Plumbago (Plumbago auriculata)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Plumbago
Give a thumbs up Cape Leadwort

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 8b -9.4 °C (15 °F) to -6.7 °C (20 °F)
Plant Height: To 10 feet
Plant Spread: 8 feet
Leaves: Evergreen
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Blue
White
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Flower Time: Spring
Late spring or early summer
Summer
Late summer or early fall
Fall
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Erosion control
Guardian plant
Wildlife Attractant: Butterflies
Resistances: Flood Resistant
Tolerates dry shade
Humidity tolerant
Drought tolerant
Salt tolerant
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Layering
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
Goes Dormant
Awards and Recognitions: Texas Superstar®

#Pollination - Spicebush Swallowtail visiting  blooms

This plant is tagged in:
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Comments:
Posted by mellielong (Lutz, Florida - Zone 9b) on Dec 22, 2014 9:55 PM

Great plant for the Florida climate. As a butterfly gardener, I appreciate this not only as a fabulous nectar plant (especially for the Swallowtails), but also as a host for the Cassius Blue. It's a small butterfly, but if you've got this plant, you'll most likely have them nearly year-round flying around the plant. I've seen them flying on plumbagos lining a parking lot in downtown Tampa; that's how associated they are with this plant. They never stray too far from the plumbago, so be sure to plant some good nectar plants nearby, too. Oddly enough, I don't actually see them nectar on the plumbago. The Cassius Blues lay their eggs on the green stem just under the flower cluster, so keep that in mind when choosing to prune. And seriously, this plant draws in all types of Swallowtail butterflies as a nectar plant. They'll stay on it for minutes at a time, hitting each cluster of flowers, which gives me lots of photo opportunities!

Plumbago does get touched by frost occasionally in the Tampa area where I live, but I can't recall losing one in the many years we've had them. You do need to prune them once the chance of frost is past to pretty them up and kickstart the growing process. Periodic pruning is necessary to keep the shape of the plant, if so desired. I've found them to be drought tolerant, but also tolerant of the extremely wet summers we get. We also grow these in the butterfly garden at the Museum of Science and Industry where I volunteer in the butterfly garden.

Although it's not a native Florida plant, I would still recommend it because it's not invasive, it's hard to kill, and it does support wildlife. If you want to stay native, try Plumbago zeylanica, which has white flowers, instead.

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Posted by dyzzypyxxy (Sarasota, Fl) on Aug 24, 2014 6:28 PM

One of the very best landscape shrubs for warm, humid climates. It has an elegant, graceful sprawling habit but can be led up a support or fence to act as a screen. Takes very well to pruning, and easily kept to the right size and shape for any space. Once established it is carefree and drought tolerant, and the only pest I've ever had on mine were the Sri Lanka weevils, which took a shine to it one summer. They ate a few leaves, but they only inflicted cosmetic damage and are gone now. Blooms generously for at least 9 months of the year here in Florida.

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Plant Events from our members
piksihk On June 25, 2017 Plant Ended (Removed, Died, Discarded, etc)
piksihk On June 26, 2016 Obtained plant
in pot back yard HW
markcee On May 18, 2018 Obtained plant
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
wow! by plantladylin Sep 21, 2011 11:47 AM 4
Plant ID? by 5601Lisa Sep 10, 2019 11:52 AM 3
Plant identity by Bashen Jan 22, 2019 12:59 AM 5
Banner for November 6, 2018 by plantmanager by plantmanager Nov 10, 2018 9:58 AM 20
Ain't that the truth! by plantladylin Dec 20, 2019 3:20 PM 14
plants under pecan tree? by piksihk Jun 26, 2018 10:25 PM 7
Glitch? by plantladylin Jan 9, 2017 4:24 PM 7
plant id question by ElJardineroGringo Nov 15, 2016 10:12 PM 7
Succulent help by bwv998 Oct 5, 2016 8:55 AM 44
March 2016 Butterflies, Moths & Larva by mellielong Apr 10, 2016 8:40 AM 93
My Garden and other stuff - 2016 by lovemyhouse Apr 2, 2017 2:10 PM 2,158

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