How to Care Blue Star Creeper

Blue Star Creeper is a delicate yet hardy flowering ground cover that can make a beautiful addition to any garden. With its creeping stems and stunning blue star-shaped blooms, this plant adds whimsical charm wherever it grows. I’ve grown to love this darling plant and want to share my tips for helping blue star creepers thrive.

Blue star creeper, also known by its scientific name of Isotoma fluviatilis or Laurentia fluviatilis, is a charming little flowering plant in the Campanulaceae family. Native to Australia, this hardy ground cover develops intricate mats of green foliage that hug the ground.

The leaves are small, smooth, and oval-shaped. But the real showstoppers are the flowers. From late spring through fall, clusters of star-shaped blooms open up in lovely shades of purple and blue. They have five petals that spread out like little stars—so delicate and dainty!

Key Facts about the Blue Star Creeper 

  • It grows 4-6 inches tall and spreads 12–18 inches wide.
  • Hardy in USDA zones 5–10
  • Thrives in full sun to partial shade
  • Requires well-draining soil.
  • Extremely drought-tolerant once established
  • Spreads by creeping stems that root at nodes
  • Great as a ground cover or in containers

I love having a blue-star creeper in my garden because it’s just so cute and charming! It creates gorgeous pockets of blue between pavers or throughout garden beds. The whimsical color and form of the blooms make this plant a delight.

If you want to add some fanciful flair to your outdoor space, Blue Star Creeper is a perfect choice. Next, I’ll go over how to plant and care for this darling ground cover in your own garden.

Choosing the right location

Choosing the right location

When finding a spot for your blue-star creeper, there are a few key factors to consider:

Sunlight Needs

Blue star creeper thrives best in full sun to partial shade. Full sun means 6 or more hours of direct sunlight per day. Areas that get some shade in the afternoon are fine too. Just make sure the site gets plenty of sunlight overall.

I’ve found my blue star creeper flourishes most in a spot that gets morning sun and afternoon shade. The midday respite from the sun seems to help it through hot summers. Morning light ensures it gets enough sun to bloom abundantly.

Soil Requirements

This plant needs soil that drains very well. Wet, compacted soil can cause root-rot issues. Go for sandy loam or loamy soil. Improve drainage in heavier clay soils by mixing in compost.

Make sure the area has decent airflow and isn’t prone to puddling after rains. I once planted blue star creeper in a low spot in my yard and regretted it, as the poor drainage led to root problems. Pick an elevated site if possible.

Applications in the Garden

One of the beauties of Blue Star Creeper is its versatility. It can be planted.

  • As a flowering ground cover beneath trees and shrubs
  • Between garden stepping stones or pavers
  • In rock gardens and as edging for garden beds
  • Cascading out of containers and hanging baskets
  • On slopes and banks to control erosion

Really, anywhere you want a pop of blue color and trailing foliage in the garden, Blue Star Creeper is a perfect option. I use it as a living mulch between plants in my perennial beds. It forms a beautiful blue carpet!

Preparing the Soil

Blue Star Creeper isn’t too demanding in terms of soil prep. However taking some time to enrich the planting area will give it the best start.

Here are a few tips for preparing a new bed for Blue Star Creeper:

  • Loosen the existing soil with a shovel or garden tiller. Break up any large clumps.
  • Mix in 2-3 inches of compost or other organic material. This will enrich the soil with nutrients.
  • Consider blending in some sand or small gravel if the native soil is heavy clay. This helps improve drainage.
  • Rake the bed smooth and remove any rocks, debris, roots, or weeds.
  • Consider doing a soil test through your local extension office. This can reveal if any soil amendments are needed to adjust the pH or nutrient levels.

Proper soil prep sets the stage for your blue-star creeper to establish quickly and grow vigorously from the start.

Planting Blue Star Creeper

Once your soil is prepped, it’s time for the fun part—planting! Here are some tips for putting your blue-star creeper in the ground:

When to Plant

In most climates, spring is the ideal planting time for blue-star creepers. Aim to plant it out 4-6 weeks after the last expected frost date. This gives the soil time to warm up for active growth.

You can also plant it in the fall, at least 6 weeks before the first expected frost. Winters are harsh where I live in Zone 5, so I prefer spring planting. But fall works well in milder climates.

Purchasing Plants

You can buy Blue Star creeper starters from local nurseries or order them online. Look for young plants in 4” pots or 2” plug trays. Make sure the plants look healthy with no yellowing or browning leaves.

For quicker cover, purchase multiples and plant them close together. I planted three starters just 8 inches apart to get a fuller area of color sooner.

Digging Holes

Use a trowel to dig holes for each plant, spacing them 8–12 inches apart. The holes should be big enough to easily accommodate the entire root ball.

Gently loosen any tangled roots at the bottom and sides of the root ball before placing the plant in the hole.

Planting Depth

Plant blue star creeper at the same depth it was growing in its nursery pot. Don’t bury it too deep. The top of the root ball should be level with the surrounding soil.

Backfill the hole with the enriched soil you prepared. Gently firm the soil around the root ball to

Water Thoroughly

After planting, water each plant deeply until the soil is moistened 8–10 inches down. This removes any air pockets and establishes good contact between the roots and soil.

Add Mulch

Spread a 1-2-inch layer of mulch, like shredded bark or leaves, around the new transplants. This helps retain soil moisture and reduces weeds. Replenish the mulch as needed.

With proper planting and initial care, your blue star creeper will quickly settle in and start spreading its delicate foliage and charming blooms through your garden!

Caring for the Blue Star Creeper

Caring for the Blue Star Creeper

While Blue Star Creaper is quite adaptable, providing a little routine care will keep yours looking its best.


  • During the first season, water whenever the top few inches of soil becomes dry. Apply about 1 inch of water per week, adjusting for rainfall.
  • Once established, blue star creeper is very drought-tolerant. Only water during extended dry periods after the first year.
  • In very hot and dry climates, supplemental watering may be needed occasionally to keep it looking fresh.
  • Avoid overwatering, which promotes root rot. Allow the soil to partially dry out between waterings.
  • I aim my hose at the base of the plants to keep the foliage dry and prevent disease issues.


  • Keep newly planted areas well-weeded. Competing weeds steal the moisture and nutrients Blue Star creeper needs.
  • Once established, the thick mat of blue-star creeper foliage smothers out most weeds. Just occasional hand weeding is needed.
  • Carefully weed by hand to avoid disturbing the shallow roots.


  • Use a balanced organic fertilizer or compost in early spring and summer. This fuels growth and blooms.
  • In very poor or sandy soils, supplemental feeding 3–4 times per season may be beneficial. But go easy, as excessive fertilizer can harm blue star creepers.
  • If possible, have your soil tested and amend only as needed based on the test recommendations.

Pruning/Cutting Back

  • Prune or cut back straggly stems in late winter before new growth begins. This encourages full, thick growth.
  • Removing spent flowers regularly can promote a heavier rebloom. But this isn’t essential.
  • Severely damaged or diseased stems can be pruned at any time.
  • Every few years, cut all the stems back to a few inches above the ground. This rejuvenates growth.
  • Trim off stems that creep into unwanted areas. The plant regenerates quickly, so don’t be afraid to give it a haircut now and then!


  • As blue star creeper spreads, the centers tend to die out, and growth becomes thinner. Divide congested areas every 2–3 years.
  • Cut back the stems, dig out sections, and replant the healthiest pieces. Discard the bare interior sections.
  • Spring or fall is the best time to divide blue-star creepers. Water well afterward until reestablished.

With proper planting and care, blue star creeper is easy to grow and adds incredible beauty to any garden. Just give it well-drained soil and sun, water during dry spells, and do a little periodic pruning and dividing. Then enjoy the gorgeous blue blooms!

Troubleshooting Common Problems

While Blue Star Creaper is relatively problem-free, a few issues can occasionally crop up. Here’s how to troubleshoot the most common challenges:

Slow Establishment or Spreading

If your blue-star creeper is taking a long time to get established and start spreading, the usual culprit is improper growing conditions. Make sure it’s getting full sun (at least 6 hours per day) and has very well-draining soil. Insufficient light and wet, compacted soil are the most likely reasons for slow growth.

Poor Flowering

Blooms may be reduced by too much shade, overfertilization, overwatering, or improper pruning. Be sure to grow blue star creaper in full sun for the best floral display. Easy on the fertilizer, and allow the soil to partially dry between waterings. Prune only as needed to shape and rejuvenate the plant.

Leaf Discoloration

If the foliage turns yellow or brown, it’s often due to overwatering, poor drainage, or damaged roots. Improve drainage and water less frequently. Rule out root damage from pests or disease.

Rotted Roots

Excess moisture is the enemy of the blue-star creeper. Root rot can occur from heavy clay soil, overwatering, or poor drainage. Plant it in loamy, sandy soil. Improve drainage before planting, if needed. Water thoroughly, but less frequently.

Lackluster Growth

Inadequate sunlight, overcrowding, dry soil, or high winds can all inhibit vigorous growth. Move the plant to a sunnier spot, divide congested areas, water more consistently during dry spells, and provide wind protection. This perks it right up!

With proper site selection and care, Blue Star Creaper is unlikely to have many issues. But correcting growing conditions at the first sign of problems will get your plant back on track.

Enjoying Blue Star Creeper Year-Round

One of the things I love about Blue Star Creaper is that it looks attractive throughout the seasons.


The fresh green foliage blankets the ground again after winter dormancy. Flower buds begin to appear. It’s exciting to see those first baby blue blooms open!


The hot weather brings the bushy foliage and vivid blue blooms into full glory. The ground beneath my oak tree is a sea of breathtaking blue stars.


Although it starts to wind down, the blue star creeper continues to flower nicely into the fall. The color lasts longer with some afternoon shade. Its dainty charm is a welcome sight after many other plants fade.


Dieback occurs after hard frosts, leaving behind dried stems. But I leave them for visual interest. The snow clinging to the dried foliage is quite pretty. And the dried stems help protect the roots.

While many flowering ground covers look a little dull in winter, the blue star creeper’s delicate tan structure remains lovely. And soon enough, the rebirth of spring is on its way again!

No matter what season it happens to be, the blue star creeper always adds a special charm to the garden.

Creative Ways to Use Blue Star Creeper

Creative Ways to Use Blue Star Creeper

Once you see blue star creaper blooming in your yard, you’ll start dreaming up more ways to utilize this delightful plant. Here are some creative options:

  • Let it spill gracefully out of hanging baskets and containers for a gorgeous cascading color. It looks amazing paired with ivy, ferns, and other shade lovers in container designs.
  • Plant it as an attractive living mulch under shrubs, trees, and in garden beds. The pretty blue flowers peering around other plants are so whimsical.
  • Use it in a rock garden, tucking it between boulders and stones. The intricate foliage flows beautifully through rock crevices and slopes.
  • Feature a blue star creeper in a fairy garden, miniature garden container, or similar theme. It really complements that fanciful aesthetic perfectly with its delicate nature.
  • Allow it to creep through stepping stones or pavers for an enchanting living path. Train the stems to grow between the gaps.
  • Plant it along banks and slopes to control erosion. The dense creeping root system stabilizes the soil beautifully.
  • Intertwine it with lawn grass for a pretty flowering lawn alternative. It can stand light foot traffic once established.

Let your imagination run wild, combining blue star creeper with other plants. Its versatility lends itself well to many creative applications to spice up your garden and landscaping!

Concluding Thoughts

Few flowering ground covers delight the senses quite like a blue star creeper. If you have a bright, sunny spot with well-drained soil, I wholeheartedly recommend giving this gorgeous plant a try.

The airy lavender-blue blooms and intricate creeping stems create such whimsical garden appeal. Blue Star Creeper is easy to care for, trouble-free, and looks lovely year-round. It’s one of those unsung garden heroes that quickly wins your affection.

With proper planting and care, you’ll be rewarded with stunning blue carpets in your yard that never fail to bring a smile. From hugging garden pathways to cascading from containers, this adaptable plant is a true garden gem.

I hope these tips help you successfully grow a blue star creaper so you can enjoy its delicate beauty as much as I do. Let this humble little ground cover work its magic in your outdoor space!


Is Blue Star creeper invasive?

While blue star creeper spreads readily, it is only moderately aggressive. It doesn’t invade gardens or become a nuisance the way highly invasive plants like mint can. Simply prune back the creeping stems annually to keep them contained within your desired planting area.

Is blue star creeper evergreen?

No, blue star creeper is deciduous and goes dormant after hard frosts. The foliage dies back, and the stems dry up and turn tan for winter. It re-emerges in the spring.

Does Blue Star Creeper spread quickly?

Once established, blue star creeper spreads at a moderate pace via creeping stems (stolons) that root at the nodes. It typically spreads 12–18 inches per year. Quicker spreading can be achieved by planting starts close together.

What’s the best way to propagate blue star creeper?

You can propagate by seed, cuttings, or division. But the easiest method is to divide the rooted stems in spring or fall. Just replant the healthy, vigorous sections in the new location.

How long do blue-star creeper blooms last?

Individual blue star creeper flowers last about a week. But the plant has a very long bloom period, often from late spring all the way until fall frost. Deadheading spent blooms promotes heavier rebloom.

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