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How to Care for a Sapphire Showers Plant or Tree

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How to Care for a Sapphire Showers Plant or Tree

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Overview

Nothing gathers attention like deep blue-violet flowers, and the Sapphire Showers golden dewdrop (Duranta erecta "Sapphire Showers"), also called pigeon berry or skyflower, delights with blossoms edged in white. This cold-tender tropical shrub to small tree relishes sunlight and heat and is hardy in USDA zones 8 to 12, where winters are very mild. The soil must be light and well-draining; sandy soil rich with organic matter is perfect. Light tip pruning of branches in spring allows for lush regrowth.

Step 1

Provide 1 inch of water to the golden dewdrop each week during the growing season. An evenly moist soil in the heat of summer will encourage lush foliage and abundant flowering.

Step 2

Layer organic mulch or compost around the base of the shrub in a ring that extends 1 to 2 feet beyond the spreading reach of the branches. The layer of organic matter should be 2 to 4 inches deep and 3 to 4 inches away from the actual trunk of the plant. The nutrients that leach from the organic matter into the soil will benefit the plant and help keep the soil moist.

Step 3

Consider adding an all-purpose, slow-release fertilizer around the root zone of this plant in spring and summer according to product directions. This is especially important for plants growing in sandy soils or regions that get copious amounts of rain in summertime. Plants grown in containers need this supplemental fertilization for best performance, too.

Step 4

Prune back branches by 50 percent each early spring if desired, to keep the shrub looking fresh and tidy. Make the pruning cuts anywhere along the stem, as regrowth will occur in several locations of remaining stems and can be thinned out once they appear. In regions where a killing frost or mild freezes occur in winter, the plant will naturally die back to its base or roots, and will rejuvenate in spring. In tropical regions the plant will grow upwards of 15 to 20 feet without pruning or nipping frosts.

Tips and Warnings

  • The yellow fruits of Sapphire Showers must not be consumed.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand pruners (secateurs)
  • Organic mulch or compost
  • Slow-release granular fertilizer

References

  • Floridata.com: Duranta erecta
  • "Dirr's Trees and Shrubs for Warm Climates"; Michael A. Dirr; 2002.
  • Learn2Grow.com: Duranta erecta 'Sapphire Showers'

Who Can Help

  • National Gardening Association: USDA Hardiness Zone Finder
Keywords: Duranta erecta, pigeon berry, golden dewdrop

About this Author

James Burghardt has written for The Public Garden, Docent Educator, numerous non-profit newsletters and for Learn2Grow.com's comprehensive plant database. He holds a Master's degree in Public Horticulture from the University of Delaware and studied horticulture and biology in Australia at Murdoch University and the University of Melbourne's Burnley College.