By Gary WadeUniversity of GeorgiaJust a glimpse of the bright, true-blue flowers of perennialplumbago and it will be love at first sight. It’s easy to see whythe Georgia Plant Selections Committee chose this durable,gorgeous flowering groundcover as the 2006 Georgia Gold Medalwinner for herbaceous perennials. Perennial plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides) growsjust 6 to 10 inches tall and spreads 1 to 2 feet wide. It’s agreat choice for filling spaces between shrubs, creeping overrocks in a rock garden, adding a splash of blue to the perennialborder or spilling over walls.Drought and deer tolerance and a long bloom period are otheroutstanding qualities of this award-winning plant.BackgroundPerennial plumbago, also called leadwort, belongs to a group ofdeciduous perennials and shrubs from eastern Africa and Asia. It’s a semiwoody, mat-forming perennial that spreads by rhizomes,or shallow underground stems. It thrives in hardiness zones 5 to9.The plant dies back to the ground each year. Then it leafs outlate in the spring. So, plant it where it won’t get damaged byearly spring cultivation.The late spring green-up makes perennial plumbago an excellentplant for interplanting with spring-flowering bulbs. Its leaveswill be emerging just as the foliage of the bulbs is dying back.When they emerge, the shiny green leaves are up to 2 inches long.They turn bronze-red in the fall.True-bluePerennial plumbago’s medium-blue flowers resemble those ofwoodland phlox. They emerge in terminal clusters in late summerand continue to emerge until the fall frost. It’s anexceptionally long bloom period. Each flower is one-half tothree-quarters of an inch across and has five petals.The plant prefers a sunny site. But it will tolerate someafternoon shade. Once you get it established, it’s quitedrought-tolerant. Plant it in the spring so you’ll be sure to getit established before the summer bloom. The spring planting willenable it to become hardier next winter, too.Fertilize perennial plumbago lightly in the spring and again inearly summer, if you need to encourage more rapid cover. Waituntil new leaves emerge to prune out any dead wood from theprevious season.Summer cuttings, spring division, root cuttings and seeds are allcommon methods used to propagate the plant. And you’ll want moreof this Georgia Gold Medal winner.(Gary Wade is a Cooperative Extension horticulturist with theUniversity of Georgia College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences.) Volume XXXINumber 1Page 21
OA Girls soccer defeated Greensburg 7-0.Courtesy of Shawwn Storms.Greensburg Lady Pirates suffered a loss in the third match of the season. They faced the Oldengerg Twisters. The Twisters unleashed seven unanswered points to seal the win. The Pirates did not give up and battled to the end but it proved not to be enough. Keeper Ella Lowe saw 28 shots and was able to keep the score to 7. The Pirate defenses was able to utilize the offside trap to catch the attacking Twisters 6 times. The Pirates record is 0-1-2. Ther next game is Thursday at home against Batesville.Courtesy of Pirates Coach Ryan Morlan.
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