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plumbago

Q:  I have several plumbago shrubs in my yard but one of them is white.  Do I have a mutation?

A: Plumbago, Plumbago auriculata, is most commonly found with blue flowers however one of the specific cultivars of plumbago, ‘Alba’, produces white flowers.

Plumbago is a perfect plant for low growing hedges or a nice backdrop for smaller perennials or annuals. It can grow up to 5 feet tall with an equal spread. Flowering will occur best when planted in full sun although this shrub will tolerate some light shade. Plumbago requires little watering after it is established but it would need supplemental watering if your area experiences a drought. It has few disease or insect issues which make it a nice plant for people who are not full time residents.  Some pruning might be required to keep it off driveways and sidewalks.

In Northeast Florida, it will die back during colder temperatures but return during the spring. This year, in the UF/IFAS Nassau County Demonstration garden, I have seen the plumbago full of adult butterflies which are drinking the nectar from the flowers. Because of its beauty and ability to attract wildlife, please consider adding this plant to your garden. Attached is a link to more information on the plumbago from the University of Florida: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fp487