Plant Type
Sunlight Amount

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Creeping Sundrops

Creeping sundrops is a spreading perennial plant with a dense habit of finely textured chartreuse leaves. Its cheerful, lemon-yellow four-petal flowers cover the plant for 4 to 6 weeks in spring and early summer. In many areas it also develops a woody base, giving it a subshrub distinction in horticulture language. The woody base is usually masked by foliage.

A native of Texas, Northern Mexico, and the Gulf states, creeping sundrops grows best in sunny exposures on well-drained soil. Plant this low-water perennial near the fronts of beds and borders; use it in rock gardens; let it trail over a low wall; or grow it as a xeriscape groundcover. 

genus name
  • Calylophus berlandieri
light
  • Part Sun
  • Sun
plant type
height
  • 1 to 3 feet
width
  • Up to 3 feet
flower color
foliage color
season features
problem solvers
zones
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
propagation

Creeping Sundrops Care Must-Knows

Creeping sundrops thrives in hot, dry locations with well-drained soil. Wet soil, especially in winter, can cause rot. Plant creeping sundrops in spring and water it well after planting and during drought periods throughout the first season after planting. There is no need to provide additional water after the first growing season.

In late winter (ahead of spring growth) prune this short-lived accent plant back nearly to its woody base. This will tidy up its appearance and encourage new growth. Although not mandatory, you may want to shear this plant back a bit after its big spring bloom to boost new flower development.  

Difficult-to-Find Perennial

This North American desert native can be tough to find. Check with public gardens and university gardens to inquire about local sources. Ask your local nursery to order it in for you. Visit online retailers. Be sure to inquire about plant size before making an online purchase.

Plant Creeping Sundrops With:

Delicate and airy, gaura is known as 'Whirling Butterflies', inspired by its dainty, dancing butterflylike flowers. It has long reddish stems that bear loose panicles of flowers, which open from pink buds. In beds and borders, they are best massed for greater effect or can be planted in small groups among shrubs. Gaura prefers rich, well-drained soil; it will not tolerate wet feet. Cut back by half after the first bloom flush for rebloom. It grows best where nights are cool.

This North American native plant has a home in nearly every garden with flowers that hummingbirds love. Long blooming with brilliantly colored, tubular flowers, penstemons -- ironically -- have been a staple in European gardens for decades.There are many different penstemon types. The leaves are lance-shape or oval, sometimes purple-red as in 'Husker Red'. Some Western species need outstanding drainage to dry conditions and won't thrive during wet weather. However, many, such as 'Husker Red', thrive in a wide variety of conditions. Just be sure to provide excellent drainage. Mulch in areas where a type is marginally hardy.

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