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Plectranthus: Autumn's favourite flower

Published on April 16th 2021
At this time of year, the showy flowers of Plectranthus species are creating a beautiful display in many South African gardens.
Plectranthus, also called Spurflower, is a large genus nested within the mint family (Lamiaceae) and includes 44 species native to South Africa.
These easy and rewarding plants decorate the autumn garden with flower colours ranging from whites through pinks to deep mauves to purples, and after these blooms have faded, their attractive and fragrant foliage will continue to grab attention.
A vase filled with purple flowers
These shade-loving perennials are easily cultivated and do not require any special attention or extra care. They thrive in well-composted soils and can withstand prolonged periods of drought, making them ideal for the waterwise garden.
They are exceptionally easy to propagate and are readily shared as cuttings among keen gardeners. Propagation by cuttings is best done in early summer and spring as this will allow them to establish during the long warm season, although cuttings will root during any time of year.
Taking a cutting of Plectranthus
Dig into the easy step-by-step guide to learn how to propagate your plectranthus by softwood cuttings.
lavender softwood cutting

Grow from softwood cuttings

A softwood cutting is a shoot terminal with the growing tip intact. They are mostly taken very early in the season before there is any sign of hardening in the new shoot. They can take about 4 - 8 weeks to root and herbaceous plants (those plants that die down in winter) are usually best propagated by taking 8 - 10cm softwood cuttings in Spring. They include: Chrysanthemum, Fuschia, Dahlia, Hydrangea, Impatiens, Pelargonium and geranium. However, in this how-to guide, we took softwood cuttings from lavender which is not a herbaceous plant.

Some can be grown as dense, weed-suppressing ground-covers, some are great bedding plants, ideally grown under trees, while several others can be planted in hanging baskets to drape gracefully over the edges. They can easily be grown in containers or pots indoors.
A close up of a green plant
Here are a few favourite species and cultivars:


A plant in a garden

Hanging baskets

A person holding a flower

Pots and Containers

A plant in a garden

Shrubs for flower beds

A close up of a flower garden

We'd love to see your Plectranthus in bloom! Share a post using the hashtag #FloweringPlectranthus

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