Leadwort plants are a showy, versatile, and durable groundcover for sun or shade. Electric blue flowers are set off by bronze-green to dark green leaves on wiry stems.
Sale Price $20.95 USD
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Dormancy Notice: This plant, like many others, enters dormancy or semi-dormancy in the late fall through early spring. *THIS PLANT IS NOT DEAD. It is completely healthy but upon receiving the plant, you may notice it exhibits fewer leaves, discoloration, or complete leaf drop. This is normal and essential to the plant's health. In fact, planting during dormancy promotes root growth, giving your plant a better start for spring, when new foliage will begin to grow.
Low-growing leadwort or Ceratostigma plumbaginoides produces interesting foliage that makes a nice groundcover, especially over bulbs as it awakens very late in spring. Deep green foliage turns to red hues in fall. Electric blue, starry flowers in the late summer are captivating.
Spreads slowly, providing wonderful drifts of color. As the flowers fade, the autumn foliage turns on, developing brilliant shades of red.
Ceratostigma plumbaginoides produces brilliant blue flowers with striking red calyxes that cover bright green foliage from mid-summer to fall when the leaves turn deep red. A wonderful groundcover, it is a great choice for beds of spring bulbs because it emerges late, as the bulb foliage declines.
1 to 1.5 feet
2 to 3 feet
Full Sun to Part Sun
Spreading, clump forming
Mid Summer through Early Fall
Prefers dry, average to sandy soil, wont tolerate wet soil in winter
Water well until established
Extremely attractive when used as a groundcover in the mixed border, or mass planting. Attracts pollinators and hummingbirds
How to Care for Hardy Plumbago
Be sure to read our planting instructions to ensure a healthy and happy plant for years to come!
Planting Ceratostigma plumbaginoides
We suggest when planting your newly purchased Ceratostigma plumbaginoides plants that you dig a hole twice as wide as the root system but not deeper. Depending on the quality of your existing soil you may need to add a locally sourced compost or topsoil to the back-fill soil. We do not recommend using straight topsoil or compost as a back-fill soil because more times than not these products will retain entirely to much moisture and will cause the root system to rot. Adding compost or topsoil will help the young feeder roots to spread through the loose, nutrient rich soil, much easier than if you used solely the existing soil which more times than not will be hard and compacted. The most common cause of plant death after transplanting is planting the new plant to deep. That is why we do not recommend planting in a hole any deeper than the soil line of the plant in the pot. A good rule is that you should still be able to see the soil the plant was grown in after back-filling the hole. Ceratostigma plumbaginoides does prefer drier soils in the winter so if there was ever a plant that we would recommend not adding topsoil or compost this is one.
Watering Ceratostigma plumbaginoides
After back filling and lightly compacting the 50/50 mix of existing soil and compost give the Ceratostigma plumbaginoides a good deep watering. This is not to be rushed. Most of the water you put on the plant at first will run away from the plant until the soil is soaked. A general rule of thumb is to count to 5 for every one gallon of pot size. For example a one gallon pot would be watered until you count to 5 a three gallon pot would be 15 and so on. Check the plant daily for the first week or so and then every other day there after. Water using the counting method for the first few weeks.
Frequently Asked questions
How do you fertilize Ceratostigma plumbaginoides?
Feeding your plants is probably the single most forgotten part of growing healthy long lasting plants. We recommend feeding your Ceratostigma plumbaginoides in the very early spring and again in mid summer after all new growth has hardened off and it begins to set flower buds. Bio-tone starter fertilizer is the best product to use at the time of planting. Our ideal fertilizer schedule for you to use is as follows. Apply an early spring fertilizer with a product such as Espoma Flower-tone at the recommended rate this will give the plant a boost of nitrogen and potash that will be needed for healthy foliage and stem growth. Follow this up with another early summer application of Espoma Flower-Tone, this will again provide the necessary nutrients to promote a flush of beautiful flowers. Espoma products are easy to use, just sprinkle around the base of the plant and water it in. Be careful with products such as miracle-grow as these products can burn newly planted plants when not used at the recommended rates. Slow-release fertilizer can help prevent rapid soft growth that is vulnerable to diseases and insects.
How do you mulch Ceratostigma plumbaginoides?
We highly recommend that you mulch your Ceratostigma plumbaginoides with either a ground hardwood mulch or a ground cypress mulch depending on your local availability. Any type of mulch will do but cypress or hardwood mulch will be of a higher quality and provide better nutrition overall as they breakdown. Mulching helps to keep weeds away which will compete with your new investment for water and nutrients. A 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch is sufficient but remember to take care not to cover any part of the stem of the plant with mulch. Its better to leave a one inch gap of space between the mulch and the stem or base of the plant.
How do you prune Ceratostigma plumbaginoides?
Remove the old flowers of Ceratostigma plumbaginoides as they become brown and unattractive. This procedure, called deadheading, encourages the agastache plant to produce new flowers, keeping your plant looking attractive throughout the season. Dead-heading can literally be done with a weed-eater or hedge trimmer. Cutting Ceratostigma plumbaginoides down to the soil level will encourage it to fill in and spread. Remove the brown stems and leaves to give your plant a healthier and more attractive appearance. Cut back Ceratostigma plumbaginoides to within 2 inches of the ground after it has finished flowering. In colder climates, cut it back as one of the last chores in your garden before the snow flies. In warmer climates, cut it back in the spring before it begins to bud. Cutting back will promote new growth, giving you a healthier plant with stronger stems.
When should you prune Ceratostigma plumbaginoides?
Ceratostigma plumbaginoides reliably blooms on the seasons new growth, so prune to the ground during late winter or very early spring before growth starts. Fall pruning, especially in colder climates, can result in a quick flush of new growth that prevents dormancy and makes winter freezes potentially deadly.