Hardy & Beautiful Plumbago Plants
Plumbago plants grow well in Houston, Texas.
- They are a perennial plant and are a native plant in South Africa.
- They can grow from almost two feet to over six feet in height and have a spreading growth pattern.
- Plumbago plants have flowers in different colors depending upon the species. They can be chosen for their white, pink, red, purple, or blue colors. The blue-colored plumbago is the most prolific when it comes to flowering.
- The blue plumbago bush is officially known as Plumbago auriculata.
My mother used to have those blue-colored plumbago plants in her backyard, and they were non-stop bloomers from the time they started blooming in the spring until killing frosts would come in the winter. They draped over a utility box, which made for a more pleasing look. If workers needed to access the utility box, they could still have easy access even if the plant at that time needed to be trimmed back a bit.
- Plumbago auriculata is evergreen if grown in tropical climates. Here in Houston, if we get temperatures far below freezing, they will lose their leaves but come back again in the spring.
- They can tolerate temperatures as low as the mid to low 20s Fahrenheit and still live.
I usually take the time after they have lost their leaves each spring to give them a good trimming.
- They thrive in sunny and even in shady conditions and are fairly hardy when it comes to droughts.
- Heat and humidity do not bother them.
- Butterflies and hummingbirds love visiting these flowering herbaceous plants.
Do you have a problem with deer destroying your plants? Deer do not like munching on plumbagos which makes it a desirable plant for those in open spaces where deer have access.
- Texas A&M University heartily recommends planting plumbago plants in our area of the country because of the fact that they are disease- as well as pest-resistant.
- The one thing about plumbago plants is that the flowers have a sticky substance. When pets brush up against them, often the flowers will adhere to their fur and be brought into the house. They will also attach themselves to gardener's arms and clothing when brushing up against their blooms.
Except for that one thing, which is really not much of a deterrent, if you are searching for a hardy blooming plant in climates such as we have in Houston, think of using the plumbago plants in your landscaping.
My hubby and I now have a blue blooming variety in our backyard. Every so often, if our dog Skippy gets close to the plant, which is in a garden bed, he will bring a few of those tag-along blossoms into our home attached to his fur. Generally, we try and brush them off first before we let him enter the house. I try and keep the plumbago plant trimmed back so that it does not cover nearby azaleas and other shrubs.
My Tomato Cage Idea
One year after trimming the hardy plant back in the spring, after any danger of more freezes had passed, I decided to put a large tomato cage over the bare stump and branches that were left attached to the stump. That way when it would start to grow, I could train the branches to go up the middle of the tomato cage and let the side branches spill out in all directions.
Plumbago plants of this blue blooming variety (Plumbago auriculata) will climb up things like fences and other supports.
My tomato cage idea worked well. After a short time, the cage was no longer evident, and the plant was taller than had I left it to grow in a mounded shape. It worked out well in our landscape and was very showy.
In the video below one of these pretty shrubs seems to be intermingled with some small trees.
- Be sure and allow enough space for these prolific bloomers to spread out and grow if you decide to use them in your garden plan. They can get to be as wide as they are tall!
I have seen some grown alongside a home in our subdivision between the driveway and house and it is kept hedged. Obviously, those people will not enjoy as much color from the blossoms, but that is certainly an option as to how to control the growth if planted in a space where they cannot freely spread out in all directions.
- They are also a perfect plant to cover a sloping bank.
- The flowers are self-cleaning, and the spent flowers fall off on their own accord so once planted they are easy to care for.
Do You Grow Plumbago Plants Where You Live?
Learn About the Plumbago auriculata or Cape Plumbago Here:
Which Is Your Favorite Color Of Plumbago?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
I have never seen red Plumbago plants but love the color. Do the red plumbagos bloom a softer shade like the light blue? I have grown the light blue as well as the white, and both do exceptionally well. What about the purple, I have not seen those but love that color as well. Do all of these plants grow large?
Like you, I have only seen the plumbagos that bloom white and light blue in our area. Plumbagos can get quite large.
Can I grow plumbago in a container?
Just about any shrub can be grown in a container as long as that container is large enough, has good drainage, and the plant is adequately nourished. If the plant would do better in direct sunlight, or the shade, that must also be taken into consideration as to where you place the container-grown plant.
© 2018 Peggy Woods