This sprawling, mounding perennial shrub is covered with clusters of pale blue, phlox-like flowers most of the year. It is excellent as a foundation planting, or when used in planters or along retaining walls, which show off the unusual blue flowers.
Plumbago grows fast and has the potential to reach 6-10 feet tall and wide, although these plants are typically smaller in North Florida landscapes. Plants die back to the ground after a freeze, but are typically quick to recover in spring, growing back from the roots.
Ornamental Characteristics & Uses:
Foliage Color: Green
Flower Color: Blue (The variety ‘Alba’ has white flowers.)
Bloom Time: Spring-Fall
Attracts Wildlife: Butterflies (nectar source)
Uses: Border, mass planting, containers
Cold Hardiness Zone(s): 9 - 11
Hardy Temp: Temperatures in the mid 20s kill it to the ground, but it comes back from the roots.
Exposure: Full or Partial Sun
Soil Tolerances: Moderately drought tolerant, but requires well drained soils.
Soil pH: Acid to slightly Alkaline
General Care & Growing Tips:
Plumbago needs full sun for best growth and flowering. Apply a controlled-release fertilizer in early spring to encourage continuous growth and flowering. Excessive growth can be removed at any time during the year. Leaves may yellow on high pH soils.
Watch for scales and mites; no diseases are of major concern.
Gilman, E. F. (1999). Plumbago auriculata Plumbago, Cape Plumbago, Sky Flower. University of Florida. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fp487
Photos by: Alicia Lamborn
- UF/IFAS Sites
- Demonstration Gardens of the University of Florida's Extension Service
- Ornamental Teaching Gardens: Design, Development and Use
- Types of Gardens
- Lawn and Garden Landscape Design
- Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program
- Florida Yards.org