Bonsai Spurflower

Plectranthus ernstii

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Plectranthus ernstii or bonsai spurflower is a slow growing, erect, semi-succulent perennial with swollen stems and a compact habit that resembles a bonsai, ideal for pot plants and rockeries. It is pleasantly aromatic, herbaceous and grows up to 25 cm tall, branching from the base. The stems are greyish, jointed and swollen, and become brown and potato-like with age. The leaves are aromatic and semi-succulent, ovate to broadly ovate to semi-triangular, with pronounced rounded marginal teeth. The upper-surface is sparsely covered in short fine soft hairs, and the under-surface is covered in minute hairs and pale to reddish brown gland-dots. The leaves turn sometimes rose pink during cooler autumn nights.
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Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Summer, Autumn

Fruiting time

Autumn

Harvesting

Not usually harvested

Propagation

Cuttings

Take 10-15cm cuttings and root in well-draining sandy soil.

Seed

Sow seed in Spring and Summer. Germination time is about 21 days.

Special features

Drought resistant

Indoor plant

Pot plant

Attractive flowers

Special features

Origin

South Africa

Natural climate

Subtropical coastal

Environment

Light

Full Shade, Full Sun, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Neutral

Frost hardiness

Tender

Uses

Ornamental

Makes interesting bonsai shapes!

Personality

Family

Lamiaceae

Flower colour

Purple, Blue, White

Scent

Mild

Problems

Problem free

Credits

profile iconPlectranthus ernstii
by Kyle Smith & Alice Notten, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Andrew Hankey, Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden, Sumarie Slabber, Pretoria National Herbarium, February 2012 (Copyright South African National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa)
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Knowledge and advice

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