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Plectranthus amboinicus – Cuban Oregano

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Scientific Name

Plectranthus amboinicus (Lour.) Spreng.

Common Names

Cuban Oregano, Mexican Mint, Indian Borage, Caribbean Oregano, Country Borage, French Thyme, Indian Mint, Soup Mint, Spanish Thyme

Synonyms

Coleus amboinicus (basionym), Coleus aromaticus, Coleus carnosus, Coleus crassifolius, Coleus subfrutectosus, Coleus suborbicularis, Coleus suganda, Coleus vaalae, Majana amboinica, Majana carnosa, Majana suganda, Ocimum vaalae

Scientific Classification

Family: Lamiaceae
Subfamily: Nepetoideae
Tribe: Ocimeae
Genus: Plectranthus

Description

Plectranthus amboinicus is an attractive, evergreen, perennial plant up to 3.3 feet (1 m) tall, with lemon-scented, thick, succulent stems and fleshy leaves. Flowers are on a short stem, pale purplish in dense, 10 to 20 (or more) flowered dense whorls (cymes) at distant intervals in a long slender spike-like raceme.

Plectranthus amboinicus - Cuban Oregano

Photo via wikipedia.org

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Water Cuban Oregano when the top 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) of its soil becomes dry. Apply 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water from a garden hose directly to the surrounding ground. Water the plant during mid-morning hours to allow moistened foliage time to dry before nightfall. Never water so frequently that the soil becomes soggy or develops standing water.

Apply 1 tablespoon of 10-10-10, slow-release, granular fertilizer per 1 square foot (930 Square Centimeter) of the Cuban Oregano’s soil in spring, just as new growth begins on the plant. Spread the fertilizer in a band around the Cuban Oregano, keeping it 6 inches (15 cm) from the plant’s stems to prevent fertilizer burn. Mix the fertilizer granules into the top 3 inches (7.5 cm) of soil with a rake or garden fork. Water the area immediately to activate the fertilizer. Reapply the fertilizer every three months throughout the plant’s active growing season.

Origin

Native to southern and eastern Africa.

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