Plumbago Blue


The plumbago plant (Plumbago auriculata), also known as the Cape plumbago or sky flower, is actually a shrub and in its natural surroundings can grow 6 to 10 feet (1-3 m.) tall with a spread of 8 to 10 feet (2-3 m.). It is native to South Africa, and knowing this provides the first clue to how to grow a plumbago, along with where to grow one.

Plumbago plants are sprawling shrubs with branches that resemble vines. It is prized for the profusion of blue phlox-like flowers it produces for extended periods of time. It has few pests and diseases are rare. Two additional bonuses are its deer resistance and, once established, these easy growing shrubs also tolerate drought.

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These sturdy shrubs make great container plants. Use a good potting medium with a neutral pH and make sure the container leaves plenty of room for your shrub to grow. Enjoy it outdoors while the weather is warm.

Water it regularly, fertilize it each spring and it will grow two to three feet (61-91 cm.) tall with a four foot (1 m.) spread.

Depending on the specialized and individual climate of your garden, you might consider how to grow a plumbago plant in the ground.

Because of its pest and disease resistance, how to care for a plumbago is pretty basic. It blooms best in full sun, but will tolerate some shade if you are willing to sacrifice some of the bloom. As with most plants, it prefers fertile, well-drained soil, but again, it isn’t fussy. Slightly acidic, slightly alkaline, clay, sand or loam — where to grow a plumbago in your zone is really a matter of where to dig the hole!

These shrubs do tend to become leggy, so plumbago care does involve occasional pruning and you’ll sacrifice the bloom if you trim too often or too much.


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