Lithodora Plant Care

Do you have rock gardens you would like to give a bit of vibrant color? Then the Lithodora diffusa, previously known as Lithospermum, will do just that. The stone gift makes a welcome addition to the garden. It is a flowering ground cover and grows well in window boxes or containers.

About Lithodora for Rock Gardens

Lithodora on a rocky garden

Lithodora is apart of the Boraginaceae family and is native to the Mediterranean. The evergreen grows well in the USDA zone six to ten. While it does not grow well in scorching climates, it works well in cooler regions.

The perennial grows year-round to produce large tubular blue flowers with five-star-shaped petals. Another exceptional classification of the blooms is the reddish center with purple stripes.

The perennial plants reach a modest height of 6-10 inches, and one plant can stretch up to 36-inches wide. You notice them blooming late spring through to summer. If you want to create a gorgeous landscape design, the Lithodora works well as flower borders.

Lithodora Care

Lithodora care

Now, the easy-to-grow Lithodora looks excellent placed in front of taller plants. It is a low-maintenance flower with a floral display to capture passers-by. To prepare the ground, you can turn the soil under 12-inches.

Ensure that all debris is removed and plant your Lithodora diffusa on a cloudy day late afternoon. Place the root ball in the hole and place the top roots even with the surrounding soil. Fill the hole up with soil to cover the root ball.

Lithodora Thrives in Acidic Soil Moisture

Whether grown as ground cover, container, or window box, it helps to use sand as Lithodora does not tolerate clay soil. The best growth appears in well-drained soil that is alkaline to neutral. We also recommend not letting the soil dry out completely.

Light Requirement for Lithodora Plants

Lithodora lighting requirement

For your plant to bloom showy flowers, it helps place your plant in well-rotted manure in partial sun to full sun. It helps to do this in cooler climate regions, while humid to hot areas provide your plant with partial shade. Place them near a sunny window for optimal coverage or behind taller plants for partial shades, if you treat them as an indoor plant.

Water to Retain Soil Moisture

When grown in a rock garden or container, you can water it once a week to boost new growth. If treated as an outdoor plant, new plants can survive in one inch of rain a week. It also helps add a layer of mulch to retain moisture and reduce weeds.

Furthermore, the shredded leaves and organic matter improvise the soil quality as it breaks down. We recommend keeping the mulch away from the stem to prevent root rot. Still, keep checking the soil using your thumb to water as needed.

Lithodora Temperature and Humidity Needs

Lithodora temperature and humidity requirement

During hot and humid summers, Lithodora plants tend to bloom less. It helps to cut them back a bit to encourage new growth. You can reapply some mulch in fall when planted in cooler temperatures.

Fertilizing for Healthy Plants

When you notice new growth, it helps to provide your Lithodora diffusa with a light feed. Still, it is not a must. Preferably avoid using granular fertilizers near the plant crown and the foliage.

The reason is that it leads to foliage burns. We recommend using a slow-release fertilizer when you notice the leaves turn pale green with a broad yellowish edge.

You can apply the feed in early spring or late winter.

Trimming Lithodora Diffusa

When it comes to trimming Lithodora, a couple of considerations are available. You can do this at different times in the growing season. You can remove the overgrown foliage in late winter.

Yet, pruning occurs in early spring as it is an evergreen. If your plant experiences cold winter temperatures, it damages the plant stems and leaves. When you remove the black damaged leaves, it helps prevent disease.

The best time to cut your plants is to keep them at the desired size after the flowering period. If leggy growth appears, you can also remove it. Then, all you need are sharp garden shears to make clean cuts.

How to Propagate Your Lithodora Diffusa?

Luckily, propagating Lithodora plants is not difficult, and you can do this from seeds or semi-hardwood cuttings. You can sow the seed directly in the ground.

Semi-hardwood and Softwood Tip Cuttings

During the warm months, when actively blooming, you can use softwood tip cuttings. Cut a cutting off three inches in length. Place a mix of 50/50 peat moss and perlite in a pot and make a hole in the middle. The soil is moist but not soggy and places the cutting in a partial sun area. Once the roots fill the pot, you can transfer your plants to the garden.

Lithodora Varieties

If you love the look of the Lithodora diffusa, you will find the other varieties just as intriguing to grow in the garden.

Lithodora diffusa

Lithodora diffusa

The Lithodora white star is another show stopper in the garden. It is a low-growing evergreen shrub covered with white-star-shaped flowers in spring.

Lithodora oleifolia

Lithodora oleifolia

The herbaceous perennial is the olive gromwell and has dark green leaves. The leaves have a silky white appearance underneath. In spring, you are greeted with trumpet-shaped flowers in a sky-blue hue.

Preventing Diseases and Pests

The main concern with your established plants and companion plants are spider mites, whitefly, and aphids. You can spray them using an insecticidal spray, hot pepper wax.

Another concern is bacterial leaf spots with a broad yellow edge developing into a reddish center.

You find the bacteria growing in cooler temperatures, and best to remove the infected plants. Try not to do overhead watering.

Frequently Asked Questions

For the Lithodora to bloom, it helps provide your plant with partial to full sun in colder regions with partial shade in warmer areas. Providing them with pruning in early spring also helps to remove damaged growth from the winter.

The Lithodora blooms the most in spring and slows down in summer as the temperature warms up.

You can split the Lithodora by cutting between new roots of the plant.

You can find the Lithodora plants at a local garden center or find one here at Plantly. The best part is you need not leave your home. Instead, we deliver the plants to your door.

Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!

Plantly Menu


Feedback / Request Feature

Need more Attributes/Categories/Tags/Genus

Enter attributes separated by comma like “attribute 1, attribute 2”

Enter categories separated by ‘,’.

Enter tags separated by ‘,’.

Enter genus separated by ‘,’.

Others / Suggestions


This helps us prevent spam, thank you.

What Plant Are You Looking For?

Our team of plant finders is ready!