How to grow plumbago shrubs

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Plumbago is a genus of flowering plants that contains up to 20 species. This genus originates from warm regions throughout the world, and includes both herbaceous plants and small shrubs. Gardeners value plumbago shrubs for their long racemes of flowers in different colours, especially Plumbago auriculata.

This plant can grow to 7 feet tall under ideal conditions, although gardeners typically keep plumbago at a much smaller size.

Ensure that you are in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 8 and higher. This means a plumbago plant is hardy in climates where the temperature never drops below -12.2 degrees Celsius. Obtain a plumbago plant in a container from a commercial nursery.

Prepare a planting site for a plumbago shrub in the spring, after the last expected frost. This plant should be in full sun for best growth, although it also tolerates partial shade. The soil should be rich with good drainage. A plumbago shrub should also have protection from strong winds.

Dig a hole in the planting site that is at least twice as large as the root ball of the plumbago plant. Remove the plumbago plant from its container without damaging the roots, and spread the roots out and away from each other. Place the plumbago plant in the hole so its soil line is even with the level of the soil.

Fill the hole with native soil, and pat it down firmly to remove any air pockets in the soil. Water the plumbago plant thoroughly after planting and keep the soil moist during the growing season. This generally means watering the plant with at least 1 inch of water per week.

Prune the stems of the plumbago shrub in winter with pruning shears. This is frequently necessary to keep the shrub within bounds and encourage bushy growth. Plumbago shrubs produce flowers each year, so winter pruning will not remove buds.

Discontinue supplemental watering after the first growing season except for periods of prolonged drought. Plumbago shrubs typically bloom in the second growing season after planting.