Flowers of Cape Leadwort - Plumbiginaceae Plumbago Auriculata (syn. P. Capensis)

What You Need to Know About the Cape Leadwort – Plumbiginaceae Plumbago Auriculata (syn. P. Capensis)

This evergreen shrub from South Africa has long, arching stems that need tying to supports Lo prevent them straggling. Also called Cape leadwort, it has pretty sky-blue flow­ers borne in clusters of up to 20 throughout spring, summer, and fall amid the long-oval, mid-green leaves. The individual flowers are tubular, flaring out into five petals, each of which is marked with a darker blue central stripe. Pa. var. alba has pure white flowers.

Size: Height up to 10 ft. (3 cm) if left unchecked.

Light: Direct sunlight.

Temperature: Normal room. The winter rest period should be at 43—30°F (7-10°C).

Moisture: Keep thoroughly moist from spring to fall. In winter, apply only enough water to prevent the soil drying out.

Feeding: Give high potash fertilizer (tomato fertilizer) every two weeks in spring and summer.

Propagation: Take 3—4 in. (7—10 cm) cuttings in spring or summer, or layer or sow seed.

Special needs: Remove the flowers as they fade to promote the production of more buds. Flowers are produced on current season’s growth, so prun­ing should be done in early spring to give the maximum flowering Lime. Reduce growth by up to two-thirds.