Plumbago comes from the Latin word meaning lead, and was named because it was once thought to be a cure for lead poisoning. Auriculata means “ear shaped” and alludes to the shape of the flower petals, which are similar to the shape of a mouse’s ears.
Plumbago is a mounding shrub full of blue or white flowers that can grow up to 10’ if trained onto a trellis. It can spread 3-4’ wide, and is most commonly used as a low hedge or as a massing plant for a garden bed.
Plumbagos can grow in part shade, but it loves full sun, giving more flowers the more sun it gets. It isn’t very picky as to what kind of soil it is planted in, just as long as it has enough organic matter (e.g. compost, manure). Trim the plant when it gets leggy, and prune it after it has finished flowering. Only cut it back hard once or twice a year: if you prune it back too often, the plant will die. It doesn’t need much water, just make sure it gets watered once a week if it hasn’t rained. If you’re growing it in a pot or container, however, water when the top inch or two of soil dries out.
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