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.

4 thoughts on “Leadwort ( Plumbaginaceae Ceratostigma plumbaginoides )

  1. I love the blue of this plant, Herself – and planted some in this Austin garden in part shade.
    It grew well in Illinois, too – went dormant and disappeared each winter but rebounded and increased over time. So I thought of it as a Northern plant! It was a surprise to know you could grow it, too.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  2. That blue is knock your socks off beautiful…my husband has been asking me why all these plants have wort in them (he thinks it’s wart!) now I can tell him!


  3. The blue is an amazing electric blue. I’m thinking of putting another one in a dark corner I have to see if it can brighten it up.

    A gardener on Twitter told me she had ‘Mother’s Wort’ in her yard and would have to remove it now. ;-)

    And St Vitus dance was believed to be caused by spider bites and spiderwort was supposed to be the cure for that.

  4. I’m glad you wrote about this plant. I have don’t think I’ve ever heard of it. Probably seen it at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens but didn’t realize what it was. I’ll need to try this out since I have a balcony garden and am looking for some trailing plants to try out. Do you know if it does well in San Antonio?

Comments are closed.