but it DID freeze twice here this past winter) The people at the nursery told me to cut my plant back. I am a little apprehensive to do so, because the tree/plant has such beautiful flowers on it. I have it planted in a very large pot with verbena around the edges. I would like for this plant to become like my bouganvillas; (sp)big, full and lush. My husband whacks these plants all the time and they are all the better for it. Can you please advise me as to when and how much to cut back? The plant is about three feet tall with purple flowers on it. Thanks, Michelle

    My duranta froze all the way to the ground this year (they were about six feet tall). They are just starting to come back from the roots. I’m cutting back all the dead stems. If your duranta is green and flowering, I don’t see any reason to cut it back. — mss

  46. From Vilma (Orlando, FL):

    Well, right now I am on the process of planting my plants and one of them is the Duranta sapphire showers. I just stop for my break, and I thought I would go on line and find out about this plant.I got it yesterday in Home Depot when went back there to get another one of the texas sage but I ended up spending over 100 bucks. I just love plants and the durtanta catches my attention because of the beautiful flowers and the rich foliage.It was nice to hear from everyone here that I made the right choice in buying it. Thanks everyone.

  47. From Cindy, Houston TX:

    Purchased two of these plants currently pruned as 3 ft trees. It is May 2011 and they are in full bloom. I have planted in a spot that will get full sun from the west so hoping they will do well. The only thing I worry about is the soil, in Houston we have clay, I have built up bed but we will see if their roots stay wet. Will keep you posted.

    I’m on black clay gumbo here at Zanthan Gardens. Mine seem to be doing well. I did amend the soil when I planted them but they have even come back from the roots after the very hard freezes Austin had in January 2010 and January 2011. — mss

  48. From Sergey:

    I am new one who loves the same plant. Just need to ask: How often, and how exectly I need to keep the shape (thinning and pruning) of my tree and keep the free of blooming?

    Thank you, Sergey

  49. From Meredith, Shreveport, LA:

    I received the duranta tree (purple) when my mom passed away April 2009. I am amazed each time I walk onto my patio to see the beauty of this tree. I have kept it in a container. I did cut it back because of a freeze we had the 2nd year.This year I put it in my garage during the cold winter. I sat it out on the patio like always few weeks ago. It is green and growing fast but no blooms. What could be the problem? Has this ever happen to you or anyone you know?

    Both of my duranta plants froze back to the ground this winter. They have sprouted new growth but neither has started blooming again. Sometimes they just need some time to recover and get big enough to bloom again. And lots of sunlight. — mss

  50. From Rose, Western NC:

    I saw Duranta erecta while in eastern Tennessee and fell in love with this plant. Can anyone from upstate South Carolina, eastern Tenn, northern Georgia or Western NC tell me of a nursery greenhouse or possibly a Home Depot, etc.. where I can purchase this plant? It is one of the prettiest plants I have ever seen.

  51. From Isabel, San Antonio:

    I have had a Duranta Erecta in my sunny garden for a few years. It freezes every winter and I cut the canes back to about 6 inches long. It comes back to life in late May and I just noticed this week (mid-July) that it is starting to bloom. I think it usually blooms sooner, but we’re in a drought. Funny thing is that it generally takes a rain shower to get it blooming, no matter how much you water it, it knows when it rains!

  52. From Ann Lee's Summit, MO:

    I have a beautiful sapphire showers I bought in the spring. It’s been in a large pot on my Northwest side of the house & gets at least 1/2 day of afternoon sun which can be very hot. It survived our long hot spell this summer. Yea! My question is that I want to bring it in the house for the winter. Should I put it in the basement by a south-facing window and let it kinda go dormant (watering monthly) or should it be upstairs in a sunnier spot. My upstairs area is limited with a plant this size. Thanks for any feed back.

  53. From Michelle, Beaumont, TX:

    I’d bought a the Duranta simply because it was a beautiful plant, but it didn’t have a tag to tell me what it was…that was several years ago. About two months ago I finally ran across it again and asked the caretaker what it was called…now I can tell you, from experience of not knowing what I had, this is one hardy plant. I’d pulled it up last year to replant a flowerbed and just threw it in a bushel basket and it has actually started growing there…with no soil, love, etc! I’m amazed! I plan on potting it this weekend in a hanging basket so I can enjoy it from my kitchen window…i love this plant!

  54. From Bert, Miami:

    Hi! I have a hedge of Cuban Gold Duranta on my property that is about 5 feet tall. I inhereited these plants in 2008 from the previous home owner. Although my house was unoccupied for several months before we purchased it, the durantas survived. Last year we had a few days of cold weather causing many of the leaves to fall. There are currently large pockets of missing leaves in the hedge. Do you know how I can save these? Is there a special fertilizer? Should I snap off the dry stems? Should the hedge be cut down to maybe 3 ft? Any help would be great – if these aren’t better by the spring, I will have to replace them 🙁


  55. From Laurie, Gaylord MI.:

    Hi, I bought my Duranta erecta, not realizing it is a tropical plant. I live in zone 5 and bringing it in the house for the winter is not an option. My garage does not have enough windows. Do I have any other options. I really love my plant, just don’t know what to do, Thank you…

  56. From REna Coughlin:

    Just relocated here from Virginia. Bought this amazing shrub this a.m. At Ace Hardware in Atlantic Beach. Fl.
    They had this 6ft. Tall shrub/tree on sale out in the back patio. Gorgeous blue flowers just starting to bloom out…beautiful drooping branches. Instant Love.
    Hope it likes our condo.