The plumbago, or as it is also called, the pigweed, is native to South Africa. It can be found in river valleys in scrublands, in the undergrowth of dry subtropical forests, in the lower belt and in the foothills of mountains.
The soil suitable for cultivation should be heavy. So, to prepare a soil mixture it is necessary to combine leaf and turf soil, peat, humus and sand, which should be taken in the proportion 1:2:1:1:1.
In domestic conditions, plumbago is grown as an ampelagic plant.
It is recommended to plant in summer time in the open ground stump forms of such a plant, or grown in the form of a liana on a trellis. To create a stump, it is necessary to choose the strongest stem and tie it to a support, which should be located vertically (a stick, which should be stuck into the soil, will do). Then this stem should be cut to the desired height for you. The remaining weak stems should be cut out. Over the course of 3 years (or maybe longer), a lush and very showy crown of long stems hanging or prostrate grows at the top of such a plant.
In summer they are almost completely covered with inflorescences with bluish flowers.
The genus plumbago includes about 10-12 different species, which are represented by semi-bushes, shrubs and also perennial herbaceous plants. Only 1 species, the auricle-shaped plumbago, is grown at home. Plumbago auriculata, or P. capensis - this climbing beautifully flowering semi-shrub has flexible, rather long lianiform or rod-shaped stems.
The full-edged ordinary leaves may be lobate or obovate, short-petioled or sessile. Their base is wedge-shaped and their apex is blunted. On the surface of the shoots and on the underside of the leaves is a layer of scale-like hairs. At the place where the leaf attaches to the shoot, there are 2 small bud-like leaflets, which are very similar to ears. Flowering begins in early spring and does not end until late summer.
At this time lush umbrella-shaped inflorescences consisting of snow-white or bluish flowers grow at the ends of stems. There is a layer of glandular sticky hairs on the surface of the flower calyx. The spikelet corolla sharply transforms from a thin, long tube to a five-member spike-like bend.
This flower may be infested with a scab or spider mite.
He loves light and needs it to be bright.
In summer experienced florists recommend this flower be moved outside (garden, balcony). In winter, it should be placed in a bright and cool room where the air temperature will be 6 to 10 degrees.
How to water
Watering should be abundant during intensive growth, and moderate during the cold season.
Does not need spraying as it tolerates low humidity well.
Potting is done in the spring, with the stems shortened.
Can be multiplied by cuttings. The cuttings give roots fairly quickly in the sand, but will need lower heating.
If the leaves have changed color to brown and the blooming has stopped, it is due to too little watering.