Wednesday, August 2, 2017


Blue plumbago, Plumbago auriculata,  is one of my favorite summer plants. This tender perennial is native to South Africa dying back to the ground every winter. In fact I want it to die back so that it has to start from scratch every year.  That way it stays manageable until the end of the year. It waits for all those spring bloomers to leave the garden before it begins growing back and flowers constantly throughout the summer and fall.
It is a happy companion for this Yucca rostrata. For those of you wondering why I haven't trimmed up the grass skirt.... probably not going to happen.

Bearing a similar name, Leadwort plumbago, Ceratostigma plumbaginoides, also has blue flowers but its growing habit is quite different. It makes a great ground cover blooming from May to October and disappearing over the winter. Never fear its roots with be spreading underground during the winter and it is necessary to keep it in check.

I am only just becoming to appreciate how well scabiosa does during our hot summers. It has been flowering non-stop since spring and shows no signs of letting up. I have one plant that is 4 years old and ready to be divided in the spring. I picked up another 3 plants this spring and all are doing well despite the heat and humidity.

Ruellia! Don't let its self seeding nature prevent you from having this plant in your garden. When little else blooming ruellia will, pumping out new flowers every day. Just make sure you cut off the seed heads as soon as the flowers finish blooming. I have two kinds, both the dwarf and taller variety. They both require a little work to keep them under control but their bloom more than make up for that.

Yes, I have the summer blues and they are good ones.


  1. Definitely the good kind of summer blues! I had a ruella seed itself in my garden one year. I was sad it didn't reseed, as it was so full of blooms for so long. The leadwort plumbago is such a beautiful deep blue!

  2. I love the soft lilac color of your ruellia and prefer it to the dark purple. Here the leadwort plumbago has infiltrated a patch of Agave parryi and there's no chance of removal now -- but it's pretty! Love the blues too.

  3. All are lovely! I've been thinking of adding Plumbago to my own garden. It grows well here and can frequently be seen in unirrigated areas along our local roads but, unlike your situation, it doesn't die out in winter here, so the issue of controlling it gives me pause.

  4. That blue plumbago and ruellia are two I always forget, which laugh at more heat as do oleander-lantana-yellow bells. I had no idea on scabiosa, but I do remember it in ABQ summers just not here. The yucca skirt - agreed!