Ceratostigma Plant Growing & Care Guide for Gardeners

In this Gardener's HQ guide, we'll explore cultivating Ceratostigma plants in your garden, indoor spaces, and other settings.

Leadwort, and Plumbago: Cultivation & Garden Use

Plants from belonging to the low growing Ceratostigma genus can be half hardy or hardy perennials.

Some common names for Ceratostigma include Leadwort, and Plumbago.

See also the species specific Ceratostigma plumbaginoides Growing Guide.

Ceratostigma tends to flower from summer to autumn. It has pink or deep blue blooms, and has beautiful red or bronze leaves when flowering.

Due to their small size, leadwort and plumbago make ideal plants for rockeries, or as a fill in plant for stone walls.

Ceratostigma flowers

Ceratostigma plumbaginoides
Ceratostigma plumbaginoides flowers and foliage by Harveyharrison and Wallygrom.

Ceratostigma Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Leadwort, Plumbago.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial. Half-hardy perennial.
Height: 12 to 40 inches (30 to 100 cm).
Native: Asia, Africa.
Family: Plumbaginaceae.
Growing Region: Zones 5 to 10.
Flowers: Summer through autumn.
Flower Details: Blue, red-purple, pink.
Foliage: Leaves change colour in the autumn - Green to Bronze, Blue-green to Crimson. Simple. Spiral.
Sow Outside: Cover seed. Sow hardy perennials at the beginning of spring - before the last frost, or towards the end of autumn. Sow half hardy perennials following the last frost. Spacing 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm).
Sow Inside: Germination time: one to three months. Temperature 60°F (16°C). Mix seeds in moist sand, place in a freezer bag, then stratify by refrigeration for five or six weeks. Sow the stratified Ceratostigma seeds about three months before they are due to be transplanted; the beginning of spring or autumn for hardy species; half hardy plants should be transplanted in the spring as soon as temperatures do not drop below 50°F (10°C).
Requirements: Full sunlight or partial shade. Grows in most soils, but grow Ceratostigma in rich, organic soils that have good drainage for best results. Regular light watering. Cut back to the ground in autumn. Propagate: by dividing in late autumn (hardy) or after the last spring frost (half hardy).

How to Grow Ceratostigma

Ceratostigma require cold to germinate, so should therefore be sown out before the last frost of spring, or in the autumn. Seeds should be covered.

Ceratostigma prefers to grow in partially shaded or sunny parts of the garden.

They will grow in most soils, though best results will be got in an organic soil.

If you want to grow Leadwort or other Ceratostigma species from seeds indoors first, then they should be imbibed by first placing the seeds (within soil) in a black bag, then placing in the fridge for five or six weeks.

Seeds should then be sown out at a temperature of 15 Celsius (59°F). Plants normally take about one to three months to germinate.

Caring for Ceratostigma in the Garden

Ceratostigma seedlings should be transplanted in early spring. Use a spacing of 30 to 45 cm (12 to 18 inches).

Hardy species of Ceratostigma can also be planted out in the autumn.

Plants should be regularly watered, but do not drench them. They should be cut back in the autumn.

Common Questions

How many members does the Ceratostigma genus have?

The Ceratostigma genus has around eight species known for their bright blue, late-summer flowers.

Do members of Ceratostigma make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, Ceratostigma, particularly Plumbaginoides, is a beautiful ground cover that provides late summer to fall color.

Which Ceratostigma species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

Ceratostigma plumbaginoides (Leadwort) is most frequently grown for its brilliant blue flowers and red fall foliage.

Are members of the Ceratostigma plant genus fragrant?

Ceratostigma plants are not typically known for their fragrance, but their brilliant blue flowers and autumn color are highly appreciated.

What is the perfect location to grow Ceratostigma?

Ceratostigma thrives in full sun to part shade and prefers well-drained soil. It is relatively drought-tolerant once established.

Is Ceratostigma invasive in the USA?

Currently, Ceratostigma is not considered invasive in the USA, but its aggressive growth should be monitored.

How do I remove Ceratostigma plants from my garden?

Ceratostigma can be removed by digging up the plants, ensuring that all roots are removed to prevent regrowth.


The Ceratostigma genus, part of the Plumbaginaceae family, is native to Africa and Asia. These perennial plants, including shrubs and herbaceous species, are known for their vivid blue flowers that bloom from late summer to autumn, and their foliage which often turns a beautiful red in autumn.

To cultivate Ceratostigma, plant them in a sunny to partially shaded location with well-drained soil. They can be grown from seeds or cuttings. Regular watering is necessary, but they are quite drought-tolerant once established. They are often used in borders or rock gardens for their late-season color and autumn foliage.

I hope that you found this guide on how to grow Ceratostigma plants in your garden. You may also enjoy my gardening guides on how to grow Thrift, Limonium plant, and Acantholimon plants.