Thursday, April 5, 2012

Plectranthus oertendahlii 'Emerald Lace'

In flower now Plectranthus oertendahlii 'Emerald Lace'
Emerald Lace growing in deep shade under inky purple Bromeliad Neoregelia 'Royal Flush'
Plectranthus, many of which hail from South Africa like this one, are a hardy bunch as far as water requirements go. If it gets too dry or too sunny for them their leaves go dull and they stop growing but spring back into action as soon as conditions are favourable. I have tried Emerald Lace in a few different shady spots and what it seems to like doing is hugging a bigger plant so it can peep out from underneath it. My specimens in more open ground have been less successful and it is certainly not a rampant grower like other species. This lack of vigor leads to that other problem which nurserymen have and that is not being able to get enough cutting material from a stock plant to be able to grow it in commercial quantities. I am wondering whether it is not better suited to a more sub-tropical climate as the lower minimum temperature recommended for it is 10C. It is a worthy addition to any warm climate garden as the scalloped silver marked leaves are a striking and the dainty white flowers are a delight at this time of year.

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