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GWAA

The Garden Writers Association


Last Update 06/03/08

Plant of the Month

Plumbago

 Cape Plumbago

The Plumbago is a wonderful evergreen shrub for the addition of blue much of the year to your garden.  The plant is native to South Africa. Of the family Plumbaginaceae it is cultivated for its beautiful azure blue flowers.

Plumbago -- click to enlarge

Plant Facts:

Common Name:   Plumbago or Cape Plumbago

Botanical Name:   Plumbago auriculata (P. capensis)

Family:  Plumbaginaceae

Plant Type:  Sprawling shrub-climber

Origin: South Africa

Zones: 8 - 11

Height:  5' or more with support

Rate of Growth: Fast

Salt Tolerance: Slight

Soil Requirements:  Fertile, well-drained soil

Water Requirements: Little water once established

Nutritional Requirements: Balanced liquid fertilizer monthly

Light Requirements: Full sun for best growth and flowering

Form:  Evergreen vining shrub

Leaves:  Light green oblong to 2" long

Flowers: Azure or sky-blue, slender, funnel form, showy, about an inch in diameter and arranged in a cluster, resemble phlox, white cultivar available

Fruits: Capsule, bun-like, 1-seeded

Pests or diseases:  Cottony cushion scale, mites, minor nutrient deficiencies on high-pH soils.

Uses:  Foundation plantings, hedges, ground cover or in planter boxes.

Bad Habits: None

Cost:  $$ -- Very reasonable

Propagation:  Seeds and cuttings

Sources:  Landscape Plants for Subtropical Climates

 
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