Herself's Houston Garden

Conservation through cultivation

Leadwort ( Plumbaginaceae Ceratostigma plumbaginoides )

Leadwort is a member of the Plumbago family. Plants that have ‘wort’ in the name were once believed to be cures. Spiderwort would save you from spider bites, leadwort was believed to protect from lead poisoning. Probably it is the color of the flowers that lead people to believe it would protect you from lead poisoning.

Leadwort begins blooming late summer and will bloom until winter sets in. It may die back to the ground in colder winters but should winter over fine most years. Mine pretty much dies back each year, new leaves appear late spring.

The plant is compact and makes a good border plant. It is often sold as a ground cover. And can be invasive in the right conditions. It will only reach 6″-12″ in height and spread to about 18″. It also does well in window boxes and hangers where it will cascade over the edge of the planter.

It can be divided early in the spring before new growth appears. It does not transplant well in the summer. If you must move it, do so during the winter dormant cycle.

Plant in sun to part shade, mine is in part shade and quite happy, it does best in full sun. Watering needs are average preferring slightly moist soil.

Houston is really a bit warm for this plant it will do better north of the city and probably not do well south of the city.

Plumbagos are found in warm coastal climates worldwide, leadwort is from South Africa.

This leadwort did not survive, it’s really just too warm here in the summer for it.