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Plectranthus prostratus (Succulent Swedish Ivy)

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Scientific Name

Plectranthus prostratus Gürke

Common Names

Succulent Swedish Ivy, Pillow Plant, Tangled Hearts

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Plectranthus prostratus is a small, perennial, succulent plant up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall, with creeping, much-branched stems. It displays a profusion of tiny, thick, lime green leaves forming a mat of foliage. Lines of purple form on leaf edges if in bright light. The flowers are tiny, white with a hint of violet and appear in leaf axils.

Photo via davesgarden.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 7b to 10a: from 5 °F (−15 °C) to 35 °F (+1.7 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Plectranthus are easily cultivated and require little extra attention or special treatment. They enjoy well-composted soils, and as rule thrive in semi shade or cool positions on south facing aspects. They are ideally suited to growth under the shade of trees. They are generally shallow rooted and enjoy adequate water but they do 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 subshrubs 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. Due to the fact that 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.

Origin

Native to South Africa.

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