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Conservatory GreenhouseShrubs

Plumbago auriculata
  • RHS AGM

Cape leadwort

P. auriculata is an evergreen shrub to 4m or more (with support), with slender, scandent stems bearing light green, spoon-shaped leaves and terminal racemes of sky-blue, long-tubed flowers 15mm across

Synonyms
Plumbago capensis

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Size
Ultimate height
2.5–4 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
1–1.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Blue Green
Autumn Blue Green
Winter Green
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Drought resistance
Yes
Hardiness
H2
Botanical details
Family
Plumbaginaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Climbing, Bushy
Genus

Plumbago can be annuals, perennials or scrambling evergreen shrubs, with simple leaves and short terminal racemes of salver-shaped flowers with 5 spreading lobes

Name status

Correct

Plant range
S Africa

How to grow

Cultivation

Under glass grow in loam-based compost in full light, water freely when in growth and apply a balanced liquid fertiliser monthly . Keep barely moist when dormant and top-dress or repot in spring. Support stems. Can be grown outdoors in frost-free areas in fertile soil. May need restrictive pruning under glass

Propagation

Propagate by seed at 13-18°C in spring, or take semi-hardwood cuttings in mid-summer with bottom heat

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Mediterranean climate plants
  • Patio and container plants
  • Wall side borders
Pruning

Pruning group 12 in early spring

Pests

May be attacked by mealybugs, tortrix moth, glasshouse whitefly and glasshouse red spider mite

Diseases

Generally disease free

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