Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender'
Common Name: Swedish ivy 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Zone: 10 to 11
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Lavender
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zone 10 where it is easily grown in humusy, medium moisture, well-drained soils in part shade. Best with regular and even moisture. Year-round temperatures of 60-80 F. Trim off new stem tips regularly to retain compact shape and form. Remove flower spikes after bloom. In St. Louis, this plant may be grown as a houseplant in bright mostly sunny exposures.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Plectranthus is a genus of about 350 species of annuals, evergreen perennials, semi-succulents and shrubs from Africa, Madagascar, Asia, Australasia and Pacific Islands. Commonly called coleus, hybrid cultivars are widely grown as ornamentals. An almost infinite number of leaf color combinations are available including most colors of the spectrum except true blue. Cultivars range in size from dwarf 6” tall plants to large mounded 3' tall plants. Four-sided stems are semi-succulent. Showy multi-colored leaves are generally ovate to oblong and toothed. Leaves frequently feature mixtures of colors in irregular patterns. Blue to white nettle-like flowers (more common on seed strains) bloom in racemes in summer to early fall, but are not showy and tend to visually detract from the symmetry and attractiveness of the plants.

Genus name comes from the Greek words plectron meaning "spur" and anthos meaning "flower" in reference to the spur-shaped flowers of some members of the genus.

MONA LAVENDER is a vigorous, upright, rounded, bushy perennial that typically grows to 2’ tall and as wide. Unlike many members of the genus Plectranthus, this hybrid is in fact primarily grown for its attractive lavender flowers which appear over a long bloom period. This hybrid is the result of a breeding program carried out in the late 1990s at Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden in Cape Town, South Africa. Parents of this hybrid are P. saccatus (seed parent) and P. hilliardiae (pollen parent). Tubular, two-lipped, lavender flowers bloom in spikes to 6” long. Glossy, ovate, dark green leaves are purplish below. U.S. Plant Patent PP13,858 was issued June 3, 2003.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for mealybugs and mites.

Garden Uses

Borders where winter hardy. Containers or hanging baskets for decks or patios. Bedding plant for annual color. Houseplant.