What Is Lithodora – Learn About The Care Of Lithodora In Gardens

Image by HaraldBiebel

By Mary H. Dyer, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener

What is Lithodora? Botanically known as Lithodora diffusa, this plant is a hardy ground cover that produces masses of tiny, intensely blue, star-shaped flowers from late spring throughout most of summer. What to know more about growing Lithodora ground cover? Read on to find out.

Lithodora Plant Information

Lithodora planted in gardens reaches heights of only 6 to 10 inches (15-25 cm.), but a single plant can eventually spread 24 to 36 inches (61-91 cm.). You can easily grow Lithodora in gardens in USDA plant hardiness zones 6 through 10. In the more southern ranges, the dense covering of narrow, dark-green leaves remain green year round.

Lithodora ground cover is a great choice for rock gardens. It also works well in window boxes or containers.

Lithodora is relatively easy to find in garden centers. Otherwise, plant Lithodora seeds directly in the garden, or start them indoors a few weeks ahead of time. You can also propagate cuttings from established plants in mid- to late summer.

Growing Lithodora Ground Cover

Acidic, well-drained soil is best for growing Lithodora in gardens. Sandy soil is fine, but the plant won’t tolerate heavy clay soil.

Although Lithodora thrives in full sunlight, partial shade isn’t a problem. Afternoon shade is best in hot climates.

As for the care of Lithodora, water the plant regularly and don’t allow the soil to become bone dry. However, beware of overwatering and avoid soggy, waterlogged soil.

Apply mulch in autumn if you live in a cooler region. Prune Lithodora lightly if it looks straggly, or if the leaves are damaged by winter cold.

Lithodora generally requires no fertilizer unless the leaves turn pale greenish-yellow. If this occurs, provide a fertilizer for rhododendron, azalea or other acid-loving plants in late winter or very early spring.

If you notice aphids, treat the plant with insecticidal soap spray. Otherwise, pests are usually not a problem.

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