Duranta is a fast growing tropical shrub with beautiful blooms and fantastic foliage. It is native to Mexico to South America and the Caribbean and belongs to the verbena family Verbenaceae. It is widely grown as an ornamental plant throughout the tropical and subtropical gardens of the world.
These beautiful tropical flowering shrubs are easy to care for and all you need to worry about is watering them in the dry season. Do not grow Durantas along building foundations because you'll have to prune them away from walls.
The plant can grow in full sun or partial shade. For better growth plant it in a region where it'll receive abundant sunlight throughout the day.
The plant has rich green foliage. Flowers are blue, white or lavender coloured and grow in clumps. The fruit looks like berries and is orange in colour. Thorns develop on the branches as the plant matures. Prune the plant to give it a compact, neat shape. Flowering season is in spring and lasts till fall.
Young Duranta requires regular watering but after the first year, it becomes quite hardy. You can water when the soil feels dry. Keep the soil moderately moist and do not let it dry out completely. Also, don't over-water as that may lead to fungal problems in the root.
Use a rich, organic, loamy soil that drains well. Don't use heavy soil and make sure the container has drainage holes. A layer of mulch will help retain moisture as well as keep the temperature even.
The shrub can grow up to 10 feet to 15 feet and spreads about 5 feet. As houseplant they generally grow up to 4 to 5 feet.
Fertilize three to four times in the growing season, beginning just before the flowering season with a basic N-P-K fertilizer. If the blooms are not plenty, use a fertilizer rich in phosphorus to help with that.
The plant can get infested by mealybugs, scale and nematodes. Use a organic insecticidal spray or neem oil spray.
In warmer temperatures the plant is evergreen. The flowers are attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. You can use it as a hedge plant or a specimen plant. It can be grown in containers too and adds a tropical charm to your house. It's a great addition to natural beauty with its golden green foliage and colourful flowers and fruits.