Plumbago is the June Plant of the Month!
Plumbago auriculata, Plumbago, me dium-sized shrub
The evergreen is admired for its brilliant sky blue flowers with a loose, sprawling growth habit and grows four to six feet tall and four to ten feet wide. It has arching branches, long, skinny stems, and thin, green foliage with grayish-green on the underside of its leaves. New growth is bright green growing darker as the leaf matures. When the weather warms up in spring, it produces sky blue flower tubes with five assorted petals to form clusters of showy blossoms. The plant blooms from late spring into the fall and attracts butterflies. The variety ‘Alba’ has white flowers, and ‘Royal Cape’ has blooms that are cobalt blue. It needs full sun, reflected heat, and well-draining soil with ample water for optimum growth. The plumbago also requires pruning to keep its shape and stimulate blooms, since it produces flowers on the new season’s growth. It is hardy to thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit, but if frosted to the ground, the plant will recover very quickly in the spring. Use it as a foundation or accent planting, in containers, along borders, in raised beds and flowerbeds, around pools and ponds, or in oriental gardens. The plumbago has traditionally been used for headaches, warts, broken bones, and wounds. In South Africa, it is thought that by placing a stick or piece of the plant in the thatch part of the roof, it may ward off lighting. It is native to the subtropics in South Africa from the southern Cape and eastern Cape into KwaZulu-Natal, where it grows as a large thicket or scrambling shrub.