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Plumbago

Category:

Excellent groundcover with clusters of the truest blue flowers in late summer; foliage turns a nice bronzy-red color in fall; flowers resemble that of woodland phlox, and the red calyces add a wonderful color contrast

Characteristics

Species:
plumbaginoides
Other Species Names:
Leadwort
Average Landscape Height:
12 inches
Average Landscape Width:
18 inches
Genus:
Ceratostigma
Branching:
herbaceous
Plant Form:
upright spreading
Canopy:
closed
Growth Rate:
medium
Pruning:
spring cleanup
Flower Color:
blue
Flower Form:
star
Flower Period:
from late summer to early fall
Summer Foliage Color:
green
Fall Color:
red
Maximum Light:
full sun
Minimum Light:
partial shade
Maximum Moisture:
moist
Minimum Moisture:
average
Pollution Tolerance:
medium

Ornamental Features

Plumbago features showy clusters of blue star-shaped flowers with brick red calyces at the ends of the stems from late summer to early fall. Its glossy oval leaves are green in color. As an added bonus, the foliage turns a gorgeous red in the fall.

Landscape Attributes

Plumbago is an herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

Planting & Growing

Plumbago will grow to be about 10 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 18 inches. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 8 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider covering it with a thick layer of mulch in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.

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