Duranta, also known as pigeon berry, golden dewdrop or skyflower, is a member of the Verbenaceae family. There are more than 17 different tropical perennial durantas, which originated in sub-tropical North America, Mexico and parts of South America. Duranta is easy to grow and hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 9 through 11. The purple-blue or gold flowers that adorn the duranta attract hummingbirds and bees, while the fruit provides food for birds.
Things You'll Need
- 1-gallon pot
- Coffee filter
- Potting soil
- Slow-release, balanced fertilizer
Soak the duranta seeds in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes. This helps soften the seed coat, which promotes germination.
Cover the drainage holes in a 1-gallon-size pot with a coffee filter. This allows the water to drain but keeps the soil in the pot. Fill the pot with potting soil, leaving the soil 1/2 inch below the rim.
Place a duranta seed in the center of the pot. Push the seed into the soil with a finger or a pencil to a depth of 2 inches. Cover the seed hole with the soil and tamp down gently with your fingers.
Irrigate the soil until water drains out the bottom and place the pot in a sunny location. If the weather remains 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the pot can be placed outdoors. Otherwise, place the pot indoors in a sunny window where the temperature remains 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Inspect the soil for moisture every day. Stick a finger into the soil to the first knuckle. Water the soil if it is dry. The soil should dry out between watering or the seed could rot. Generally, the soil needs watering every other day, but it depends on the heat of the day, humidity and how sunny the days have been. It takes about one month before the seed germinates, but some can take as long as three months.
Fertilize the duranta with a slow-release, balanced fertilizer once every three months. Mix and apply the fertilizer according to label directions. Transplant the duranta into the ground or into a larger pots after the first year.
- Tropical Plants Flowers and Décor: The Colorful Duranta Repens
- Mighty Garden: How to Grow Duranta
- Floridata; Duranta erecta; Steve Christman; October 2003
- "American Horticultural Society A to Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants"; Christopher Brickell; 2004
- "National Garden Book" Sunset Books; 1997