Plectranthus zuluensis

Plectranthus zuluensis with Justicia carnea

This is an excellent South African Plectranthus, which grows into a cushiony shrub about 1.5 m in height. It has bold, striking plumes of blue-mauve flowers that appear most of the year, with a brief respite in winter and early spring. The flowers resemble those of Plectranthus ecklonii, which blooms in later summer and autumn, It has attractive scalloped-edged foliage. It will flourish in sun or shade and copes well with dryness. Mine grows with a free-flowering, dwarf pink Justicia carnea nearby; I am planting cuttings in other spots now that I have discovered what an accommodating plant it is! In its native environment, it grows in forests and along forest margins. In South Africa, there are some named cultivars, including some with deep purplish-blue flowers, which sound alluring.

Prune the plant back in late winter and apply some general fertiliser at the same time. Every few years, replace the plant with a cutting; these strike easily if taken in spring or autumn.

Flowers in January, February, March, April, May, June, November, December.