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The trailing indigo bush is a low growing evergreen shrub, 12-18 in. high, spreading 5-10 ft. wide. Dense silvery green foliage is comprised of pinnately divided leaves; numerous heads of purple flowers provide modest accent value in early spring to summer.

This species is native to southern Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Mexico where it grows in rocky limestone soils, in sunny exposed areas and tolerates heat, sun, aridity and drought. It is one of the best long-lived ground covers for southwestern style gardens for use on banks, cascading over walls and in combination with mesquite and palo verde trees. It grows quickly while retaining a dense foliage character and spreading habit.

Water Needs

The trailing indigo bush is well adapted to hot microclimate locations in the Inland Empire where it thrives in sun and with normal winter rainfall and low amounts of summer water. It is a colorful flowering accent shrubs for courtyard and southwestern plantings in both commercial and residential settings. Monthly deep watering from spring through fall will enhance its spring flowering cycle and help maintain good foliage character. It should be noted there are several months marked by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water depending upon exposure conditions and size.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 2

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"-14"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Shrub, Ground cover
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Spreading, Dense
Growth Rate: Long-lived, Fast
Height: 12 in. - 18 in.
Width: 5 ft. - 10 ft.
Water Needs: Low 2
Foliage Color: Blue green, Gray green
Flower Color: Purple
Flower Season: Summer, Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Calcareous soil
Exposure Adaptations: Heat, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Attracts butterflies


Requires very minimal maintenance is spaced properly. Trim or edge back as desired in late winter or early spring before flowers open (D). This plant gets very wide and will ramble over other nearby plants if allowed to. Plant in a space that can accommodate its mature size or plan to prune it back consistently. If multiple trailing indigo bush plants are planted closer together than their full size, they will ramble over each other and grow to a taller height (S).



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