Plectranthus are members of the Lamiaceae or mint family, and they’re my latest craze. All species are tender and are really valuable subjects for container growing, not only for the highly ornamental value of their foliage, but also because many are happiest grown in part shade and some in almost full shade. Even P. argentatus, with its silver grey leaves (which usually indicates a love of undiluted sunshine), does best for me with a little shade especially at the hottest time of the day.
The soft velvety leaves alone are reason enough to give it pride of place in any scheme, but nonetheless I always look forward to the quiet spikes of lavender blue/white flowers at the end of the summer, and so do the bees.
The silver spur flower, as it’s commonly known, is at its peak right now, and with a bit of luck will continue to look good for at least another four or five weeks. And this goes for almost all tender plants in containers, they have been building up to this fabulous autumn crescendo and it rarely disappoints.
We’ve got a few weeks yet, but last year there was a widespread frost at the end of October, and P argentatus is usually the first to succumb. However the good news is that it is one of the very easiest to propagate, and this year I am going to try cuttings in a glass of water, a method which is not only fun but works well for so many plants.
As I write this week, we have just had our first very early frost in the garden … minus 0.5 degrees!