The Q&A Archives: Duranta sweet memory sky flower

Question: I have purchased the Flower Of Month at our Madera, Ca. Home Depot and would like as much info as I can get about planting and maintaining. I purchased 11 plants and plan to trellis them against the fence. Also, what zone are we in?
Christina Castro

Answer: You are in USDA zone 8a. Duranta erecta or Sky flower is a fast-growing evergreen vinelike shrub or small tree that can get up to 18 ft tall and just as wide. It usually forms a multi-stemmed clump with branches that droop and trail. The ovate leaves are 1-3 in long and arranged on the stem in pairs opposite each other, or in whorls of three. Some bushes are quite spiny, and some have no spines at all. The showy flowers bloom almost all year long in terminal or lateral clusters (racemes, actually) up to 6 in long. The individual flowers are tubular with five petals, light blue to violet or purple, and flare out at the mouth about 0.5 in across. The fruit is a spherical yellow drupe about 0.5 in (1.3 cm) in diameter borne in showy hanging bunches.

When young it's quite an upright tree but as it ages it can spread out if given the opportunity. The Duranta likes full sun or light shade in the ground or in a large container. It is easy to grow and requires little care. It tends to sprawl and will need regular thinning and pruning to keep it under control.

Hardy in USDA Zones 9 - 11. In Zone 8 the shrub dies to ground after hard freezes but resprouts in spring. It typically recovers quickly enough to bloom, but probably not set berries, by the following season's first frost.

Hope this answers all your questions! Enjoy your new plants!

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