Plumbago
(Plumbago auriculata)


Plant Description:

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

 

Growing Requirements:

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

Maintenance:     Easy/Low

 

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.

 

Common Pests: 

Watch for scales and mites; no diseases are of major concern.

 

Reference: 

Gilman, E. F.  (1999). Plumbago auriculata Plumbago, Cape Plumbago, Sky Flower. University of Florida. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fp487



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