Plectranthus oertendahlii

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Botanical Name
Plectranthus oertendahlii
Lamiaceae - The mint and salvia family
plek-TRAN-thus er-ten-DAHL-ee-eye
Common Name(s)
English: Silverleaf spurflower
Afrikaans: Bontblaar spoorsalie
USA: November lights
Plant Group
  • Ground Cover A plant with a low-growing, spreading habit, grown specifically to cover the ground.
Plant Size
  • Small
    Tree4m to 8m
    Shrub50cm to 75cm
    Perennial/ground cover10cm to 20cm
    Bulb20cm to 30cm
    Succulent10cm to 20cm
  • Deep / Full Shade Shade below spreading evergreen trees where sun's rays are unable to penetrate the canopy at any time. For light sensitive plants
General Information
  • Drought Tolerance: Moderate The plant is moderately adapted to arid conditions and can survive short periods of drought and high temperatures without extra water.
  • Evergreen Plants that have leaves all year round.
  • Frost: Tender A plant that will not survive any frost or low winter temperatures.
  • Prune hard after flowering Fast growing shrubs that grow lanky within a season. Cut off branches and stems of these plants to a third of their original length. This will increase the yield of flowers, improve the plants shape and enhance the structural strength of main branches.
  • Water Moderate These plants will need some extra watering compared to water-wise plants. Plant them together, in at least some shade and in a convenient proximity to the house so that grey water can be utilised during times of drought.
Specific Information

Rare and difficult to find in its natural habitat. Plectranthus oertendahlii has silver variegated leaves distinctly marked with silver veins. The underside is an attractive deep red.

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upright spikes of small spur flowers

  • Autumn Plants will seldom bloom for the entire season as given in the list, but should flower during a period within these parameters.
  • lilac
Growth Rate
  • Fast Specifying growth rate can be very misleading as there is considerable variation of growth rate depending on type and species of plant, available water, supplementary feeding, mulching and general care, as well as the plants suitability and adaptability to the garden environment.
Plant Uses
  • Attracts bees, butterflies or other insects This plant attracts insects which can be food for birds or other creatures in your garden.
  • Container Trees, shrubs and ornamental species that can adapt to growing in a restricted environment.
  • Edging A low growing plant that provides softness or definition to the edges of a bed or walkway.
  • Filler Either a fast growing tree or shrub used temporarily to fill in an area while the permanent plants grow to a desired size, or a plant used to fill gaps in borders or beds.
  • Foliage Plant Plants grown because their foliage is colorful or unique. Many of these plants have insignificant flowers.
  • Ground Cover Low-lying plants that spread fast, require minimal maintenance, and cover large expanses or bare areas between bulbs or shrubs. They provide protection from erosion and drought and improve the visual appearance of the garden.
  • Interplanting Arranging and planting plants in the garden that have different blooming times and habits of growth, extending the amount of time in which the area is in flower.
  • Pot Plant A plant that needs a protected environment on a patio or indoors.
  • Suitable for smaller gardens Such plants do not have invasive root systems, remain small or controllable and can often be grown in containers.
Distribution and Habitat

endemic to a small area from the Oribi Gorge northwards to Uvongo in KwaZulu-Natal

Planting Suggestions

This plectranthus is a little more fussy than most as it does not tolerate sun and needs a sheltered, shady position. Plant in humus-rich, well drained, slightly acid loam with the addition of compost and fertiliser according to your soil needs. Regular watering is also needed but don't over-water. Prune back hard after flowering during midwinter. Plectranthus oertendahlii is adapted to survive low light, making it a useful indoor plant. It loses its vigour as it gets older but cuttings root easily and the plant should be renewed periodically.

Medicinal Uses

No data found.

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