Also known as blue jasmine, the plumbago auriculata or piombaggine is a small climbing plant, not too vigorous, which can easily reach 2-3 meters in a single vegetative season; It is a plant of African origin, with large cluster flowers, very similar to those of jasmine, but sky blue. Flowering lasts for a long period of time, from the beginning of spring until autumn, and is delicately scented.
You are often used to decorate flower beds and gardens, thanks to the presence of a long flowering that colors the environment.
Cultivation of the Plumbago
THE plumbago auriculata they are quite vigorous climbing shrubs; they prefer sunny, or even partially shady, positions, possibly near a wall or a trellis. Wanting these plants can also be grown on the ground, in the flowerbeds, where they will have a ground cover development.
They need a good rich and loose soil, consisting of universal soil, mixed with sand and pumice stone, in order to prepare a soft and very well drained substratum; in fact the plants of plumbago they fear water stagnation, which often causes damage to the roots and the collar of the plant; it is good to promptly check that these stagnations are not formed, to avoid the onset of radical rot.
The stems of the plumbago are thin and flexible, sparsely branched, and carry small, light green leaves; if the color tends excessively to yellow it is likely that the plant is placed in an excessively sunny position, or that it is suffering from chlorosis: let's move it to a place where it enjoys a few half-shadow hours every day and we provide a greening fertilizer.
From April to September, every 12-15 days, we supply fertilizer for flowering plants, mixed with the water used for watering.
These climbers love a fresh soil and need abundant watering, therefore, especially on the hottest days of the year, we bathe the soil abundantly, possibly in the early hours of the morning; however, we avoid watering excessively, always waiting for the soil to dry well between one watering and another.
Winter for the plumbago
THE plumbago auriculata fear intense frosts, especially if persistent; in general they are grown outdoors only in the central and southern regions of Italy; in the rest of the peninsula they are cultivated in pots, in order to move them to a sheltered place during the winter. It is also possible to grow them in open ground, but only if you have the foresight to protect the roots in winter, using straw or bark, and the branches covering them with non-woven fabric.
Should the plant still be damaged by the cold it is advisable, in spring, to prune the entire aerial part, thus favoring the development of new branches.
Plumbago - Plumbago auriculata: Multiplication and diseases
The multiplication of plants by plumbago it takes place with the technique of semi-woody cuttings, which must be taken and planted during the spring or summer period.
As far as parasites and diseases that can affect this variety are concerned, it is possible to say that they are rather resistant plants which, however, can often be attacked by aphids and scale insects. In this case it is good to promptly intervene with the use of specific pesticide products.