Common name: Plumbago, Cape Plumbago, Leadwort
Botanical name: Plumbago auriculata
One of the Texas Superstar plants that despite being a tender perennial, it’s tough enough to thrive in our summer heat and humidity. Plumbago is a profuse bloomer (although the white version is less profuse) in a sunny or shady location and everywhere in-between. This native to South Africa is a real butterfly magnet with its numerous flower stalks that cover the plant. Because it produces blooms on new growth, pruning it a few times during the growing season will increase flower production.
The fast-growing plumbago, if left alone, has a rambling habit. It looks lovely planted to spill over a rock wall. Otherwise, use as a filler plant with enough space to allow the arching branches room to spread out.
Pest or Disease Problems: None
Growing in North Texas:
For best results, especially in a sunny location, plant in soil that is rich with organic matter and mulched. Providing good drainage will keep the roots from getting drowned during heavy rain events. To protect during extremely cold winters, mulch heavily with wood chips. Fertilize with an acid-based product like hibiscus food or rich compost that contains coffee grounds three times a year.
Propagate plumbago by removing already rooted suckers from the main plant. Sow seeds in the spring.
Warning: All parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested thus it falls into the deer resistant category.
TAMU AgriLife Extension, Texas Superstar Plumbago
Keywords (tags): sun, shade, perennial, blue flowers, white flowers, heat tolerant