Plumbago: A Plant's Life Cycle in Pictures | Green Patches - Mediterranean Gardening

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Plumbago: A Plant's Life Cycle in Pictures

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Following the success of my previous post Plumbago Pruning For Winter, I decided to post updates of the plant six months down the line.  It has not been an easy Winter this year, with record rain fall and hail storms.  It was a good test the show the incredible resilience of this plant.  So here is the plant following pruning last October:

plumbago auriculata
Plumbago after pruning

As Autumn gave way to colder weather, the leaves started to drop rapidly.  The plant got a bit of a shock, and could not adjust to the new spot I chose for it.  We had a lot of wind, which is becoming a daily occurrence on this island.  As you can see in this next image, the plumbago looks very poorly:

plumbago auriculata
Plumbago in late Autumn
I watered the plant whenever needed, however the flowers started to droop, the leaves became discoloured and started dropping.  I had to trim off some more dead twigs, and by the time I was finished, the plumbago was a far cry from its blooming glory in summer.

plumbago auriculata
Plumbago in Winter
As you can see, in Winter the plant shed most of its leaves.  I left it pretty much alone to face the harsh Winter weather.  I never watered it, and during the coldest months there was nothing but a few bare twigs showing.  

We are now well into Spring and the plumbago is back in full force.  Last week I gave it some all purpose fertiliser, and I am now watering it once a week.  Today I saw the first blooms as two bunches of flowers are almost ready to open.  

plumbago auriculata
Plumbago in April

plumbago auriculata blooms
First blooms

I have learnt now that the benefits of pruning are incredible.  The plant is fuller in the centre, and it has come back with more vigour this year when compared to previous years.  It's amazing how a couple of months ago there was nothing but a few twigs, and now it's already growing faster than I had anticipated.  

I will give it a heavier pruning this year, I want to get rid of that cross shaped twig at the top of the plant, and shape it a little better.  For now though, I will give it the occasional trim, and look forward to seeing those beautiful flowers again.

plumbago auriculata
Plumbago June 2012


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