Plumbago, Cape leadwort – a magnificent climber

Plumbago is a superb vine noted both for its flowers and for its foliage.

Shortlist of Plumbago facts

Name – Plumbago capensis
Family – Plumbaginaceae
Type – shrub

Height
 – 3 to 6 ½ feet (1 to 2 meters)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – ordinary

Foliage
 – semi-evergreen
Flowering – May to November

Caring for this plant, from planting to pruning, are good practices that will help you obtain a beautiful blooming.

Planting plumbago

Favor planting plumbago in spring in a place with a lot of sun.

When not in this season, simply avoid high temperatures to plant your plumbago.

  • A mix of soil mix and garden soil is needed.
  • Frequent watering after planting is required.
  • Follow our advice on planting shrubs

Plumbago grown in pots

It is advised to plant your plumbago in good flower plant soil mix.

  • Pour a layer of clay pebbles at the bottom of the pot to increase drainage and therefore growth of your plumbago.
  • Regular watering upon planting is a must.
  • It is advised to repot every 2 years for the blooming to stay beautiful.

Caring for plumbago

Pruning plumbago

It isn’t really a requirement to prune.

Annual pruning is eventually possible at the end of winter or at the beginning of spring, proceed lightly in order to stimulate the blooming and preserve the shape.

Watering plumbago

Plumbago, apart from watering after planting, will need a lot of water when the weather is hot, especially if grown in a pot.

  • Water regularly, but not too much, from May to September.
  • Reduce the watering in water.
  • In spring and summer, take the time to add a little flower plant fertilizer every now and then.

Fertilizing plumbago

For the best growth and an abundant blooming, add flower plant fertilizer or shrub fertilizer every two weeks in spring and summer.

Stop adding fertilizer as soon as your plumbago has stopped blooming.

A disease that impacts plumbago

Although it generally resists diseases well, plumbago regularly experiences aphid onslaughts.

Learn more about plumbago

Light blue plumbago collar of flowers opening with greenery in the backgroundThis small tree, native to South Africa, propounds beautiful blooming for a large part of the year.
The intense blue of its flowers is particularly remarkable and appealing.

You can set it up in your garden if the climate is mild enough. Double-check that this is possible, because plumbago is vulnerable to frost and will suffer if temperatures drop below 32°F (0°C).

But it is particularly well-suited to growing in pots, which will make it easy to bring them indoors to a cool spot that is sheltered from the harshest colds over winter.

Lastly, if you wish to train it into a climbing vine, you can attach it to a lattice because it won’t cling to the wall on its own.

In our latitudes, when grown in a pot, a plumbago plant can reach anywhere from 3 to 6 ½ feet (1 to 2 m), whereas it easily rises to 13 to 17 feet (4 to 5 m) in its natural environment.

Smart tip about plumbago

When growing in pots, repot the plant in fall.

Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Intense blue plumbago shared by BoyKatunder under © CC0 1.0
Light blue plumbago shared by Etha under © Pexels license

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