- Author: Andrea Peck
- Editor: Noni Todd
By Andrea Peck UCCE Master Gardener
Common name of plant: Lavender Spur Flower, Mona Lavender, Swedish Ivy
Scientific name: Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender'
Planting area: perennial in USDA zones 9-11
Size: 1'-2' tall and wide
Bloom season: fall to spring
Exposure: shade to partial sun
Pruning needs: pinch to promote even growth, cut spent flowers
Water needs: keep moist, may tolerate short periods of dryness
Plectranthus is an herbaceous perennial that grows readily in zones 9-11. Originating in
Africa and belonging to the mint family, this unique plant has numerous features to recommend. Get up close to Mona Lavender as it is worth inspection. Shiny green leaves extend from elegant square-shaped purple stems---even closer, you'll see that the bottom of each leaf is not green as expected, but instead, a deep, velvety purple.
From spring to fall, you'll be satisfied with your cheerful, two-toned mini bush, but as fall fades, and the doldrums of short days strike, Plectranthus finds its flower power. Plectranthus blooms are well worth the wait. Diminutive yet showy, Mona Lavender puts forth a spray of tubular flowers. Delicate, dark flecking attracts the eye adding to that pleasing lavender and purple color scheme.
Plectranthus grows best in consistently moist soil, though it can handle a bit of dryness here and there. In hot California, this plant is best placed in shade or semi-shade. Organically rich soil with good drainage is ideal. If your summers are too hot and your winters too cold, Plectranthus may worm its way into your home as a houseplant. In which event, treat this winter beauty to a nice container filled with well-draining potting soil. Fertilize twice a month during non-flowering months with a 20-10-20 fertilizer at half strength. Refrain from fertilizing during flowering.
Mona Lavender looks more refined with a regular trimming. It need not be extensive, simply clip or pinch off unwieldy growth to maintain and encourage overall plant health. Snip dead flowers as well and you'll be rewarded with a most unusual plant that flowers throughout winter---just when you need it most.
Our Advice to Grow By Workshops are back!!!
Our next workshop will be March 18th, 2023, at 10:00 to 12:00 p.m. in our Seven Sisters Demonstration Garden at 2154 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo. The topic will be “Spring Gardening”. All about easy to grow vegetables, starting from seed and perennial vegetables.
Other ways to see or reach us:
You can view workshops on Instagram live at slo mg or visit our You Tube channel at “San Luis Obispo County UC Master Gardeners.”
Visit our website at ucanr.edu/sites/mgslo/ or email questions to email@example.com.
Our physical offices are now open!!!!!
Covid may still affect staffing levels, so it is best to call before heading to your local Helpline office:
San Luis Obispo: 805-781-5939 (Monday and Thursday 1:00 to 5:00)
Arroyo Grande: 805-473-7190 (10:00 to 12:00)
Templeton: 805-434-4105 (Wednesday 9:00 to 12:00)