On gardening: Best supporting flower goes to… Blue My Mind and Blue My Mind XL | Gardening

Blue My Mind and last year’s sibling Blue My Mind evolvulus are the surefire winners of Best Supporting Flower 2022. This is for the flower that delivers an outstanding performance in a supporting role.

As I write this, I’m hours away from the 2022 version of the Oscars. I don’t know what movies this year are and I have to admit that I haven’t seen any. Chances are, though, that Hollywood stars don’t know my best supporting flower either. It’s OK, it’s their loss.

I suspect Blue My Mind and Blue My Mind XL will still get a nomination, but there will be years when a Scaevola or a Mecardonia might slip in and take home the trophy. You might even wonder how I was able to give it to both Blue My Mind and the XL version?

Well, the University of Tennessee trials said it all. Perfect scoring all season for both, and they couldn’t tell the difference between the two. Further trials indicated that the XL was indeed a bit taller in bloom and habit. While I’m not betting the proverbial family farm on it, I bet when you see the icy blue flowers in a combo you’ll go ooh and ahh. It will be thanks to the little blue-flowered evolvulus.

Usually my articles are needed to straighten out a taxonomic change in nomenclature. This time I’m chasing the rabbit we call the common name. When the evolvulus came out in the mid-90s, we were happy to leave that common name behind. It kind of added an air of mystery to the plant. The big boys in the crop market don’t like mystery, so they tagged it “bush morning glory.”

While grannies and the like love their morning glories, there’s another segment of gardeners and farmers in which it puts the fear of God. For this group, the term “bush” simply means “I could kill that morning glory if I try hard and rent the flamethrower from the store.” Of course, I’m kind of kidding.

The botanical name Evolvulus means to untwist or not to climb. Blue My Mind grows to about 12 inches tall, spreading outward to about 24 inches. XL will grow outward a little larger. This is quite special for a plant that is part of the morning glories family. Space your plants 12 to 24 inches apart. This low growing habit makes it the perfect plant for the front of the border in front of Luscious Marmalade Lantanas or whatever your favorite color is. Use it in mixed containers and they’ll make you look like the design pro who won the Federated Garden Club‘s mixed container award.

Since both Blue My Mind varieties have the ability to work for a very long season, it pays to prepare your bed properly. I like to work in 3-4 inches of organic matter, with two pounds of slow release fertilizer like a 15-7-15 per 100 square feet of bed space. Your bed is probably smaller; just follow the directions on your fertilizer label. You might be wondering why you’re doing this for such a hardy plant. The answer is drainage. Blue My Mind varieties of evolvulus do not like to sit in damp, soggy conditions, so good drainage is an absolute must.

Few plants are also maintenance-free. Watering during dry spells and light monthly fertilizer applications will keep your plants flowering until frost. No skull and crossbones is necessary. This color of blue stands out as the best supporting flower, even when paired with a Hollywood Star Superbells Calibrachoa.

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