How to Grow Plumbago | Growing Leadworts

Learn How to Grow Plumbago in your home and garden and invite a refreshing appeal of its beautiful flowers!

Plumbago
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This article will give you in-depth details on How to Grow Plumbago and information about its care to ensure you get the best flowers!


Plumbago Information

Plumbago are a genus of flowering plants in the family Plumbaginaceae. The genus consists of about 20 species of shrubs, herbaceous perennials, and annuals, native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas, Africa, and Asia.

Common species include Plumbago auriculata, commonly known as Cape or Sky-blue Plumbago, which is native to South Africa, and Plumbago capensis, which is native to India. The name of the genus comes from the Latin word for lead, plumbum, referring to the lead-like color of the flowers.

The plants are grown for their showy flowers and foliage. Their flowers are typically blue, white, or pink, and appear in clusters along the stems. The foliage is typically green, with some species having silver or grey variegation. They can be grown in gardens or containers, and are drought-tolerant.

USDA Zones: 5-9


Best Pot Size for Growing Plumbago Flowers

You can start the plant in a 10-12 inch pot, which will be good for 2-3 years. After that, depending on the growth and spread, re-pot it into one size bigger container than the old one.


Best Varieties of Plumbago Flowers

Here are some of the best varieties of Plumbago flowers:

  • Plumbago auriculata: It has bright blue flowers that bloom continuously throughout the summer. It grows well in hot, humid climates and is a great choice for container gardens.
  • Plumbago capensis: This plant produces white flowers that are very fragrant. It grows in full sun and blooms from spring to fall.
  • Plumbago zeylanica: This variety has bright blue flowers and is drought-tolerant. It grows up to five feet tall and blooms from spring to fall.
  • Plumbago larpentiae: It produces pale blue flowers and is a great choice for areas that have strong winds. It blooms from spring to fall.
  • Plumbago grandiflora: This variety has large, white flowers that are very fragrant. It grows in full sun and blooms from late spring to early fall.

How to Grow Plumbago?

Propagating plumbago can be done through stem cuttings or from seed.

By Stem Cuttings:

  • Cut a 5-6 inches long stem from a healthy plumbago plant with a pair of clean, sharp scissors.
  • Prepare a potting mix for your cuttings. A good mix for plumbago cuttings is one part perlite to one part peat moss.
  • Remove the lower leaves from the stem and dip the cut end into a rooting hormone. Plant the stem in the prepared potting mix.
  • Water the potting mix and place the pot in a warm, bright location with indirect sunlight.
  • Keep the soil moist and cover the pot with a plastic bag to create a humid environment.
  • After a few weeks, you should see new growth on the stem.

By Seeds:

  • Fill a pot with potting soil and scatter the plumbago seeds on the surface.
  • Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil, about 1/4 inch.
  • Water well, and place the pot in a warm, bright location with indirect sunlight.
  • Keep the soil moist and cover the pot with a plastic bag to create a humid environment.
  • The seeds should germinate in 10-14 days. When the seedlings are large enough, transplant them into larger pots filled with potting soil.

Requirements for Growing Plumbago

Location

Plumbago flowers thrive best in full sun, so plant them in an area that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day. The plant can also grow in a shaded location but it won’t bloom as much.

Soil

For the best Plumbago flowers, use a soil-based potting mix that contains compost and/or well-rotted manure. Ensure that the potting mix is light and well-draining, and contains some sand and perlite to improve drainage.

Water

For best results, water your Plumbago flowers regularly, giving them enough moisture to keep the soil moist but not soggy. This will help the plants to develop strong, healthy roots and encourage the development of flowers.

Water the plants when the top inch of soil feels dry, and water until it starts to drain from the bottom of the pot. Make sure your Plumbago flowers receive at least an inch of water per week, and more during hot, dry periods.

Temperature and Humidity

Plumbago flowers thrive best in temperatures between 65 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 30 degrees Celsius). Humidity levels should also be kept between 30 and 40% to ensure the flowers thrive.


Plumbago Care

Fertilizer

If you want to increase the number and size of the blooms, it would be a great idea to feed the plant with a balanced liquid feed, such as a 10-10-10.

Dilute the fertilizer to 1/2 of its strength and apply it once in 3-4 weeks. This will be more than enough to boost the growth and blooms. Do ensure to refrain from feeding the plant in winter.

Pruning and Deadheading

Deadheading Plumbago flowers is important for healthy growth and blooming. The best time to prune is late winter or early spring. This gives the plant time to form new growth and buds for the upcoming season.

Start by removing any dead or damaged stems and branches. Then, look for any stems that are crossing over each other and prune those back to create an open structure. Next, prune back the stems that are too long or thin by using sharp pruning shears.

Finally, cut the tips of the stems to promote bushier growth.

Pests and Diseases

Plumbago flowers are generally quite hardy and resistant to pests and diseases. However, they can be susceptible to some fungal diseases such as powdery mildew, downy mildew, and root rot. These diseases are often caused by too much moisture or wet weather and can be prevented by ensuring that the plant is planted in well-draining soil.

Aphids can be an issue and can be controlled with insecticidal soap or other insecticides. Other pests such as mealybugs, scales, and thrips can also cause damage and should be treated with insecticides as soon as they are noticed.

To prevent the spread of pests and diseases, it is important to keep the area around the plant free of debris, and weeds.

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