Lithodora Plant

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The Lithodora is a small genus of flowering plants. The species name is also used as the common name of the most popular species Lithodora diffusa. It is a low-growing floral groundcover that looks great in rock gardens, next to walkways, and around flower borders.

Lithodora plants do well in window boxes or containers. Planting this hardy shrub in the spring is excellent. It produces small and vibrant blue, star-shaped blooms from late spring to mid or late summer.

The plant is widespread in more tropical locations with mild winters and has dark-green leaves that are evergreen all year round.

Lithodora Plant

The Lithodora is an evergreen plant of the Boraginaceae family. The plant is native to southwestern Europe, southern Greece, Turkey, and Algeria. It grows well in USDA zones six through ten.

Lithodora is native to the Mediterranean region and does not thrive in extremely hot climates. In cool climates it needs full or partial sunlight.

The Greek word Lithodora, which denotes the plant’s favoured rocky settings, literally translates as “gift of stone.” In the genus Glendora, it was separated from Lithodora in 2008. The Lithodora perennial plants reach a typical height of 6-10 inches and can grow up to 36-inches wide.

Lithodora Plant Overview

  • Botanical Name: Lithodora diffusa, formerly Lithospermum diffusum
  • Common Name: Lithodora
  • Family: Boraginaceae
  • Plant Type: Perennial, Groundcover, Herbaceous
  • Mature Size: 6 to 10 in. tall, 24 to 36 in. wide
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to Partial shade
  • Soil Type: Sandy, Well-drained
  • Soil pH: Acidic
  • Bloom Time: Spring, Summer
  • Flower Color: Blue
  • Hardiness Zones: 6-8 (USDA)
  • Native Area: Europe, Mediterranean

Lithodora Plant Species

The Lithodora has several varieties. Its popular breed information is given here:

‘Blue Star’: A very low growing cultivar with white edges on its deep blue blooms.

‘White Star’: This plant is a proprietary variety with mounded growth and attractive white and blue blooms.

‘Grace Ward’: They are very large flowering groundcovers with deep blue blooms up to 12 inches tall.

‘Heavenly Blue’: A very low-growing groundcover with inky-blue blooms and hairy gray-green foliage.

How To Grow Lithodora Plant

Lithodora is a perennial plant for the garden that is simple to cultivate and maintain. The key steps for growing Lithodora from seed are listed below. Commercial growers often use vegetative propagation for Lithodora and sell the plants as transplants.

There are not many places to buy its seeds. Growing Lithodora plants from seed is not advised since many of its variations are cultivars and their seeds will not result in plants that are faithful to their parents.

Pruning

There are a few things to keep in mind when carefully trimming Lithodora. Cold winter temperatures can dry out plants and kill stems or leaves. Wait until the first few weeks of spring to trim it. Remove any leaves that have turned black as they can stunt new growth and spread disease.

Plants can also be pruned back to maintain the desired size after the flowering season in mid to late summer. Remove any unsightly undergrowth or overgrowth.

Propagation

The Lithodora plants can be cultivated using semi-hardwood cuttings or seeds. Early spring or late fall are both good times to divide Lithodora. This is how to proliferate using semi-hardwood cuttings.

During the warmer months, when the plant is actively flowering, get semi-hardwood cuttings of it. Discard the browned part of the stem. Cuttings have to be between 2 and 3 inches length. Make a hole big enough to fit the plant’s division in it.

Place the cuttings in a hole in the center of the perlite and peat moss mixture. It should get enough sunlight. Make sure the mixture is moist but not wet.

Allow the plant’s roots to fill the pot as it grows before moving it into your garden. Once the plant is strong enough you can transplant it wherever you want.

Lithodora Plant Care

Lithodora is often resistant to disease, fairly hardy, and simple to grow. This groundcover will put up a profusion of flower displays with minimal care. The flowers are an excellent addition to the pollinator garden since they draw butterflies.

They need to be watered and fertilized at the right time. They should care about well-moistened soil and good temperature.

Soil And Fertilizer

Lithodora plants thrive without any fertilizer. If your plant looks yellow or diseased, this can help it recover. You can fertilize acidic soils using a light, slow-release fertilizer in winter and early spring. You can also consider using compost to improve the soil.

It also grows in moist, rich soil, but acidic, well-drained soil is preferable. The soil is not suitable for this plant, it can thrive on sandy soil. While acidic soil should have good drainage, it should never dry out completely.

Also Read: 17 Beautiful Winter Flowers Of India

Light And Water

Lithodora does best in direct sunlight, it can also grow in some shade. In hot areas, provide midday shade for the plant. Protect the plant from strong winds and direct sunlight until it is established.

Water freshly planted Lithodora well at least once a week to encourage new roots to develop deeply. Avoid allowing the soil to become completely dry or wet; Doing so can cause root rot. It will only need about an inch of water per week.

Temperature and Humidity

Lithodora does best in direct sunlight, it can also grow in some shade. Provides midday shade for plants in hot areas. Protect the plant from strong winds and direct sunlight until it is established.

Water freshly planted Lithodora well at least once a week to encourage deep new root growth. Avoid allowing the soil to become completely dry or wet; Doing so can cause root rot. It will only need about an inch of water per week.

Pests and Diseases

The Lithodora is generally not affected by pests or any other problems. Small transparent patches with yellowish wide margins that gradually grow and acquire a red core are early symptoms of bacterial leaf spot.

The disease thrives in cool climates, and if the plant flowers, it can also result in flower heads that are infected. If aphids, spider mites or whiteflies are found on the plant, spray the plant with an insecticidal soap. Mites and whiteflies can be treated with hot pepper wax.

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