LEADWORT (Ceratostigma and Plumbago)

photo of blue leadwort - J M GargThree different kinds of leadworts are grown in gardens, the Herbaceous Leadwort (Ceratostiqma plumbaginoides),the Shrubby Leadwort (C. willmottianum) and the Climbing Leadwort (Piumbago capensis).

Leadworts are found growing naturally in many different climatic regions, from tropical to arctic conditions, but they are particularly associated with salt-rich steppes, marshes and sea coasts.

The leadworts are deciduous and have bright green foliage with deep blue long lasting flowers in summer.

The leaves of leadwort turn reddish bronze at the first frost, adding colour to the autumn garden.


Herbaceous Leadwort, as its name implies, is a herbaceous plant. It is fairly hardy, but likes a warm, sheltered place in well-drained soil.

This kind of leadwort grows about 1 foot high and produces its bright blue flowers in late summer.

Herbaceous Leadwort can be increased by division in spring.


The Shrubby Leadwort is similar in general appearance and time of flowering, but may reach 3 or even 4 feet in height and has much woodier stems.

It is often killed to ground level in winter but usually shoots up again, though under these conditions it is unlikely to exceed 2 feet in height.

Shrubby Leadwort can be increased by careful division or by cuttings in July.


The Climbing Leadwort is more tender and needs the protection of a frost-proof greenhouse, though it can be grown without artificial heat for most of the year.

Climbing Leadwort is a vigorous, twining plant producing its large clusters of light-blue flowers during the summer.

Where space is restricted the long stems of the leadwort plant can be cut back quite drastically each March.

Climbing Leadwort can be increased by taking cuttings in April.


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Advice about how to grow herbaceous and climbing Leadwort plants . Care and cultivation tips for different kinds of Leadwort.