How to Plant and Grow Duranta

This fast-growing tropical shrub offers beautiful blooms and fantastic foliage.

A tropical powerhouse, the golden dewdrop plant, also known as duranta, is a fast-growing tropical shrub with beautiful blooms. With the potential to become quite large where they are hardy (some varieties reaching over 15 feet!), these plants also make great, quick-growing, warm-season annuals and can even be grown as houseplants. Grown primarily for the plant's blue blooms, many varieties of duranta also have highly ornamental golden foliage.

Its brilliant blue flowers make duranta a knockout. Each bloom is a vibrant blue shade, often edged in white, although there are varieties in light shades of violet-blue and some in bright white. Many varieties bloom throughout the year in areas where they are hardy. After blooming, the plants continue to put on a show with golden berries, which is where the common name "golden dewdrop" comes from.

The foliage can also be ornamental. Typically, it consists of simple green leaves with an appealing glossiness, but variegated duranta varieties exist also. Some have solid golden leaves; others have light green leaves centered with a golden edge, and some have a white or cream variegated leaf.

Be cautious when siting duranta because the berries of these plants are highly toxic. Keep them away from children and pets. However, birds delight in eating them and are not affected by their toxins.

Duranta Overview

Genus Name Duranta erecta
Common Name Duranta
Plant Type Annual, Shrub
Light Part Sun, Sun
Height 1 to 15 feet
Width 2 to 6 feet
Flower Color Blue, Purple, White
Foliage Color Blue/Green, Chartreuse/Gold
Season Features Fall Bloom, Spring Bloom, Summer Bloom
Special Features Attracts Birds, Good for Containers, Low Maintenance
Zones 10, 11, 9
Propagation Seed, Stem Cuttings
Problem Solvers Good For Privacy

Where to Plant Duranta

In the garden, duranta grows as an annual in all regions except USDA zones 9-11, where it is a shrub. It can also be grown in containers and moved indoors with the weather turns cold. The plant needs full sun for the best flower production and a location big enough to handle the plant's large size.

When grown as annuals, the plants reach a couple of feet in height. As a shrub in zones 9–11, this plant quickly grows to 15 feet or taller and is an effective privacy screen.

Duranta is salt-tolerant, so it is a good choice for coastal gardens.

Invasive Plant

Because of the many berries these plants produce, they can become invasive in tropical areas, so check with local authorities if you have any concerns.

How and When to Plant Duranta

Plant duranta in the spring in an area big enough to handle the plant's mature size. Dig a hole twice as big as the plant's root ball and deep enough so the top of the root ball will sit a half-inch above soil level. Loosen the soil in the hole with a shovel and break up the soil removed from the hole; it will be used to backfill after planting.

Water the plant in its nursery container, slip it out and loosen the roots with your hands. Cut away any roots that circle the root ball tightly. Position the plant in the hole and backfill the hole halfway with the reserved soil. Tamp it to prevent air pockets. Repeat this action at three-quarters full and again when the plant is sitting just above the soil line.

Duranta Care Tips

Duranta is an extremely easy-to-grow annual or shrub, depending on your location.


Full sun is best for these plants, as they will have a better habit and won't get loose as they would in the shade. Flower production is also much better in full sun. The plant will grow in partial sun, but a shady location dramatically inhibits its ability to bloom.

Soil and Water

Duranta plants thrive in well-drained, moist, fertile soils. They tolerate other soils as long as they drain well.

Water duranta plants frequently until they are established. After that point, the plants need to receive at least an inch of rain (or water) per week. If they start to wilt, they will quickly bounce back once watered.

Temperature and Humidity

Duranta plants love hot, humid weather. When grown as annuals, they don't tolerate temperatures much lower than 40°F. If the plant is in a container, bring it indoors when the temperature approaches this point.


When duranta plants are in rich soil, they don't need any additional fertilizer; they aren't heavy feeders. However, if your soil is rocky or poor, apply an all-purpose general fertilizer monthly during the growing season, following manufacturer's instructions.


Duranta grows extremely fast. It needs frequent pruning to keep the plant looking its best. The overall habit of duranta tends to be semi-weeping, but you can keep the plant manicured to rounded shrubs. In landscapes where these plants are hardy, it's best to avoid planting them near sidewalks and paths, as they quickly overtake them and will require constant maintenance. Many varieties have small thorns on the branches—another good reason to keep them away from paths.

Potting and Repotting Duranta

When you plant duranta in containers, give these plants a standard, well-drained potting mix, and add some slow-release fertilizer following the product directions. Move the container indoors when the temperature drops or position it next to a south-facing surface for warmth. Even in areas where it is cold-hardy, duranta plants rarely tolerate temperatures in the 20s. They die back to the ground or container soil level for winter and come back the following year.

Pests and Problems

Duranta tends to be disease-resistant, but it is susceptible to mealy bugs, white flies, and scale, all of which can be treated with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Many duranta plants have thorns and require caution when handling. Only a few are thornless. Check with the nursery; some plants that are thornless when young develop thorns as they mature.

How to Propagate Duranta

Duranta plants are easy to propagate using stem cuttings. Take a 6-inch cutting in the summer and remove leaves from the bottom half. Dip the cut end in rooting powder and plant it in a pot filled with potting mix. Keep the potting mix moist until you see new growth.

You can harvest seeds from plants to propagate duranta, but the plants will not be true to the parent because most duranta plants are hybrids. Remove the seeds from the berries and press them into potting mix. Keep them in a warm environment of about 70°F, and they'll germinate in one to two months.

Types of Duranta

'Gold Edge' Duranta

Duranta erecta 'Gold Edge'
Dean Schoeppner

Duranta erecta 'Gold Edge' is a variety grown primarily for its foliage. 'Gold Edge' has rich green leaves with a bright gold edge. Light blue flowers appear in summer, followed by orange berries. Zones 9-11

'Sapphire Showers' Duranta

Sapphire Showers duranta
Robert Cardillo

Duranta erecta 'Sapphire Showers' is an extremely floriferous selection. Deep blue flowers with a white edge cover plants in summer and throughout the year in tropical climates. Zones 9-11

White Duranta

white duranta erecta
Bill Holt

Duranta 'Alba' bears pure-white flowers followed by yellow fruit. It grows 1-2 feet tall as an annual and up to 6 feet tall as a tropical shrub.

'Variegata' Duranta

variegated duranta
Blaine Moats

Duranta erecta 'Variegata' is grown for its beautiful variegated foliage. This variety has green leaves edged heavily in creamy yellow with blue blooms in summer. It grows to 15 feet in a short time. Zones 9-11

Duranta Companion Plants


Coral Swirl Impatiens
Peter Krumhardt

These shade-loving plants bloom in just about every color except true blue and are well suited to growing in containers or in the ground. If you have a bright spot indoors, you may be able to grow impatiens all year as an indoor plant.

Sweet Potato Vine

moss rose sweet potato vine
Peter Krumhardt

Among the most popular container-garden plants, sweet potato vine is a vigorous grower that you can count on to draw attention. Its colorful foliage, in shades of chartreuse or purple, accents just about any other plant. Grow a few together in a large pot, and they'll make a big impression on their own. Sweet potato vines do best during the warm days of summer and prefer moist, well-drained soil. They thrive in sun or shade.


Tweedia caerulea
Marty Baldwin

If you love blue flowers, tweedia is for you. Tweedia produces beautiful turquoise blooms all season on grayish, felted foliage. The fragrant five-petal flowers make excellent cut flowers, complementing any bouquet. A short vine growing 2 to 3 feet fall, tweedia will twine around short trellises or other supports. (Try a shrubby branch cutting inserted into the soil for a naturalistic support.)

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When do duranta plants bloom?

    Duranta plants have a long blooming season. Depending on the variety, these plants bloom from mid spring or early summer until the first heavy frost.

  • Which creatures feed on duranta plants?

    This fast-growing plant may have blooms and berries at the same time. It is not unusual to see birds (particularly hummingbirds), butterflies, and bees enjoying it in the garden.

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  1. Duranta erecta. North Carolina State University Extension

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