GARDENING WORKSHOP: Plumbago

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Plumbago: dispels bad dreams.
Plumbago: dispels bad dreams.

Plumbago, also know as Cape Leadwort, Blue Plumbago and Cape Plumbago, originated from India and South East Asia, where it is widely used as a medicinal plant.

It is a shrub, best grown as a vigorous, evergreen climber, typically used for covering large areas, such as walls, growing up to 4 metres high, with a 1.5 metre spread.

Despite being a tender plant, Plumbago can be grown on the Costa Blanca quite easily – outside in warm temperatures -also trained up trellis and fencing.

Plumbago prefers a south-facing or west-facing aspect – in full sun – and can grow in all types of soil. Grown in pots, they will need regular watering.

Plumbago, which bears masses of intense blue, unscented flowers all summer long – and well into autumn – was used traditionally to treat warts, broken bones and wounds and as a cure for lead poisoning.

It can be taken as a snuff – for headaches – and as an emetic, to dispel bad dreams.

However, beware, as Plumbago may cause skin irritation and blistering in some people, therefore, do not use Plumbago for medicinal purposes – without medical supervision.      No toxicity has been reported to birds, cats, dogs, horses or livestock from Plumbago.

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