70712The delightfully clear sky blue flowers of blue plumbago, Plumbago auriculata, seem like they belong with colorful annuals or in a tailored border of colorfully blooming perennials. However, the rampant canes of mature plants are really best in the background where they have room to grow wild. The canes do not climb like vines, but can flop over other shrubbery as high as fifteen feet.

Rounded trusses of small blue flowers begin to bloom sporadically by the end of spring, and continue to bloom in phases until late summer. Supposedly, each subsequent phase should be a bit more profuse than the previous; but not all plants are aware of this. They might bloom best in mid summer, and less profusely later. ‘Alba’ blooms white. Pale foliage indicates a need for fertilizer.

Blue plumbago is not as easy to work with as it seems to be. Once established, it can grow like a weed, and really seems to take care of itself, and it is probably better to allow it to do so. It does not like to be shorn into hedges or geometric shapes as it so often is. Shearing ruins the natural form, eliminates most of the outer canes that provide bloom, and exposes sparse interior growth.

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17 thoughts on “Blue Plumbago

  1. I have two, both small. One of them has been in the ground for a couple of years and the other just got planted. The older one has been slowly but surely gaining some ground, but it is still only about a foot tall. Hoping someday I will have to worry about trimming it!

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    1. You know, mine did the same. They seem to grow like weeds for everyone else. I never determined what mine was unhappy about. I would have mentioned it, but I figured that mine was the minority.

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    1. No; I would think that it would not survive the winter there. It is pretty tough in most regards, but is not tolerant of hard frost. It might survive if cut back and buried with thick mulch for winter, but I really do not know.

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