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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Pretty in Blue!

Meet the Plumbago, another Texas favorite. It's an evergreen shrub native to South Africa, and its hardiness makes it perfect for zones 9 through 11. It will bloom almost all year ‘round and is easy to grow. It likes sandy soil and soils that drain well. However, it can and will take over an area if you don’t prune, but on the plus if you prune regularly, this encourages more blooms.

This past winter we had some mighty cold temperatures, at least from Texas standards, and I thought the plumbago had died. A lot of my plants suffered, but the plumbago really took a beating.  It looked like a rambling of dried vines.  But when I began to replace this dead plant in early spring, I could see that the roots had survived and little shoots were coming up from the ground.  This is when I discovered that this is also a great plant for zones 7 and 8.

When we moved to our new home in Texas, we decided on a corner lot which had the bonus feature of having a bigger yard.  However, being a corner lot meant we also inherited a stop sign and a fire hydrant on the curve. The soil wasn’t the best with lots of clay and rock, but I wanted something pretty for the corner to take the focus away from the sign and hydrant. The corner had full-sun all day, and whatever I planted there couldn’t grow too big or at least be tolerable to pruning because of the sign and hydrant. A plumbago was the perfect answer. 

The plumbago is a favorite of mine because it loves full sun and once it is established, it only needs to be watered when it’s completely dry. So if you’re looking for a drought-resistant plant for your yard, this one is moderately drought-tolerant and so very pretty too.

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