Plectranthus is an herbaceous plant that grows as an annual as well as perennial plant in different zones. The common name of plectranthus is Spur-flower that closely belongs to mint, and is a member of the Lamiaceae family.
This is an ornamental plant that has more than 350 species, some of them are also used for medical purposes. Most of the plectranthus has similar characteristics including colorful and aromatic foliage and blooms.
The leaves are waxy, toothed, or scalloped on the edges. This plant is also characterized as both ground cover and shrub plants.
Plectranthus is not a rear plant, mostly planted in growing outdoors in the garden beds and borders as an ornamental plant. This is also a popular houseplant that thrives in low light.
These plant species are low-maintenance and fast-growing and can be grown easily by new gardeners. Here, you’ll get also information about how to grow, care and propagate plectranthus.
So keep reading….
|Plant type||Annual, perennial|
|Mature Size||6 to 7 feet|
|Sun Exposure||Full sun or partial shade|
|Soil Type||Rich, well-drained soil|
|Bloom Time||Summer, fall, and winter|
|Flower Color||Purple, lavender, pink, white, and blue|
|Hardiness Zones||8 to 11 USDA|
|Native Area||Africa, Madagascar, India|
How to grow Plectranthus
Plectranthus is an easy-growing plant that does not seek much attention. They get established easily and have a fast-growing rate throughout the year. In the beginning, the plant is water sensitive (needs more water), but gradually when it matures it becomes slightly drought-tolerant as it stores water in its stem.
Plectranthus is a very useful plant grown as foliage, ornamental and flowering plant. Its has scented, fuzzy leaves all year; also it tends to bloom multiple times in a year. They grow as annual and perennial based on their variety and geological condition.
Below are in depth-information to grow, care and propagated Plectranthus:
Where to Grow
Plectranthus depending on the variety or cultivar can be grown in multi-location. It can be planted in pots, containers, or gardens. The plant some varieties grow about 2 meters in height in ideal conditions.
Plant plectranthus in a place where it gets adequate light and well-drained soil. The amount of light it needed usually depends on its variety; some varieties or modern cultivars can tolerate full sun or even full shade.
However, the ideal place to plant any variety is where they receive early morning sunlight and mid-afternoon shade.
When to Grow
Plectranthus grow multiple times in a year including spring, fall, and winter depending on the species. Start planting in early spring or when frost is about to end. As the plant blooms in multiple seasons, there is no danger of missing the blooming season.
You can grow plectranthus with seeds, stem cuttings, and division. The seeds can be collected from its dead flowers after the blooming season.
However, propagation from seeds is generally not preferred as it takes lots of time to become a mature plant. Also, today many modern cultivars and hybrids are developed that are cannot be grown from seeds. If you try to grow from seeds there is a high chance the plant will not grow similar to its parent plant or even do not grow at all.
Fortunately, plectranthus can easily propagate with stem cutting, division, or sample plant. Go to a nearby nursery and collect your favorite species, plant this in the garden or pot for proper growth.
If you already have a mature plectranthus plant, you can multiply this into several plants.
Here is what to do,
- Take a gardening spade and toss out the plant from the soil. Dipping up a mature plant will be difficult and you might feel it getting destroyed, but do not worry it will regrow.
- Shake roots clumps to remove all possible soil from them. This will help to separate root balls and stems in different sections.
- Divide the root clump into different parts with a stem attached to it. Make sure the stems are at least 5 to 6 inches tall and have some leaves on them.
- Now, you’re good to go. Plant these divisions in different locations to propagate new plants.
- You can plant in pots, containers, or in the garden.
- The division is essential after every 2-3 years because soil loses its nutrients or some plants stop blooming.
If you want to propagate new plectranthus without damaging the old one. Propagate from stem cuttings, is a simple and easy process of growing a new plant.
Here is what to do:
- Take a gardening shear and cut a stem cutting. The cutting must have some leaves on it.
- Clear or snip off leaves from the bottom half of the stem cutting for new root growth.
- Now, take a glass and fill half with water. Place stem cutting into it. Emerge only half of the cutting in the water.
- Place the glass or bottom in the bright indirect light. Do not plant in full sun, this will heat up the glass which is not good for cutting.
- Change water every 4 to 5 days. Cuttings consume oxygen from the water. Replacing with fresh water will help roots to pop faster.
- The cutting will take nearly two weeks to grow roots. When roots become 2-3 inches long, transplant them into the soil for further growth.
- In the water, it will grow to some extent, to have a full plant you have to transplant it to rich, well-drained soil.
Soil is one of the most essential factors to grow plectranthus. They need well-drained potting mix soil for proper growth. If you plant in soggy soil, where water stays for a long hour, the roots or stems will get infected with root rot. To improve soil drainage, perlite or sand in the potting mix soil.
You can also add organic matter like the banana pill, eggshell, or used tea bags to improve water flow in the soil. Plant in rich. Plectranthus like slightly acidic soil, plant them in good quality soil.
Plectranthus need water to thrive. Water when the upper layer of the soil looks dry. Do not overwater. Watering too much will make soil soggy which causes fungal diseases and rot.
Overwatering is not a big issue if you grow in the garden because the groundwater flows deep down into the soil whereas in the pot or container there should be adequate holes for water flow.
The amount of water needed varies on species; some require more water compared to others. However, moderate regular watering will thrive any species. In a humid climate, the plant often gets infected with fungal diseases this happens when its leaves or stems stay wet for too long. To avoid this water is directly on the base of the soil.
The amount of light plectranthus needs depends on its species. However overall they thrive well in bright indirect sunlight. The plant tends to suffer from leaf burn if exposed to full sun. If growing indoors, place the pot that receives part shade the whole day. In the outdoors, you can plant them under tall perennial plants or underneath trees or shelter.
When planted under the canopy of trees make sure they get adequate water and nutrients they do not like to compete with other plants.
Temperature and Humidity
Although Plectranthus are not frosted tolerant there are many species that do best in the cold season. Even the bloom on the shortest day of the year. Since this plant is available in both annual and perennial species, its temperature requirement varies from species to species.
However, mostly plectranthus not like extremely warn. In warn season they require more care (water and shade) to survive. Also, in the winter they will not survive but will come back in the next growing season. Many growers bring plectranthus pot indoors in the winter to safeguard from killing frost. They tend to brighten back outdoors in the spring to let new growth begin that allowing them to survive throughout the year.
These plant species need monthly fertilization during their growing season from spring to fall. You can use 10-20-10 fertilizer on the plant which is effective for most varieties.