Plectranthus neochilus Schltr.
Lobster Flower, Lobster Bush, Fly Bush, Mosquito Bush, Smelly Spur Flower, Blue Coleus, Poor Man's Lavender
Coleus neochilus, Coleus schinzii
Plectranthus neochilus is an aromatic succulent plant that forms an attractive ground cover even when not in flower. It grows up to 20 inches (50 cm) tall and 2 feet (60 cm) wide. Leaves are fleshy and grey-green. The deep blue and purple flowers appear from spring through late fall.
USDA hardiness zone 8a to 10b: from 10 °F (−12.2 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Plectranthus are easily cultivated and require little extra attention or special treatment. They enjoy well-composted soil and, as a rule, thrive in semi-shade or cool positions on south-facing aspects. Thus, they are ideally suited to growth under the shade of trees. They are generally shallow rooted and enjoy adequate water, but they store water in their stems and are resistant to prolonged periods of drought. Plectranthus are often grown for their attractive foliage, flowers, or both and vary in their growth forms from dense prostrate ground covers to sub-shrubs and large shrubs.
Although they are frost-tender, they are usually grown in shady, protected places and, as such, are afforded some protection from frost. Since they all flower at the end of the growing season, frost does not affect flowering. If the plants are affected by frost, they can be cut back at the end of winter and will grow out rapidly. Once the plants have been established for a year or more, they become woodier at the base and are more resistant to frost damage.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Plectranthus.
This species is native to South Africa.
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