Plumbago ‘Monott’, for a drought-tolerant blooming hedge

Cluster of flowers on a blue Plumbago auriculata Monott

Overlapping petals of the ‘Monott’ Plumbago variety shine brightly.

List of Plumbago ‘Monott’ facts

Name – Plumbago auriculata ‘Monott’
Trademark name – Royal Cape®
Family – Plumbaginaceae

Type – shrub
Height – 5 feet (1.6 meters)
Soil – rich, rather acidic

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

Flower clusters form near-opaque balls of color that are fabulous in every garden!

Sowing and planting Plumbago Monott

This variety isn’t very hardy and is often grown as an annual wherever it might freeze in winter.

Sowing, planting Plumbago Monott

Plumbago Monott is usually bought as a potted seedling, but occasionally seeds can be found online.

To plant your Monott plumbago in the ground:

  • Make sure drainage is excellent. For this, spread gravel or clay pebbles at the bottom of the planting hole.
  • The hole must be deep enough to welcome the whole clump. Set the clump so that soil level matches that of the surrounding ground.
  • As for width, make the hole two or three times wider.
  • After planting, backfill with a mix of garden soil and draining soil mix.

Propagating Monott plumbago

Monott plumbago (more precisely: Plumbago auriculata cv. ‘Monott’) appeared in the 1990s.

Since October 2010, the plant patent expired and it’s now part of the public domain. There aren’t any restrictions and you can propagate this plant for both giving and profit!

The best way to make sure any new plants are identical to the mother plant is to take cuttings from your Monott plumbago.

Additionally, it’s possible to gather and sow seeds. Another technique that works well is layering.

Hardiness of the Plumbago “Royal Cape”

This variety is happiest in warmer climates. Consider temperatures of lower 20s°F (-7°C) as the limit under which a plant will die.

  • If it gets any colder, or if you want to protect your plant so that it can bounce back stronger come Spring, winterize it.

Caring for your plumbago “Monott”

Watering and drought

Only the first year requires attention, unless the plant is in pots.

  • Indeed, a potted Monott requires frequent watering because much of the water leaches out through the pot into the air.
  • You can limit evaporation by using plastic pots.

Other than that, once your plant is well established, it will survive droughts of almost any duration when in the ground.

Exposure

This sun-craving plant can cope with part shade but blooms best when in full sun.

Fertilizer

Planting your Plumbago Monott in rich soil will ensure it blooms properly. As an alternative, you can also remediate to poor soil by giving the plant fertilizer every two to three weeks.

  • To maximize beauty while reducing your workload, use plant mulch around your Monott.
  • Mulch from plants or, better yet, ramial wood chips, will both lock moisture in and break down into nutritious elements.

Pruning Monott Cape leadwort

This type of plumbago tends to send out long, arching fronds.

  • This is excellent when planting a mixed hedge. Simply make sure you provide a lattice for the plumbago to climb as high as its neighbors.
  • When planting your Monott near other shrubs, make it a point to keep it in check. Indeed, the natural behavior of the plant is to climb over and smother taller trees that grow nearby!
  • To induce the most blooms, pinch the stems two or three times at the beginning of the growing season. Do this every time the plant produces 4 or 5 pairs of leaves on a sprig, removing the topmost 2 and leaving 3.

Other than that, simply cut out deadwood whenever you notice it.

It’s possible to prune your plumbago into a lollipop shape, with a single stem and a bush of sprigs on top, but you need to stake it because the trunk won’t bear the weight.

Possible Plumbago Monott diseases

Even if you might notice thrips or aphids, they won’t bother the plant, nor will they keep it from blooming well.

  • At worst, you might notice a few white streaks on flower petals. This is typical of thrips damage.

Learn more about the Monott Plumbago

Whereas flowers of the normal common plumbago have distinct petals, on the Monott variety they tend to fill out nicely and overlap.

Flowers are a violet-blue hue that is close to indigo.

After producing the plant by the thousands in a nursery, a special white-flowered variety appeared. This direct descendant of the Monott variety had the same shape and size but the flower was entirely white. Today, it’s sold separately under the name “Monite” plumbago.

Monott and animals

Like most plumbago plants, the flowers are very appealing to butterflies and moths. Luckily, leaves aren’t as interesting and usually you won’t have to fend caterpillars off.

Deer won’t nibble at the plant.

Smart tip about the Monott plumbago variety

Propagate your leadwort from trimmings when you snip away, that will make perfect gifts for family and friends a couple months later!

Care for the Monott plumbago variety


Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Round blue flower by Laura Blanchard ☆ under © CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Blue Monott flower cluster by Napaporn Leethong ★ under Pixabay license