Unlike peperomia, the leaves of the plectranthus flower are velvety, with small villi on the surface. To the touch, they resemble the leaves of home coleus a, but do not have such a rich contrasting color. The ability of this plant to drive away flies and mosquitoes has long been noticed, for which the people called it the “flycat”. Here you will get tips on caring for plectranthus at home and get acquainted with the varieties of this culture.
Plectranthus, or Swedish ivy (Plectranthus), belongs to the Lamiaceae family. Homeland – the tropics of Africa, Asia, Australia, Polynesia.
The people also call it “nettle”, “cock spur”, “flycat”.
Evergreen or deciduous shrub, shrub. The plant is erect, fast growing, 60–120 cm tall with tetrahedral shoots. Shoots are pubescent, strongly branching with light green shiny leaves. Leaves up to 10 cm long, wide, broadly ovate, double-serrate along the edge, hairy, similar to nettle leaves, with a peculiar pungent aroma reminiscent of mint. The flowers are fragrant, pale blue or purple, have a two-lipped pharynx.
Aromatic essential oils of the plant have a tonic and phytoncidal effect.
Blooms in February – May.
Next, you can familiarize yourself with the description and photos of all varieties of plectranthus and get tips on growing a plant.
Description and photo of varieties of plectranthus: ertendal, southern and others
The most popular types:
Plectranthus koleusovidny (P. coleoides var. marginatus) .
P. shrubby, or molar tree (P. fruticans) .
P. Madagascar (P. madagascariensis) .
P. purple (P. purpuratus) .
P. Ertendal (P. oertendahlii) .
P. southern (P. australis) .
Ertendal’s plectractus (Plectranthus oertendalii Th. Fries) , family of Lamiaceae.
Homeland: subtropical regions of South Africa.
Appearance and structure: the stems are obtusely four-sided, greenish, with a beet shade. The leaves are heart-shaped, opposite, dark green, with a camphor smell. The edge of the leaf blade is serrated. The veins are lighter (whitish), creating a beautiful decorative ornament on the velvety surface of the leaf.
Pay attention to the photo – the leaves of plectranthus ertendal are pubescent with small short hairs:
Petioles glabrous, light green-pinkish. The flowers are inconspicuous, pinkish-purple.
Features of the content: in summer a bright place is needed, abundant watering, in winter it is necessary to adhere to a temperature of + 10–15 ° C, since the plant is in relative rest and almost does not grow, watering is moderate. When caring for plectranthus, pinching the tops of the shoots achieves bushiness and greater branching. For planting, a nutritious, medium-density mixture of soddy, humus and leafy soil, sand and peat (2: 1: 1: 1 / 2: 1/2) is required. Works well in hydroponic and especially in ionic cultures. Suitable for vertical and wall gardening of bright rooms in hanging planters, double flowerpots.
Plectranthus shrub (P. fruticosus) .
Upright shrub up to 120 cm high with branching, tetrahedral, pubescent shoots. Leaves up to 10 cm long, opposite, broadly ovate, double-serrate along the edge, pubescent, with a strong smell.
As you can see in the photo, this plectranthus flowers are small, up to 1 cm long, undecorative, collected in apical loose complex racemose inflorescences, blue, lilac or blue, fragrant:
The leaves, when rubbed, emit a peculiar smell, reminiscent of camphor, which many insects cannot stand: moths, mosquitoes, flies.
Plectranthus hybrid (Plectranthus hybridus hort.) , Lamiaceae family.
Appearance and structure: the leaves are beautiful, shiny, rounded, green, with jagged edges. Shoots numerous, tetrahedral.
Propagated throughout the year by green cuttings.
Features of cultivation: to leaving is not exacting. Shade-tolerant, but moisture-loving. In winter, the temperature of the content is + 14–15 ° C. It grows rapidly, forming a large mass of leafy shoots. Used as an ampelous plant. In soil culture, it grows in a mixture of soddy, humus and leafy soil with the addition of sand (2:1:1:1/2). It grows and develops well in hydroponic and ionic cultures. This plectranthus plant can be widely used for indoor turf. It tolerates low light well and grows well in artificial light.
Plectrantus southern (P. australis) – a species similar to the previous one. Leaves up to 6 cm in diameter, glabrous, round, serrated along the edge, shiny, light green, reddish in the sun. The flowers are small, white or purple, collected in racemose apical inflorescences.
Plectranthus flower care at home
This discreet but elegant plant is grown as an ampelous or as a groundcover. Among its undoubted advantages, endurance and rapid growth should be noted. Indoor plectrantus grows in partial shade, tolerates dry air and drying out of an earthen coma well. In general, it is ideal for an office where there is no caring grower.
Diffused light is required. They are photophilous plants that prefer intense light. Optimal windows for placing indoor plectranthus flower with western and eastern orientation. In winter, good lighting is necessary, otherwise the plants bloom worse. In general, this is a shade-tolerant plant.
The optimum temperature during the active growing season, in the spring and summer, is +18–25 °C. In the autumn-winter period, the optimum growing temperature is + 12-16 ° C. In winter, the temperature is not lower than 10-14 °C. Tolerates dry indoor air.
substrate and watering.
The substrate is prepared from soddy and leafy soil, humus, sand (1: 1: 1: 0.5).
In spring and summer, water abundantly after the topsoil dries. In the autumn-winter period, they are watered more rarely, a day or two after the topsoil has dried. When the soil is waterlogged, disease and rotting of plants can be observed, especially in winter, low temperatures and insufficient lighting aggravate overflow.
In a “starving” plectranthus, the leaves turn pale and may even crumble. As already noted, this ivy tolerates dry air, but from time to time it needs to be sprayed.
Pay attention to the photo – when caring for plectranthus in the warm season, the leaves must be sprayed with water at room temperature:
During the period of intensive growth, top dressing is applied with organic and complex mineral fertilizer every 2 weeks alternately.
Transplantation should be carried out every spring using a soil mixture consisting of four parts of sod, two parts of humus, two parts of peat soil and one part of sand.
Plants are transplanted annually into a loose soil mixture, but if they are rejuvenated every year, you can limit yourself to once every three years.
In order for the plant to be branchy, plectranthus is recommended to be cut annually.
Pests and diseases.
The main pests of the houseplant plectranthus are whiteflies, aphids, scale insects and nematodes. Cold dry air and lack of moisture can lead to plant disease with rhizoctoniosis.
Propagated well by green cuttings , which can be rooted at any time of the year. Rooting is successful and fairly fast (up to 3 weeks). If the grower wants to get more magnificent specimens, several cuttings should be planted in one pot. In the period from April to August, the rooting rate of green cuttings is 95-100%.
The photo “Care for plectranthus” shows all the main agricultural practices: