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Ceratostigma willmottianum Forest Blue ('Lice')
  • RHS AGM

Chinese plumbago [Forest Blue]

A bushy, spreading deciduous shrub to 60cm tall, with lance-shaped leaves turning red in autumn, and small clusters of rich blue, plumbago-like flowers 2cm wide in late summer and autumn

Synonyms
Ceratostigma 'Lice'
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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Blue Green
Autumn Blue Red
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H4
Botanical details
Family
Plumbaginaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Ceratostigma can be evergreen or deciduous shrubs or herbaceous perennials, with simple leaves which usually colour well in autumn, and short terminal or axillary spikes of salver-shaped blue flowers in late summer and autumn

Name status

Trade

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in well-drained soil in sun or partial shade

Propagation

Propagate by semi-hardwood cuttings

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Coastal
  • Patio and container plants
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Garden edging
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Wall side borders
Pruning

Pruning group 10

Pests

Generally pest-free

Diseases

May be susceptible to honey fungus (rarely) and powdery mildews

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