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Plumbago auriculata (Cape leadwort, Cape plumbago)

Plumbago auriculata Photo/Illustration: Michael Dirr


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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Botanical Name: Plumbago auriculata plum-BAY-go or-ik-yew-LAY-tah Common Name: Cape leadwort, Cape plumbago 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).
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
Foliage Color Evergreen
Flower Color Blue Flower
Uses Beds and Borders, Container, Indoor Plant, Suitable as Annual, Trellis
Seasonal Interest Summer Interest, Fall Interest
Type Shrubs

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