How to Grow Hedyotis Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Bluets, Innocence and Quaker Bonnets

Members of the Hedyotis plant genus are small hardy perennials that are ideal for use in rock gardens.

They are usually about 10 to 15 cm in height, though some larger varieties may make 45 cm in height.

They have stellar flowers of purple, blue or white, and miniature green leaves.

Some of the common names for Hedyotis include Quaker bonnets, Quaker Ladies, Bluets, and Innocence.

Hedyotis longifolia
Hedyotis longifolia by superiornationalforest.

Hedyotis Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Bluets, Innocence, Awiwi, Quaker Bonnets, Quaker-ladies.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial.
Height: 4 to 18 inches (10 to 45 cm).
Native: Asia. Northern Pacific Islands.
Growing Region: Zones 3 to 8.

Flowers: Late spring through to early summer.
Flower Details: White, purple, blue. Star-shaped.
Foliage: Bright Green. Tiny. Narrow. Ear-leaved. Sweet smelling.

Sowing: Cover seed. End of summer from fresh seeds. Germination time: two or three weeks. Sow into Vermiculite containing flat. Next sink the flat into the ground in an area that offers shade, preferably close to a wall that faces north. Provide a glass/plastic covering. Keep an eye on the flats to ensure that the soil remains moist and to check if seedlings have emerged. After one years of growth, transplant the seedlings to their final location in the spring or autumn with a spacing of 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm).

Requirements and care: Full sunlight; partial (afternoon) shade in hot areas. Soil pH 5.0 to 6.0. Moist soil. Regular watering during periods of growth. Tidy dead leaves. Regular division. Propagate: by dividing in the spring in cooler areas or the autumn in warmer areas.

Miscellaneous: The scientific name Hedyotis comes from the Greek words for sweet (Hedys) and ear (otos); a reference to their leaves.

How to Grow Quaker Bonnets, Bluets and other Hedyotis Plants in the Garden

Fresh seeds from Hedyotis plants should be planted in a sunny area of the garden at the end of Summer.

The seeds should be sown into vermiculite containers, and sunk into a shady area of the garden.

Germination usually takes from three to four weeks. Once Quakers Bonnets / Bluets seedlings have sprouted they should be allowed to grow for a further year, and then transferred to their final location the following autumn.

Ideally Hedyotis Plants should be spaced about 30 to 40 cm (12 to 16 inches) apart in the garden. Locate plants in a moist acidic soil of about pH 5 to 6.

Caring for Hedyotis plants

Once established it is important to keep Hedyotis plants such as Bluets well watered when they are growing.

More plants can be created by dividing the plants. This should be done regularly as Hedyotis plants have a short life span.

Following flowering allow the leaves to die fully before attempting to remove them.

Common Questions

How many members does the Hedyotis genus have?

The Hedyotis genus consists of about 150 species.

Do members of Hedyotis make a good garden or landscaping plant?

While not widely cultivated, some species of Hedyotis can be used as ground cover in gardens due to their small, delicate flowers.

Which Hedyotis species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

The Hedyotis corymbosa species, commonly known as the Old World Diamond Flower, is the most likely member of this genus to be grown by gardeners.

Are members of the Hedyotis plant genus fragrant?

Members of the Hedyotis genus are not widely recognized for their fragrance.

What is the perfect location to grow Hedyotis?

Hedyotis species generally prefer full sun or partial shade, and a well-drained soil. They are also fairly drought-tolerant once established.

Is Hedyotis invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Currently, Hedyotis is not listed as an invasive species in the USA.

How do I remove Hedyotis plants from my garden?

Hedyotis plants can be removed by carefully digging up the entire plant, ensuring that all roots are removed to prevent regrowth.


The Hedyotis plant genus belongs to the Rubiaceae family. This widespread genus, found primarily in tropical and subtropical regions, comprises small shrubs and herbs, some with medicinal properties. A well-known species is Hedyotis diffusa, used in traditional Chinese medicine.

To grow Hedyotis, plant it in well-drained soil under full sun to partial shade. They prefer warm climates and need consistent watering, but avoid overwatering. The plants can be propagated by seeds or cuttings, typically in the warmer months of spring or early summer.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Hedyotis plants. You may also enjoy my gardening guides on how to grow Convallaria, Dioscorea plant, and Belamcanda plants.