February 8
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Plant Genus of the family Plumbaginaceae

Genus Description Cultivation
Ceratostigma This is a genus of 8 species of herbaceous perennials or small evergreen or deciduous shrubs, all but one native to the Himalayas or Southeast Asian regions. They are grown for their intense blue, 5-petalled, flat flowers, borne in terminal clusters during summer into autumn, when the small-leafed foliage becomes bronze or red depending on the intensity of the colder weather. CULTIVATION: These low-growing plants are best grown in moist well-drained soil in a full sun position. The frost-tender shrubs can be lightly pruned to promote a dense compact bush?but remember that they flower on current season?s growth. They will re-shoot if killed back to the ground by winter frosts.
Plumbago There are about 15 species of annuals, perennials and shrubs in this genus, widely distributed throughout the tropics and subtropics. They have simple light to mid-green leaves and can become rather sparsely foliaged and twiggy if not trimmed. Their main attraction is their flowers, which appear throughout the warmer months. Carried on short racemes, they are very narrow tubes tipped with 5 relatively large lobes. The flowers come in white or various shades of pink and blue. CULTIVATION: The taller shrubby species may be trained as climbers if grown against a wall. They also respond well to repeated trimming and may be grown as low hedges. The shorter forms do well in containers and in a warm climate will provide color on a patio or balcony for much of the year. Plumbagos are not fussy about soil provided it is moist and well drained. Prune in late winter to thin congested growth and remove any frost-damaged wood. Plant in full sun and propagate from seed, half-hardened cuttings or by layers.

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