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The Plant Guide

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Cape leadwort

Plumbago auriculata

plum-BAY-go or-ik-yew-LAY-tah Audio

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 CharacteristicsEvergreen; pale blue flowers; barbed fruit capsules.

CareCan 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.

PropagationEasily 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.

ProblemsSpider mites, whiteflies, mealybugs (especially indoors).

  • Genus : Plumbago
  • Plant Height : 1 to 3 feet
  • Plant Width : 1 to 3 feet
  • Zones : 10, 11, 8, 9
  • Uses : Containers
  • Bloom Time : Fall, Summer
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Maintenance : Moderate
  • Characteristics : Showy Fruit
  • Plant Type : Shrubs
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Summer Interest
View Comments


  1. user-7007668 06/23/2015

    Hi --
    My Lumbago has a fine powdery look on the leaves underside (top of plant.) I think it might be spider mites, but I am not sure. If necessary, is there a healthy home application?

    1. user-7008015 04/08/2016

      This is a natural byproduct of this species. No need for concern.

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