Plectranthus Australis is a plant that has dark green glossy serrated leaves. The purplish flowers rarely appear. The flowers are similar to those of coleuses to which these plants are closely related. This plant can be grown as a house-plant.
When they are actively growing, water plentifully enough to keep potting mixture thoroughly moist, but do not stand pot in water. When plants are resting, water sparingly giving enough water to keep the plant from drying out completely.
Apply standard liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks when it is actively growing.
Re-pot once a year in Spring but if plants are becoming leggy, propagate.
Tip cuttings 2-3 inches long root easily, using cutting compost at almost any time. Water them moderately and keep them in bright filtered light. Once rooting has occurred, put 3 or 4 cuttings together in a hanging basket or plant cuttings singly in a 3 inch pot of soil-based compost. Large plants can also be divided in Spring.
Plectranthus like 3 hours of direct sunlight everyday. If they have inadequate light, the leaf colour becomes poor and the gaps between the leaves widen. They grow well in warm rooms. In Winter give these plants a rest under cool conditions.
Pinch out the growing tips in order to encourage bushy growth.
Plectranthus is a member of the mint family and its lemony scent is supposed to repel moths.
Leaves will scorch if plant is in draught or dry air. Poor drainage, watering too frequent or standing in water, will cause root rot. This plant must be handled with care as the leaves break easily.
Plectranthus are attractive in hanging baskets but remember to check regularly as they dry out quickly.
The plant will survive in normal room humidity but twice weekly spray helps to keep the plant clean and bright.
Loam-based number 2 with 10 per cent added peat and soft sand.
Most plant cells look like little boxes full of green disks. The disks are called chloroplasts. Other organelles inside a plant cell include a nucleus (where the DNA is kept), a large central vacuole (where water and other materials are stored) and a complex internal skeleton or cytoskeleton made of various proteins.