Plectranthus 

(pleck-tran' thuss)

Common name: Plectranthus, Mintleaf

Family: Lamiaceae (Mint)

Height x width: 1-3' x 1-3'

Growth habit: upright to trailing, depending on species

Growth rate: rapid

Foliage: varies with species, generally ovate, 1-4 inches long, scalloped edges, green to variegated to silvery, usually hairy, some with purplish undersides

Flowers: generally a terminal raceme, florets generally blue to white, not main show of this genus

Hardiness: USDA zone 10

Soil: well-drained, somewhat fertile

Light: part shade north to filtered sun south, may tolerate full sun depending on species and if sufficient moisture; the more hairs and color, the more light needed; more light needed for upright than for trailing species

Pests and Problems: few, possibly aphids or spider mites indoors

Landscape habit, uses: container or border accent for foliage, trailing species hanging

Other interest: native to Africa, Asia, Australia depending on species

Other culture: give most light possible during winter, water sparingly during winter, prune to keep in shape or keep potbound if in containers (but may require more watering if so); branches on upright species may be brittle so a protected location from wind may be best

Propagation: softwood cuttings of upright species, rooted branches of trailing species, seeds

Species: of the 350 species, the following are the most common for garden use; Swedish Ivy (australis) is a common indoor hanging basket plant

Cultivars: although mainly found as species, the following are also in trade
 
Cultivar species foliage other
'Aureo-marginata' argentatus yellow edges, trailing  
'Ochre Flame' amboinicus chartreuse, lime, scalloped edges  
'Jamesii' fruticosus bright green, burgundy backs and stems tiny attractive fls.
'Longwood Silver' argentatus silvery, similar to species  
'Marginatus' forsteri cream variegated, scalloped edges tiny white fls
'Nana' amboinicus compact  
'Variegated' amboinicus lime green, bright yellow, fragrant Spanish Thyme
'Variegatus' oertendahlii green bronze, silvery edges  
'Vick's Plant' amboinicus fragrant as Vick's vaporub  


©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

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