Plectranthus ciliatus 'Drege' is a cultivar of P. ciliatus which is native to Tropical Africa. It is perennial subshrub only reaching about 2 foot (0.6 m) tall and 5 feet (1.5 m) wide in a single season. Leaves are dark green with purple undersides to 3 inches (7.6 cm) long, acute crenate-serrate and sparsely pubescent. Stems are square in cross section. These are great plants for hanging baskets and for use as a groundcover in the landscape. They are very fast growing and fairly drought resistant once established. I grow these in hanging baskets in the greenhouse and also use it as a groundcover in my yard. Plants are hardy to 25° F (-4 ° C).
Blooming: Plants bloom in the greenhouse and in the landscape from September through October. The lavender flowers are in racemes or sparsely branched panicles. Individual flowers are 0.5 inches (1.25 cm) long and very showy.
Culture: Plectranthus ciliatus 'Drege' is best grown in full sun to partial shade. Plants grown in too much shade tend to be leggy. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 1 part sand. Plants are well watered and allowed to dry slightly before watering again. Plants in the landscape once established are fairly drought resistant and only need water here in Oklahoma every couple of days in periods of drought. Whether plants are grown in baskets or as a groundcover they respond well to regular fertilizer applications. In late fall here in Oklahoma, the plants die back when temps get below 25° (-4° C), but in the greenhouse we start restricting the water and fertilizer application for the winter slow growth period.
Propagation: Plectranthus ciliatus 'Drege' is best propagated from cuttings. Cuttings placed in water will root in as little as 6-8 days.
Plectranthus ciliatus 'Drege' was featured as Plant of the Week July 24-30, 2009.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.