Plumbago Escapade, a perfect variety for growing in pots

Blooming white Plumbago Escapade

Love Plumbago but don’t really have a garden to set it loose? The Plumbago Escapade series is perfect for container growing, with blue or pearl white blooms. A sure option for your balcony!

Key Plumbago Escapade facts

Name – Plumbago auriculata ‘Escapade’
Family – Plumbaginaceae
Type – shrub

Height – 3 to 5 ½ feet (up to 1.8 meters)
In Pots – 1½ to 2½ feet (45 to 70 cm)
Soil – rich, slightly acidic

Exposure – full sun
Foliage – semi-evergreen
Flowering – May to November

Planting and sowing Plumbago Escapade

The most important factor regarding the soil and planting is drainage. The ground must drain very well and water shouldn’t pool for more than a few minutes when you’re watering.

Sowing, planting Plumbago Escapade

Plumbago Escapade seeds can be purchased online, about 2500 seeds per ounce (85 seeds to a gram). Germination rate reaches 90% if seeds were stored properly.

Seedlings grow quite large at start, so it’s best to sow a few in a hole in nursery pots and then to thin the weakest ones out.

  • Start sowing indoors in the middle of winter to have blooms when spring arrives.
  • Make sure temperatures hover around 75°F (23°C) during the sprouting and early growing phase.
  • As with most seedlings, ensure high air moisture. Follow these tips on raising moisture levels indoors.
  • Transplant after a month.
  • A further two months later, the first blooms will appear.

Propagating your Escapade plumbago

The best way to make sure any new plants are identical to the mother plant is to perform plumbago cuttings.

However, there are other propagation methods for plumbago. These include sowing and even layering, for instance.

Hardiness of the Plumbago Escapade

This variety doesn’t resist frost very well. If you want to give it a head start in spring, keep it in a cool greenhouse or lean-in that doesn’t freeze over the winter.

It can sprout back if temperatures fall to the lower 20s°F (-7°C) but only for a few days with dry soil.

Caring for your plumbago Escapade

Exposure

Full sun! Definitely a lover of sun. Feel free to give it as much sun as you can.

  • In the wild, the ancestors of this hybrid plant seek out trees and climb up to the canopy for maximum exposure.

Watering

Your ‘Escapade’ plumbago will resist both heat and drought very well.

However, to decrease risk of dying off and to reduce the need for watering even further, remember to spread mulch around the foot of the plant. This helps lock moisture in.

Fertilizer

Planting your Plumbago Escapade White or Blue in rich soil will ensure the best blooming.

If the soil is poor, it’ll grow just fine but blooming won’t be as impressive.

Add regular balanced fertilizer every two weeks when the plant starts blooming. Make your own from early weeds such as comfrey tea.

  • Other options are fertilizers that include seaweed.

Pruning, trimming, and pinching the Escapade series

In temperate climates, this plant might lose its leaves during bouts of cold, but they’ll come back in spring.

Usually, wherever winters are cold, dieback will occur almost all the way back to the base.

  • If this is the case, simply prune off any dead wood in spring. Wait for the budding to be well underway so that you only cut dead twigs off and none of the live growth.

Once sprigs have grown to about foot (30 cm), pinch or cut each sprig by around 5 inches (12-13 cm). This will trigger branching out and you’ll double the number of flowers!

Possible Plumbago ‘Escapade’ diseases

You’ll encounter aphids at the beginning of the season, and possibly thrips a bit later on.

Other than that, overwatering is the only risk to the plant, but this is only a concern if the soil doesn’t drain well.

If deer tend to visit your patio, don’t worry: they won’t find this plumbago very appealing.

Learn more about the Plumbago Escapade

Blue plumbago Escapade in a basketThe tight clusters of white or blue will make for a beautiful plant. Place it near a post on the patio and set up a light lattice for it to climb over.

Feel free to plant several of them side by side at a distance of about 8 inches (20 cm) in order to provide for excellent ground cover.

Types of Plumbago Escapade

There are two varieties of Plumbago auriculata ‘Escapade’:

  • Plumbago Escapade White
  • Plumbago Escapade Blue

The Escapade series is a first-generation hybrid. Seeds will appear and self-sow in following years, but may look different from the parent plant.

It’s gotten a bit more difficult to get a hold of seeds for these varieties. They were first put on the market around 2005.

Escapade and bees

Though bees and hummingbirds will appear interested in your Plumbago escapades, the true clients of this nectar open bar are butterflies. It’s one of the plants they love most!

Smart tip about the Plumbago ‘Escapade Series’

This is surely the best of the blue plumbago varieties to plant in containers. You can even try growing it in hanging suspensions.


Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
White cluster of flowers by Pat ☆ under © CC BY-NC 4.0
Basket with plumbago by Barbara Baldocchi ★ under Pixabay license