The Q&A Archives: royal cape plumbago

Question: Is this plant one that should be outside even in winter? Is it better to be potted and brought inside in winter? Do you prune back? if so how much? My plant seems to be losing many flowers right now. Normal or something I should do? Recently received as a gift and love it.

Answer: Cape plumbago will need to be inside during the winter months in your gardening region. Outdoors, it prefers full sun; indoors it needs bright light. When you move it from outside in, and then back outside in the spring, do it gradually, putting it in a protected area for a while and gradually increasing the sun exposure. Since it is in a pot, it will need to be fertilized as it will use up available nutrients. Use something with a higher phosphorus (the middle number) amount to promote bloom, such as 15-30-15. Water well before and after applying. It usually doesn't require much pruning unless there is dead or damaged wood. Dropping flowers can indicate some stress, perhaps from temperature, sun exposure or watering differences that its experiencing now as opposed to where it was growing before you received it. It should adjust so don't be too concerned about the lost flowers.

Enjoy your new plant!

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