Alternative ground cover lawns are becoming more popular and blue star creeper is a fantastic, low-maintenance grass substitute if you are looking to change the look of your lawn. Blue star creeper (botanical name isotoma fluviatalis) has a spreading and mounding growth habit, which forms a dense, low mat of leafy green foliage. In spring and summertime, blue star creeper sprouts delicate star-shaped flowers that range in hue from pale purple to blue. It requires less water than a traditional grass lawn, and only grows to be about three-to-five inches tall, so mowing becomes unnecessary! Known as a hardy plant, this Australia native can tolerate heavy foot traffic, extreme weather conditions, and even drought. In addition to being a respectable grass substitute, blue star creeper can also be used as a filler between patio stones, cover for spring bulbs, or as a border plant.
Blue star creeper is relatively easy to grow, requiring little ongoing maintenance once established. They should be planted at least eight to 10 inches apart for thick coverage. Shearing to about one inch tall in the late fall will help to keep the plants tidy throughout the winter and in the spring as new growth begins. Other than this optional upkeep, blue star creeper is a low-maintenance perennial and does not require deadheading. The palnts will continue flowering throughout the spring and summer with little-to-no assistance. Blue star creepers are not invasive by definition, but they’re not native to the U.S. and can spread quickly, becoming invasive in certain situations. Fertilizing blue star creeper too often can encourage aggressive growth which often goes on to become invasive. Fertilizing once at the beginning of the growing season with an all-purpose fertilizer will help to facilitate strong new growth. Keep this in mind when deciding where you’d like to plant blue star creeper. It can be easily contained with deep garden barriers or walls.
For full and colorful growth, these plants should receive direct sunlight for most of the day. In partial sunlight the growth may not be as dense. As far as soil goes, blue star creeper is quite flexible. A moist, well-draining medium is sufficient. The soil should have a pH level between 6.1 to 7.8, or mildly acidic to alkaline. The plants have medium water needs. They’re known for being drought tolerant, but they thrive with adequate moisture in the summer months. In summertime, keep the soil moist with regular watering to support strong growth. These are resilient, cold-hardy plants that can withstand temperatures as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 degrees Celsius) with snow cover. However, it thrives in the warmer seasons and needs warm spring and summer temperatures in order to survive. Blue star creeper usually blooms from spring to late fall.