Commelina sp., Dayflower

Commelina sp.

Family: Commelinaceae
Origin: Asia, Africa
Groundcover and low-growing 2ft plantSmall plant 2-5 ftSemi-shadeFull sunModerate waterRegular waterYellow, orange flowersBlue, lavender, purple flowersInvasive plantPlant attracts butterflies, hummingbirds

Commelina sp. is a small plant that can grow between 2-5 ft in height, making it an ideal groundcover or low-growing plant for borders or walkways. The plants have an upright or semi-erect form, and their soft and delicate foliage is a pleasing green color. Small, star-shaped flowers in shades of blue, lavender, and purple appear in summer, and bright yellow or orange flowers can appear in autumn.

The dayflower is somewhat drought tolerant, but for best results should be grown in well-drained soil with a regular supply of water, especially during times of drought. It can also tolerate a moderate amount of moisture. Plant in full sun or semi-shade, and make sure to give it enough room to spread.

In USDA Zone 9-11, this small perennial can survive the winter with some preparation. Before cold weather sets in, trim the plants back to around 4 inches tall to help protect them from harsh weather. Add a layer of mulch around the plants to insulate them in cold climates.

In addition to being an attractive garden plant, Commelina sp. also attracts butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators. A word of caution, however, as this plant can be quite invasive in some climates.

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