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Ceratostigma plumbaginoides (photo courtesy of Bailey Nurseries, Inc.)
Ceratostigma plumbaginoides (photo courtesy of Bailey Nurseries, Inc.)

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Zone
Zones 2B, 3-10, 14-24, 28-41

Ceratostigma plumbaginoides

Dwarf Plumbago
Plumbaginaceae
Ground covers, Perennials

CERATOSTIGMA

Valued for clusters of intense blue, phloxlike flowers that bloom in summer to late fall, when cool hues are often especially welcome in the garden. (For pale blue-flowered Cape plumbago, see Plumbago auriculata.) Tolerates inconsistent watering. Shrubby species are usually treated like perennials in colder zones; cut them back after bloom and apply a thick mulch.

Ceratostigma plumbaginoides (photo courtesy of Proven Winners)
Ceratostigma plumbaginoides (photo courtesy of Proven Winners)

Click to Enlarge

Ceratostigma plumbaginoides

Native to China. Wiry-stemmed groundcover to 6–12 in. high. Bronzy to dark green, 3-in.-long leaves turn reddish brown with frosts. Blooms well only in areas with a long growing season. Most striking in early or midautumn, when blue blossoms contrast with red fall foliage. In loose soil and where the growing season is long, spreads rapidly and (eventually) widely by underground stems. Plant 1–1 1/2 ft. apart for quick cover. When plants show signs of aging, dig up and replace with rooted stems in spring or summer.

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