Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Audio Play Icon Headphones Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon


plek-TRAN-thus Audio
Plectrantus amboinicus

Grown for foliage and flowers, Plectranthus is a genus of about 350 species of annuals, evergreen perennials, semi-succulents, and shrubs from Africa, Madagascar, Asia, Australasia, and Pacific islands. They are useful in a cool greenhouse or conservatory or outdoors in hanging baskets, containers, or sunny borders. The foliage is often ornamental, with decorative margins and a fuzzy appearance. The flowers are small but are often borne in good-size racemes of tubular, 2-lipped flowers in shades of purple, pink, white, or blue. Plectranthus are part of the mint family and closely related to Solenostemon (coleus).

Noteworthy CharacteristicsMany species are fast-growing. Attractive, aromatic, soft foliage which often has scalloped, toothed or wavy edges. 

CarePlectranthus needs well-drained soil of moderate fertility in dappled shade. If grown indoors, provide full light but with protection from hot sun. Water freely and fertilize monthly during active growth, but keep just moist in winter.

PropagationDivide in spring, or take stem-tip cuttings any time. Rooted branches of trailing species can be removed. To grow from seed, sow ripe seed at 66° to 75°F.

ProblemsMealybugs, spider mites, leaf spots, and root rot can sometimes be problems.

Species and cultivars

More From the Plant Guide

Winter Interest

Partial Shade

Browse the Full Plant Guide

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, become a member today.

Get complete site access to decades of expert advice, regional content, and more, plus the print magazine.

Start your FREE trial