Plectranthus argentatus AGM

Louise Sims

Plectranthus are members of the Lamiaceae or mint family, and theyre 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. Howevethe 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!

Autumn

4 Comments

  1. Thank you Louise. Totally brilliant purchase at NGS plant sale was one of your Ple tranthus. Fabulous all summer. Now huge! Will try cuttings in glass of water?

    1. Great to hear from you Teresa and so glad you enjoyed the Plectranthus – the growth they make in one season is amazing isn’t it? Having never used the water method for their cuttings before, I am also going to root a few the normal way … just in case!
      Louise

  2. I so agree about the Plectranthus. What a joy and so easy to take cuttings – both water and normal way. Strangely unknown too – I try to sell the infants at my plant sale (late May) but the punters are reluctant. (This reminds me to take a photograph of my huge pots right now – perhaps this will persuade them.)
    Also, giving me great pleasure, pot wise, and have been for some weeks now, are the Acidanthras. I have them in pots by the back door and they are real heart lifters waving their delicate white heads and greeting us so kindly, at this time of the year, with a pure and delicious scent.

    1. Hello Jane … and yes, this is exactly what I find when the cuttings are still young – they are not an easy sell. So I too, shall try and remember to keep photos at hand!
      Acidanthera – of course this would have been the perfect year for them, how beautiful they are, and what a scent!
      Happy gardening …Louise

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