Many of you may wonder why a lot of desert plants in Tucson have that grayish/silver/fuzzy kind of leaf? It's a defense from our hot sun and if you see that color on plants, it's a good indication that the plant will survive our extreme temps in the desert.....which this plant did! One of the shocking things to survive our extreme freeze here was the Blue Daze Evolvulus. This plant performed wonderfully this past year providing lots of lovely light blue blooms under one of the trees here during our summer months. It received a good amount of southern sun....at least 6 hours. However it was not placed in the direct sun and it rarely, once established, needed great amounts of water. I am going to buy more of these plants again this year. They are hardy and do extremely well in amended soil. Many people use this plant in hanging baskets. Sounds like a good idea to me:) Here are the facts....
Evolvulus, or blue daze, is an evergreen subshrub that grows in a low, spreading mound, up to 2-3 ft (0.6-0.9 m) in diameter, but no more than 1 ft (0.3 m) tall. The stems become woody as they age. Leaves and stems are densely downy, covered with a light gray fuzz. Use your tongue to feel the feltlike texture. The egg shaped leaves are about a 0.5 in (1.3 cm) wide and 1 in (2.5 cm) long. The funnel shaped flowers are born individually in leaf axils near the stem tips. They are about 1 in (2.5 cm) across, with five pale lavender or powder blue petals and white throats. Evolvulus blooms profusely and almost continuously, but each flower lasts only a day, opening in the morning and closing by afternoon. The cultivar, 'Blue Daze' is widely available.
Evolvulus grows well in full sun in poor sandy soils that are well drained. Light: Evolvulus does best in full sun, but can tolerate a little shade, especially at midday.
Moisture: Evolvulus needs a well drained soil, but also frequent watering. It cannot tolerate wet soils at all, and very rainy periods or overwatering will cause fungus problems and lead to premature death. Evolvulus needs very little water in winter, and the humidity should be low when the temperature is low.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 8 - 11. This is one plant that likes it hot! In areas that get frost, grow blue daze as an annual or in a container that can be brought inside. Some specimens of blue daze may survive light frosts, especially if they have been mulched.
Propagation: Propagate blue daze from softwood stem cuttings or by seed. The stems tend to take root where they touch the ground, so blue daze can be propagated easily by separating rooted stems from the mother plant.
The name “Evolvulus” means to untwist, referring to its nonvining habit. That's pretty special for a plant that is in the morning glory family.
More plants to write about for this groundcover series. Until tomorrow gardening friends....