The Dwarf Plumbago, otherwise known as the Ceratostigma Plumbaginoides or Blue Ceratostigma, Hardy Blue-Flowered Leadwort, Ceratostigma larpentiae, Plumbago larpentiae, is a well known perennial plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.
Best known for its low maintenance and fast growth, this perennial will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its dark green colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.
Fortunately, this is exactly what we’ll cover in this Dwarf Plumbago Care Guide. So let’s dive in.
The basic care guidelines you need to remember for your Dwarf Plumbago are the following:
- Water: The Dwarf Plumbago prefers constant watering each week and more during the hot season.
- Light: Keep your Ceratostigma Plumbaginoides in an environment where it can receive partial to full sun on a daily basis.
- Soil: Make sure to keep the Dwarf Plumbago in soil with moist but well draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.
And as with many other plants, these are the only three care factors you need to remember to make sure your Dwarf Plumbago is, for the most part, healthy and well to survive.
Scientific / Botanical Aspects
In botanical terms, the Dwarf Plumbago belongs to the Plumbaginaceae family, the genus Ceratostigma and the species Plumbaginoides, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Ceratostigma Plumbaginoides (ser-at-oh-STIG-muh plum-bag-ih-NOY-deez).
As with other Ceratostigma’s, the Dwarf Plumbago is a herbaceous plant, which means it will die back to the ground every year.
The Dwarf Plumbago is a plant native to the north-central & southeast China.
You might be wondering why your Dwarf Plumbago’s native region is important. Well, if you know where your plant originally came from, you’ll know which environment conditions it prefers, and with it, knowledge on how to replicate it at home.
With this in mind, the Ceratostigma Plumbaginoides will be most used to the heat zones in the 4 – 9 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a and the ideal climate zone is between 2, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.
Growth and Size
In terms of size and growth, the Dwarf Plumbago is a relatively fast grower, which makes things tricky for any plant enthusiast.
But what exactly does this mean for your Dwarf Plumbago? How large a pot should you consider, how tall, how wide can it get? Let’s jump in…
The Ceratostigma Plumbaginoides can grow up to 9″ – 1′ (22cm – 30cm) in 9″ – 1′ (22cm – 30cm) and 1′ – 2′ (30cm – 60cm) in 1′ – 2′ (30cm – 60cm).
These dimensions make the Dwarf Plumbago a relatively medium perennial compared to others, so it’s best to keep this fact in mind since it will affect where you want to keep yours at home.
Also, expect it to grow in a wonderful spreading shape, which is something worthwhile to remember when making your garden landscape plans.
This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 18″ (45cm) free so the Dwarf Plumbago can spread to its best extent.
In terms of watering, the Dwarf Plumbago is a fairly simple plant to take care of. This is mostly because it has a straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.
Specifically, most experts agree that the Ceratostigma Plumbaginoides prefers constant watering each week and more during the hot season.
Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water.
As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Dwarf Plumbago in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive.
When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times.
In our experience, the famous ‘thumb’ or ‘finger’ test is what works best for the Dwarf Plumbago since with it, you will be able to give it the right amount of water, every time – regardless of the environment or placement where you do decide to keep it.
As mentioned earlier, the Dwarf Plumbago prefers to have soil with good drainage properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.
This is why most experts agree that the Dwarf Plumbago requires soil with clay, and sand, which will give you the right conditions it needs.
In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.
Light and Placement
In terms of light & exposure, the Dwarf Plumbago requires partial to full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions.
Most experts agree that this perennial will do well as long as you keep it in partial to full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.
Specifically, we recommend that you place your Ceratostigma Plumbaginoides in little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to full and direct sun (more 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).
Being a herbaceous plant, the Dwarf Plumbago will die back to the ground every year. However, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the summer (mid, late), and during the fall.
You can expect your Dwarf Plumbago to flower around the summer months from July to September (summer). In particular, this perennial is well known for its showy flowers around the plant enthusiast community.
The Dwarf Plumbago produces some beautiful blue flowers around this time of year.
The leaves from the Dwarf Plumbago have a beautiful dark green color during most of the year.
You can expect the leaves from your Ceratostigma Plumbaginoides to be around (1-3 inches) in size.
Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance
The Dwarf Plumbago is well known for its tolerance to clay soil, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Ceratostigma Plumbaginoides will be fine.
Does your Dwarf Plumbago have any garden recommendations? Does it serve any gardening purposes? Here’s how you can get the most out of your new plant.
Most Ceratostigma Plumbaginoides owners agree that this perennial will look great in most cottage and rustic gardens of all types. Other owners consider that they compliment well most gardens of gravel and rock garden, city and courtyard, and in mediterranean garden styles.
In particular, the Dwarf Plumbago’s best location within your garden is in beds and borders, underplanting roses and shrubs, banks and slopes, ground covers, and in wall-side borders, others use it for landscaping in a mass planting, ground cover, green roof, erosion control, edging, container, border, or a rock garden.
Dwarf Plumbago’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Gaillardia, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.
Others consider that a nice Coreopsis will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!
Even though we covered a lot of care information for your Dwarf Plumbago, remember the basics: sunlight, soil and water, as these should be enough to grow a healthy plant at home.