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PLECTRANTHUS forsteri 'Marginatus'

Image of Plectranthus forsteri 'Marginatus'

Jesse Saylor

Family

Lamiaceae

Botanical Name

PLECTRANTHUS forsteri 'Marginatus'

Plant Common Name

Spurflower, Variegated Swedish Ivy

General Description

This brightly variegate foliage plant for pots and hanging baskets is closely related to the popular creeping Charlie houseplant. The parent species is a tender perennial of tropical Australia and Fiji where it is rarely touched by frost. Its spreading habit and beautiful variegated leaves recommend this selection, ‘Marginatus,’ for planting in the ground in frost-free climates or as an annual in containers. This beauty bears bright-green, heart-shaped leaves with serrated, cream-colored margins. It is vigorous with a prostrate habit, spreading or dangling gracefully. As a tender plant it must come indoors for the winter or be killed by even the mildest frost.

Though ‘Marginatus’ is grown as a foliage plant, it blooms off an on throughout the year with small white to pale purple flowers. If they interfere with the foliage effect they can be cut off at bud stage.

This plant demands very well-drained, light, humus rich soil with even moisture. Typical potting soil is ideally formulated, provided the container offers good drainage. Regular light fertilization keeps foliage fresh and well colored. While this ground ivy takes full sun in the diffused light and cooler temperatures of the coast, it will demand far more protection and bright shade in dry inland locales. Few plants cascade down large pots as nicely as this, offering vigorous foliage beauty for elegant compositions over a long season.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    13 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Australia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Spreading

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    White, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Spring) Modifier

    Variegated

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    White, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer) Modifier

    Variegated

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    White, Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall) Modifier

    Variegated

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    White, Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter) Modifier

    Variegated

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Edging, Groundcover, Hanging Basket, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No