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January 7, 2017

QuestionI have been given a Plumbago that has gotten quite large...I have cut off Rubber Tree Plants, and rooted the cut off portion, and it has sprouted from the cut off stalk...would the Plumbago do the same?



I wonder if you have a plumbago or a plumeria.  There are two plants commonly called plumbago--one is a semi-evergreen groundcover in the shade with dark blue flowers - Ceratostigma plumbaginoides while the other is a moderately hardy perennial with pale blue flower with a sprawling growth habit - Plumbago auriculata.  Neither would grow tall on a thick stalk like a rubber tree produces.  However, Plumeria--the tropical plant which produces showy, fragrant blooms and is often used to make the traditional leis in Hawaii will form a stalk similar to a rubber tree and could root easily if cut back.  If you have ever been to Hawaii, they sell small pieces of unrooted stalks in convenience stores all over the place, and they easily root and grow into plants once home.


October 2011

QuestionA friend of mine gave me a plant that is said to be native to California. She said it grows wild there. She said I can just cut it back and put it in my shed during the winter and then it will come back out in the spring. It blooms all summer and the pale blue blooms look like a phlox. Do you know what it is?


Answer       The plant in question is commonly called a plumbago - Plumbago auriculata to be exact. It is winter hardy in central Arkansas, southward, but it does die back during the winter. Mine is planted in the ground and is in bloom right now, but it is slow to rebound in the spring, which gives it a later bloom the next season. In a container, you can speed things up as long as the soil temperature doesn’t freeze while it is in storage. I would not try to overwinter it outdoors without protection in a pot, since raised soil gets much colder.      


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