Plumbago blue flower close up and as a scrambling hedge

Plumbago – Keep It In Check

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Here is one plant where if you do an internet image search for “Plumbago Hedge” you will find a vast array of semi-formal hedges with beautiful blue flowers adourning the tops and sides. The reality is far from this. Like Abelia, Plumbago is known for its arching branches which quickly grow outside the main bun of the plant. Add to that Plumbago has a scrambling habit, which encourages the “non-hedge” look further.

To keep it in check requires a lot of work with the shears and clippers. We’d love to be proved wrong with some reader images because the flowers are a lovely blue. Don’t be discouraged by using it as a hedge plant though. You won’t have a problem with gaps anywhere. Just be prepared to invest some time and perhaps a few dollars in a good electric or petrol hedger!

Biggest Positive: Bushy habit, not often seen as leggy or gappy at the base

Biggest Negative: A lot of work to keep as even a semi-formal hedge – you’ll need a good pair of shears!


NamePlumbago AuriculataCape Plumbago, Alba, Royal Cape
FlowerColourMost Common is Light Blue, White is Less Common
Time of YearSummer
AgeingHard to Notice
SizeHeight1 - 2.5m
RateMedium - Fast

Water in the late afternoon or early morning to avoid evaporation. Do the same with fertilising to avoid burning.

Plumbago Gallery