Ceratostigma willmottianum, commonly known as Chinese Plumbago, is a delightful deciduous shrub known for its beautiful blue flowers and vibrant fall foliage.
Here are some tips on how to grow and care for this garden favorite:
- Growth: Chinese Plumbago typically reaches a height and width of 2-4 feet (60-120 cm). It has gracefully arching, reddish-brown stems.
- Leaves: The plant’s leaves are diamond-shaped and bristly green, measuring about 2 inches (5 cm) in length. In the fall, they turn a striking bright red, adding to its visual appeal.
- Flowers: Chinese Plumbago blooms for about 6-8 weeks in late summer. It produces clusters of rich cobalt-blue flowers, each about 1 inch (2.5 cm) across. These flowers are arranged in dense terminal heads.
Growing and Care Tips:
- Light: Chinese Plumbago thrives in full sun to partial shade. Ensure it receives adequate sunlight for healthy growth and flowering.
- Soil: Plant it in well-drained soils. It does not tolerate sticky, wet conditions, so well-drained soil is essential.
- Maintenance: Chinese Plumbago is virtually pest-free. However, keep an eye out for powdery mildew.
- Propagation: You can propagate Chinese Plumbago through semi-hardwood cuttings.
- This shrub is an excellent choice for late-season gardens, as it blooms when many other flowers have finished flowering. Its blue flowers provide a vibrant contrast against the red fall foliage.
- The plant’s flowers attract late-flying butterflies and hummingbirds seeking nectar before winter.
- The wiry stems and spent flower heads add a delicate and attractive silhouette to the winter garden.
- Chinese Plumbago can be used to front larger shrubs or as part of mixed plantings, making it a versatile addition to garden designs.
- Chinese Plumbago is native to China and Tibet.
In summary, Ceratostigma willmottianum (Chinese Plumbago) is an excellent garden shrub known for its striking blue flowers, vibrant fall foliage, and versatility in garden design. With proper care, it can add beauty and interest to your landscape.