Cape leadwort

Plumbago auriculata

Photo/Illustration: 
Michael Dirr
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Cape leadwort (Plumbago auriculata)
plum-BAY-go or-ik-yew-LAY-tah
Genus:  Plumbago
This evergreen shrub, native to South Africa, has long, skinny stems and phlox-like pale blue flowers. It can be used as a shrub, climber, pot plant, or groundcover.
Noteworthy Characteristics:  Evergreen; pale blue flowers; barbed fruit capsules.
Care:  Can be grown indoors or in the garden. Indoors, water freely and fertilize monthly during the growing season. If plants are in pots, move outdoors in summer if desired. In the garden, plumbago likes fertile soil in full sun. If growing on a trellis, tie stems to supports. Protect from strong winds.
Propagation:  Easily grown from seed, but takes 2 years to flower (sow seed at 55° to 64°F in spring). Root semi-ripe cuttings in midsummer with bottom heat.
Problems:  Spider mites, whiteflies, mealybugs (especially indoors).

Overview

Height
1 ft. to 3 ft.
Spread
1 ft. to 3 ft.
Growth Pace
Moderate Grower
Light
Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture
Medium Moisture
Maintenance
Moderate
Characteristics
Showy Flowers,
Showy Fruit
Bloom Time
Fall,
Summer
Flower Color
Blue Flower
Foliage Color
Evergreen
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Container,
Indoor Plant,
Suitable as Annual,
Trellis
Seasonal Interest
Summer Interest
Type
Shrubs

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