Native Garden

Native Plumbago

Native Plumbago

Plumbago zeylanica

  • ​Common name: Native Plumbago, Leadwort, Doctorbush
  • Scientific name: Plumbago zeylanica
  • Family name: Plumbaginaceae
  • Origin: Florida
  • Height: 1 ft
  • Width: 3-4 ft
  • Growth: Fast
  • Zone: 9b-11
  • Light needs: Full sun
  • Salt tolerance: Poor soil salt tolerance, moderate salt spray tolerance
  • Soil/pH/Texture: Well drained, sandy soil, acidic to slightly alkaline (Ph 6.1-7.1)
  • Moisture: Moderate moisture needs, water regularly until established. Once established, only water when conditions are especially dry.
  • Drought tolerance: High
  • Pests/Diseases: Chilli thrips, scale, and mites
  • Growing conditions: Best grown in a sunny, somewhat dry area. Should be watered regularly when first planted, but once established it requires little watering. Should be given plenty of room to grow. As it is a fast grower, it should be pruned regularly to control growth.
  • Characteristics: A small shrub with simple, smooth, ovate leaves, 1-3 inches in length, which grow alternately along the stem. Flowers are small, white, and have five petals that bear a small point on their ends. Like the leaves, the flowers grow alternately along the stem. Seeds are small, brown and oblong.
  • Propagation: By seeds or by cuttings.
  • Wildlife: Butterflies and bees are drawn to the flowers. Native Plumbago is also a larval host plant for the Cassius Blue butterfly.
  • Facts: It is a food source for Cassius Blue caterpillars; the adult Cassius Blue is a small butterfly with grayish striped ventral wing patterns and bright blue dorsal wing patterns.
  • Designer considerations: It is a good choice for mass plantings or as a small shrub. Additionally, it is a great butterfly garden plant, as its flowers and value as a host plant make it very attractive to butterflies.

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