02
September
2019

This Year’s Winner: Evolvulus ‘Blue My Mind’

EVO Blue My Mind 21
Evolvulus ‘Blue My Mind’ won by a landslide this year

A BETTER BLUE

As voted by our Field Day panel of judges—all the attendees—the favorite plant for 2019 is Evolvulus ‘Blue My Mind’. It won by a landslide and we have to say we can understand why. For summer bloom in a stunning shade of blue there is nothing like Evolvulus.

Although we admire the flowers for their exceptional blue color and all-summer performance, we normally don’t grow any of the species or the usual cultivars. Generally, the blooms are too sparse, the flowers are too tiny, or the plant is too unreliable for greenhouse production. ‘Blue My Mind’, however, is the first variety we’ve seen that buyers will actually want—it denotes a significant improvement to the genus.

This cultivar from Proven Winners is the gold standard for Evolvulus—it’s a good example of better breeding. ‘Blue My Mind’ has a controlled habit that is not leggy or lanky. Stems rise up off the ground to give a little height to the blue flowers. It has superior blooming vigor, giving us a much better carpet of dead-on true blue. For that matter, it has better vigor in general, and survivability in the garden, than the usual Evolvulus.

EVO Blue My Mind 17
This is a rare, clear true blue with no hint of magenta 

A TRUE BLUE

‘Blue My Mind’ offers a unique clear blue color that is simply hard to find in summer plants. Many blue flowers are not really blue—they have hints of magenta that actually make them blue-purple. Scrubbing out that magenta is difficult to do genetically; in the natural world you won’t find very many true blue flowers without magenta in them.

This is one of those few true blue plants that really delivers the blue, and it’s one of the only truly pure blues that thrives in the hot summer sun and the cooler autumn nights. Flowers always appear on the leaf tips, but not at the very end of the stem. They emerge from the tips, but they face to the left or right of the stem, never up to the sky.

EVO Blue My Mind 01
Fuzzy Oregano-like foliage spreads out rather than up like the herb

In the center of the flower is a small star-shaped white eye with slender stamens and very thin threads. The flower itself is shaped from five broadly round petals, and each stem is usually tipped with several flowers pointing in different directions. ‘Blue My Mind’ is good about lifting the stem tips up toward the sun and the pollinators.

When designing, this true blue allows us to gather companions of light green foliage, white flowers, and warm shades of yellow and orange for contrast, or to create a dappled cool look with purple and lavender.

EVO Blue My Mind 06
Delicate hairs crowd the tips, protecting buds and grabbing water out of the air

SILVER SHEEN ON THE FOLIAGE

Blooms are about the size of a nickel. Although the foliage is a standard green, it has a silvery sheen due to the high number of delicate hairs that crowd the tips. We figure those hairs are there to protect the delicate leaf tips as they grow out, and the buds as they begin to unfold. While the color coverage is average, the light silvery fuzz helps to add texture and softens the plant overall.

Also, the fuzzy tips are adept at grabbing water out of the air, so apparently ‘Blue My Mind’ has an evolutionary mechanism to cope with drier soils. Since it grows in a mounded, trailing habit it works well in both containers and as a front-of-the-garden groundcover.

 EVO Blue My Mind 09
Tiny dots of color remain even when flowers have twisted shut

EYES THAT OPEN AND SHUT

Flowers on Evolvulus close up at night and during overcast days. When it’s only lightly cloudy the flowers open up before Portulaca flowers do; for Evolvulus blooms to remain closed the cloud cover has to be heavy. Even when the Evolvulus flowers are not open we still get color because they twist closed without hiding themselves. Tiny dots of blue remain visible through the textured foliage.

EVO Blue My Mind 23
Better breeding has resulted in superior vigor and survivability in the garden 

CULTIVATION AND CARE

Evolvulus likes the heat—as a rule, the hotter the better. While it’s known for its full summer performance, remember that drought tolerance only occurs once the plant has established its roots. It needs regular watering for a few weeks after planting, and access to regular and reasonable watering during summer dry spells. Please note that droughts come at a cost. Plants husband their strength during hard times, so strong, consistent blooming without cycling occurs with steady access to water.

‘Blue My Mind’ benefits from typical garden soil and a steady, even hand with fertilizer. A slow release type or compost is a better choice; a high dose of fertilizer results in more leaves than flowers. This plant also loves full sun, blooming around late spring and throughout the summer, steadily until frost. Deadheading is not necessary—spent flowers drop off when they are no longer useful.

Proven Winners has taken up the breeding for this genus, beefing up the plant to improve both its height and volume so it will have some market viability. Its mature size is 6–12 inches, making it large for Evolvulus but a popular height for designers; it spreads about 12–24 inches.

EVO Blue My Mind 02
Ron’s Garden matched the blue with warm shades of yellow and orange

IN THE LANDSCAPE

As a bedding plant, ‘Blue My Mind’ functions as a low groundcover. We get an oregano-like vibe from the foliage, but the plant spreads out wide instead of up like the herb. We used Evolvulus in two places during Field Day.

In Ron’s Garden it had yellow and orange companions Marigold ‘Jamie Yellow’ and Lantana ‘Hot Blooded’, for a yellow/blue/orange display. In the On Point garden it was used as a groundcover within a planting of Duranta ‘Cuban Gold’, for a blue and yellow design.

Since it loves heat and handles dry soils, you can plant ‘Blue My Mind’ as a specimen in a rockery, or use it to bring life to a difficult garden area.

EVO Blue My Mind 19
Evolvulus and Scaevola paired up to cascade over this container

IN CONTAINERS

We also used this plant in the Patio Display container on Field Day, mixing it with Scaevola and Lobelia. These were the spillers, so we used Cordyline ‘Albatross’ as the thriller and Hedera to give it some textural contrast. ‘Blue My Mind’ tended to spill and trail over the sides—within the arrangement it didn’t get high enough to make an impression.

‘Blue My Mind’ mixes very well with other container standards like Lobelia, Calibrachoa, Euphorbia, and Petunias. Its small, textured leaves add bulk to the center without overpowering the other denizens, but the plant is loose enough to mix and mingle with its coinhabitants. We find that the true blue adds a nice counterpoint to the dominant color, and the textured leaves fill in the gaps and break up the textures.

On a side note, your customers might know this plant as a dwarf morning glory, but it has nothing to do with Ipomoea at all. Frankly, we’re not certain how it got that common name. There is a morning glory called ‘Heavenly Glory’ that is a true blue as well, but other than that the two plants look nothing like each other.

EVO Blue My Mind 22

Field Notes Sign-Up

Subscribe Today to Our Field Notes Newsletter.
captcha

Who We Are

Diefenbacher Greenhouses is a supplier of annuals and creative green goods. We sell directly to Garden Centers and Landscapers in the Cincinnati Area. 

We are wholesale only!

Home of Blue Ribbon

brb_logo

The finest blooming and non-blooming plants available to consumers in the Greater Cincinnati-Dayton area.
Click Here to learn more.