The Duranta repens is a small creeping shrub, or partially erect, originating in Central America; the thin semi-woody stems are densely branched, arched, light green; the foliage is oval in shape, and small in size, it is evergreen in areas with a mild winter climate; from late spring to autumn at the apex of the stems small flowers of violet or blue color, with five petals, with white margin and light eye, united in long pendulous panicles. In autumn flowers follow small golden berries, which often persist on the plant for weeks. D. erecta is a bushy species, which can reach 200-250 cm in height. To maintain a more compact and dense plant it is good to prune all the branches in late winter, shortening them by about a third.
The plants of the variety Duranta repens are grown in a sunny or partially shady place; a poor insolation can lead to an equally scarce flowering, it is therefore good to cultivate the plants in a place where they can enjoy at least a few hours of direct sun, perhaps repairing them during the hottest hours of the day, as the excessive solar irradiation when the temperatures they are greater, it could cause damage to the plant. They do not fear the cold and can withstand short periods of frost; in regions with very cold winters the plants are cultivated in pots, so that they can be moved to a cold greenhouse when the frost arrives, or they are covered with non-woven fabric and rest on the surrounding soil of the mulching material that will allow the plants to withstand the temperatures colder.
As for the waterings to which it is good to subject the plants of Duranta repens it is good to know that, from April-May until autumn, it is advisable to water regularly, leaving the soil to dry between one watering and another. During the cold months we can avoid watering. Check that water does not form at the base of the plant which could compromise its health.
Plants of this genus adapt to any type of soil, provided it is very well drained; avoid excessively heavy or clayey soils. The ideal soil is composed of soft and light, which is able to prevent the formation of water stagnation, which can be very dangerous for the plant's roots.
Speaking of which we are the best techniques for the propagation of this variety of plants it is good to know that, usually, it happens by seed, in spring; in summer it is possible to take cuttings from branches that have not produced flowers and place them in special containers in which they will have the possibility of rooting; It is a good idea to wait a little while before settling them permanently, so that it is possible to buy them the necessary strength.
Duranta repens: Pests and diseases
Plants of this variety can present problems due to the presence of pests and diseases. The most common are rust and mites; in case their presence is noticed, it is necessary to intervene with timeliness using specific products that can counteract the problem. Another aspect to check is that water does not build up, which could cause the onset of radical, very harmful rots.