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Plectranthus.. which variety?

Posted by moonie_57 8 NC (My Page) on
Wed, May 25, 11 at 19:36

Just bought it today thinking it was something else... or maybe it used to be called by a common name that I just can't come up with. LOL

Anyway, leaves are green with purple veins and the backsides of the leaves are also purple. TIA!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Plectranthus.. which variety?

Do the common names Swedish Ivy or Creeping Charlie ring any bells? Yes, Plectranthus, but that's what they were called when I was in college 30 yrs. ago when they were everywhere, every college dorm, every neighborhood bar; everywhere.

RE: Plectranthus.. which variety?

Hi, pirate girl. It definitely isn't swedish ivy and I don't think it's creeping charlie, but I suppose in the end it doesn't really matter. LOL


RE: Plectranthus.. which variety?

Rub the leaves btwn your fingers, is it fragrant?

Does it have a caudex (Plectranthus ernstii does)?

FYI: Swedish Ivy & Creeping Charlie are exactly the same plant.

Maybe do an Image search for Plectranthus? Perhaps you can find some pix that match OR can you post a picture here? maybe it's not Plectranthus?

RE: Plectranthus.. which variety?

If you take a picture and let us see it, it will be identified right away!

RE: Plectranthus.. which variety?

Swedish Ivy & Creeping Charlie are exactly the same plant. This is why it is good to use the latin names in these discussions. However, the term "swedish ivy" usually refers to some type of plectranthus, of which there are many. Creeping charlie is usually used to refer to glechoma hederacea. The plant needing a name sounds like it could be Plectranthus purpuratus.

RE: Plectranthus.. which variety?

Purple, actually Swedish Ivy and Creeping Charlie are two different house plants. As far as common names.

One is Plectranthus (too many similar species) the second, Pilea nummulariifolia.

The third is the invasive weed, Glechoma.

I agree, botanical names are better used when discussing plants, but for people starting out, or those who never took time learning/spelling/pronouncing latin names, will stick with common. Some have problems remembering common names.

If you walked in a big box store, asked for Adenium or Saintpaulia, people would look at you like you were asking for neuclear weapons. You'd have a better chance asking for Desert Rose or African Violet. Toni

RE: Plectranthus.. which variety?

Yes, I've always known creeping charlie as pilea, too.

I'm still trying to figure out which variety I have. Today, after researching yet again, I thought perhaps it was australis but all the photos I've seen on the net the leaves look too charteuse(sp?) green.

Purple, just now googled purpuratus. you hit the nail on the head. That is exactly what I have. Thank you!

RE: Plectranthus.. which variety?

Funny thing... when I first googled "purpuratus" I got good photo images which looked exactly like what I have. Then, I went to googling for the care and coming up with photos that are different under that variety. Again there's that chartreuse color. Ah well, I'll stick with it being a purple swedish ivy, ok? :)

RE: Plectranthus.. which variety?

Moonie..Are the leaves smooth or hairy? Large '1" or larger' or small '1/4"'
Are leaves fragrant?
What color are stems? Toni

RE: Plectranthus.. which variety?

Toni - the leaves are slightly hairy and not smooth. About 1" leaves and they have a bit of minty fragrance. The stems are purple as are the veins and backside of leaves. Are we gonna go with purpuratus?

I wish my camera was working or that I would finally get around to getting a cord for my phone.

RE: Plectranthus.. which variety?

moonie, you can find almost any houseplant at exotic angel. The strange exception is plectranthus, though. Fine Gardening is usually a reliable source of info, I found this picture there.

Your plant could also be a pilea called purple waffle, which I would swear used to be an exotic angel variety but is not on their site today.

I'm not sure these are different plants. Does anyone know if plectranthus and pilea are one of those with renaming discrepancies? Like mandevillea/dipladenia or duchesnea/potentilla?

Ah well, I'll stick with it being a purple swedish ivy, ok? :) No doubt! It sounds like you are just searching for the latin so you know how to care for your plant. I would put it in my sunniest window. If you notice any sunburn, move to a less sunny window. Turn once or twice a week so it stays even. Allow soil to feel dry between waterings, then drench and drain well. If it is in one of those plastic hanging baskets where the drain hole is 1/2 to 3/4 inch above the actual bottom of the pot, I would recommend making at least 1 new hole at the real bottom of the pot. Poking plastic can cause it to crack, so I use a pruner to chop a hole at the edge. Water in the sink or bathtub so the draining water doesn't make a mess.

Purple, actually Swedish Ivy and Creeping Charlie are two different house plants. As far as common names. Thanks for helping to make my point. There's no definitive answers with common names as different people can even look at a picture of the same plant and not agree about the "name." AND the same name can get applied to different plants.

I agree, botanical names are better used when discussing plants, but for people starting out, or those who never took time learning/spelling/pronouncing latin names, will stick with common. I agree, and don't walk around my yard showing people the myosotis and strobilanthes. Those are my forget-me-nots and persian shield. Latin names are only good for technical discussions such as these, no doubt. Most people want to learn, though, and those who don't can just ignore it.

Some have problems remembering common names. LOL! So true! Plants that I've come to know since the internet became an integral part of gardening for me are mostly common-less in my mind. At this point in life, I don't have enough memory space left to retain double names for every plant.

...and I would never walk into a big box store and ask for any type of help in regard to gardening. Unless I'm looking for some comic relief.

RE: Plectranthus.. which variety?

Here in the Northeast corridor (NY-Boston), Creeping Charlie & Swedish Ivy are names used interchangeably for the same plant. I was planty then too & have been given the plant under both these names. Also saw plenty of same in Upstate NY from Ithaca (Cornell) to Utica (Hamilton/Kirkland colleges).

Plectranthus & Pilea are two completely different plants, not the same plant subject to naming confusion. I've grown both & do so now as well. Pls. do an image search for each & you will see distinct differences btwn the 2. For one Pileas, tend to be smaller & very high texture, almost like waffles.

The common (ordinary) Plectranthus, tends to be smooth leafed, sometimes w/ slight scalloping on leaf edges.

RE: Plectranthus.. which variety?

Moonie, it sounds like Plectranthus 'Vicks Plant.'
Finding species is a problem. I Googled Vicks Plant and came up with a few different species names for the same
One is P. 'tomentosa.' On Dave's Garden, they call it, P. 'cylindraceus.'
Does it smell like Vick's Vaporub? lol.

I have three Plecs..two out of the three have a minty scent. One is P. Vicks, 'at least that's what the label said, a second with smooth leaves is fragrant, the third, nothing.

I thought Plectranthus were herbs?? Some are used medicinally.
Herb or not, they should be watered like one would a succulent..especially in winter when days are cloudy. Two of mine are in south windows, one in west. The Plec in the west looks terrible, but I think it's the pot, not the light.

Purple, have you been to EA's site lately? They've added a lot more plants..I don't know where half are sold.

The only Purple Waffle Plant I know of is Hemigraphics. Needs a ton of water, especially in summer. Grows spindly in winter, so needs pinching.

Pilea needs a lot more humidity and water than Plecs..Different family.
HD used to carry Pileas, like Moon Valley, lol, and a few other species, the bam..none. It's been years since they had any for sale.

Pilea has 600-715 species. Moon Valley, Aluminum, Friendship, Artillery and even Creeping Charlie. lol. I'm too lazy and too warm to write botanical names...You can find species on Wikipedia.

ROFL,....Comic Relief...

Karen, the common Plectranthus used to be sold everywhere, too. Like many other families, the only way to find, 'ordinarly, or what was considered ordinary plants,' is by mail order. Every so often you might get lucky. Toni

RE: Plectranthus.. which variety?

Thanks, pirate girl. I hate when they rename things and I like to get a handle ASAP when they do that to plants I like. Glad this isn't another memory-cell-waster.

Although they may be genetically different, pg. 1 alone of a google for each plectranthus and pilea yields many similar-looking plants. In addition to the 600+ pileas hopeful mentioned, there are 350+ species of plectranthus.

I once had a plectranthus amboinicus which had whitish leaves, almost like stachys. It smelled really good. It wasn't really attractive when I bought it, or the rest of the year, but I liked to feel the leaves and sniff it next to my chair on the deck. It wasn't quite as perverted as I'm making it sound, I don't think...

Hopeful, if you ever run across a purple waffle pilea like the one in my link above, I highly recommend it. Mine was around 9-10 yrs. old when I killed it by underwatering (it was dormant, what can I say?) last winter. It had such beautiful leaves and cute little white flowers. If it wasn't an exotic angel, it could have come from Glasshouse Works when I visited there. I visited EA site briefly to find a pic for my response above but, since there's no store around here that sells EA plants, it would be a big tease to browse. Sigh!

Moonie, you started quite the interesting conversation! I forgot to say before about how you said, Then, I went to googling for the care and coming up with photos that are different under that variety. Again there's that chartreuse color. Ah well, I'll stick with it being a purple swedish ivy, ok? :) These (pics you saw) sounds like plants that could use more sunlight. Plants inside, even in a sunny window, can get faded and too lightly colored, or even yellowish from lack of sunlight. The sun is just not as strong at higher latitudes.

Curious how your NOID is doing? I know we would all still love to see a picture of it - if you aren't sick of this yet. Please ask if you need any help.

RE: Plectranthus.. which variety?

Purple, I Googled 'Purple Waffle Pilea' and up popped 'Hemigraphics alternata.' Common names are Waffle Plant and German Ivy. Do either sound familiar?

If we're talking the same plant, they are beautiful. Deep red/purple foliage and blooms around autumn..

If it's the same plant, they're sold at Home Depot in 4" pots and 8-10" hanging baskets. HD is now ordering from a different nursery; not EA. It's been a while since they had EA plants. Maybe it depends on location??

BTW, you can order from EA's site. The only problem is, they don't sell 4"er' least, not when I last visited. I wish they did..they have some unusual plants that were never sold locally. Even when HD dwelt with EA. Toni

RE: Plectranthus.. which variety?

It seems it DOES depend on location Toni. I stopped into a HD last night to return a Hoya which was dying (evil yellowing leaf problem that I was unable to save), it was an EA plant.

They STILL have EA plants, I traded it for another Hoya (Chelsea), which I've never had & this too is an EA plant.

On arriving home & took time to give it a close inspection & check under the leaves for mealies & I noticed this really spongy mix. I SWEAR it felt like sponge I use to wipe my kitchen counters -- so bizarre. But a beautiful Hoya I've never had before sooooo, we shall see!

RE: Plectranthus.. which variety?

Toni, you're right! Found a blog entry with very good pictures of the plant I had. It never occurred to me to question the tag - OR at some point I developed a mixed memory. Like the way I can't remember Ailanthus is NOT mimosa. I hope this plant is becoming more prevalent. It was so pretty and it survived 7 winters inside.

The closest HD around here is over an hour away, and I moved here to get away from big cities and still have no desire to visit one, even to buy plants. My choices are one garden center, Wally's, or Maxway. So far, I've stuck to my rule not to buy plants by mail or internet...

Pirate_girl, that sounds very interesting. The EA operation seems so high-tech. I wonder if that sponge thing is something they've invented? (I can't go to the website to look. I'm feeling weak...!)

RE: Plectranthus.. which variety?

Well, I'm glad y'all had such good discussions on this thread. And I learned a thing or two to boot! :)

How is it doing? LOL I nearly killed the poor thing. One day I checked the water and it seemed wet enough not to water then a few days later it appeared to be looking poorly and found that it was extremely dry. IT puzzles me still but I've found that there are some things I just don't do well with. LOL

Anyway, I cut it completely back and took cuttings to root another pot. Both are sitting out in the greenhouse and I suppose the one will recouperate and the cuttings seem to be rooting well. We will see.

Also, it seems I have trouble growing maranta as well. Everything else is doing great, although I am worried about my big peace lily.

My phone died a violent death today. Tomorrow I am going to buy another cheapie that probably won't take very good pics but I intend to posts pics, so beware! :)

btw... love that purple waffle!

RE: Plectranthus.. which variety?

Karen, lol. Did it look like the stuff artificial plant stems are stuck in? lol.

H. Chelsea is a very pretty Hoya..hope this does better than the last Hoya.

Wish I could remember the new nursery the nearest two HD's are now buying from. Next time I stop there, I'll check a label.

Purple, are you saying you've kept Mimosa 7 years?

Purple, I understand your rule about ordering online, but you don't know what you're missing. lol.
I now have plants I used to dream about owning. On the other hand, if it wasn't for the net, well, my pocket-book would be a lot thicker, lol.

IL stores/HD's, etc, sell the same, common plants. One out of a thousand are rare.
You mentioned Maranta..the only Maranta here is 'Prayer Plant,' with the spots, Rabbit's Track or whatever..Not the one w/red veins.
There's one nursery, Ted's, that sells rare plants, but they're prices are high..and rarely list a price. You bring the plant to the cashier, and Surprise, 29,'s so embarrasing telling the cashier you don't want it.
There were two other chain nurseries, Jamacan Gardens..Beautiful plants..both closed their doors the last two years..

What's wrong with your Peace Lily and Maranta?

Waiting for your pics, Toni

RE: Plectranthus.. which variety?

Oops, poor grammar, sorry. And no, I meant I kept the Hemigraphics alternata (purple waffle) for 7 years.

But mimosa (Albizia) can't be killed. I've been killing one grown into chainlink fence for 4 years. This year I went daily. I've rubbed off all the new growth every day since it woke up a few months ago and it just won't die. No chems, next to tomatoes, basil & peppers.

RE: Plectranthus.. which variety?

Purple, do you still have Hemigaphics? It's a beautiful plant..especially in bright sun. Do you pinch leaves?

Is Albizia an outdoor plant/tree? I Googled, and it's very pretty. Are you growing this plant as a house plant or it's invasive in your garden?

When you said Mimosa, I thought you were talking Sensitive Plant..(leaves open when touched)

Been there, done that..Hummingbird Vine/Trumpet Creeper, 'Campsis radicans,' Ostrich Fern, Lambs Ears and Datura are extremely invasive. Though they're all very nice plants, one of each is enough. Don't want duplicate house or garden plants.

Ironically, when my Datura grew larger, it was then I heard teens used this plant to get high!! So, one was bad enough, but when they started growing EVERYWHERE, I wondered if there'd be problems.
It was bad enough someone tossed pot seeds in, of all places, my 'front' garden. lol. Because I plant various perrenials, there are times I forget. When this, I thought 'weed' grew, as soon as I figured what it was, I got the shovel, dug and tossed out. lol..Can you imagine if the police had seen it? Do not pass go, do not collect 200.00. lol.

RE: Plectranthus.. which variety?

hopeful - surely someone would bail you out! That's funny, though.

Well, I made a huge mistake in my choice of phones so I will only grace you with one terrible pic tonight. Maybe tomorrow I can get the thing to work a little better. Probably not, it was a cheapie, like I said. LOL

Plectranthus that I nearly killed and a pot of it's cuttings. Which will grow the fastest I wonder? :)

Sorry for the quality.

And maranta

Might as well throw in the maranta, if you can see it against the orangey wall. And this one does have the red veins, and will until I kill it, too! :)


RE: Plectranthus.. which variety?

Toni, I killed the hemigraphics, the purple waffle I was babbling about above. The mimosa (albizia) is pretty, so that's how they got to be so prevalent, a noxious weed tree here. I would love to have a sensitive plant! Any chance your "pot plant" could have been cleome?

Moonie, glad you got a new phone. I've killed a few Marantas, too, probably overwatering. Yours is very pretty!

Your plectranthus and cuttings look good but I can't tell from the pic which it is. Hopefully the others can be more help.

RE: Plectranthus.. which variety?

Hey Moonie. I would HOPE someone would bail me out, otherwise, I'd end up back in the slammer with a much bigger

Moonie, what size are the pots your Plecks are in? They look a little too large. I can't/ID see the leaves.
But your Maranta looks fine. Its leaves are nice, big and vividly colored.

Moonie. Why would you kill your Maranta? How long have you had the one you posted?

Hello Purple. Sorry about your Waffle Plant..they are difficult..Lots of water, just the right amount of sun, and pinching.

Purple, I grow Cleome plants..It wasn't False Aralia/Dizygotheca either..The house plant nick-named False Marijuana. Sp?? lol
We're not too far from the woods. Teens, 'at least I think it was teens,' grew pot in the woods..
The police found the plants, and destroyed them..
I bet the 'farmers' were suprised finding nothing but ashes. lol.
Crime isn't high here, but every so often, things happen. But, guess it's the same everywhere.

Yesterday, my 3 Plecs got a shower..they're still in the tub, lol. 3 different species..One has tiny-tiny leaves, a second variegated/fuzzy, the third smooth.
There's a Plec that grows upright..when mature, it grows tree-like and the main truck thickens. I forgot its species name, but a nursery, Garden World, used to sell it. I haven't been to Garden World for ages, so I don't know if it's still available. But it was a beautiful plant. Toni

RE: Plectranthus.. which variety?

Ok, first I got some 'splaining to do! LOL

In the photo of the plecs, the one on the left, or top if you prefer, was until recently, a nice, full hanging basket. I had to cut it completely back and used some of the cuttings to root... in the pot on the right, or bottom if you prefer. LOL

In the past, I have killed many plants, but never one in as little as a month. Just don't know how I managed it!

Now, about the maranta... because it was beginning to get dark, you might not be able to see the yellowing leaves, and many dead leaves on it. I think I am underwatering in an attempt to not overwater. Make sense? :)

About 20 years ago, we had to cut down our beautiful mimosa tree because it got the wilt. At that time the Ag agent said we would never be able to have mimosa's again because they would also get the wilt. We have found that isn't true over the long term. Lots of people think of them as trash trees but I love them. This fall I am going to be on the hunt for one to dig up and bring home.

RE: Plectranthus.. which variety?

Moonie, thanks for 'spaining..LOL

Since your Plec had problems within a months time, is it possible it had bugs? Or could you have over-watered?

In winter, my Plecs are cared for as succulents. Little water, and as much sun as Il supplies, lol..
Because they're upstairs, no artificial light is given, though Plecs would appreciate it.

In summer, two are in a south, opened window or placed outside. They love the great outdoors, and prefer cool temps. Same when grown indoors. The cooler, 'not freezing,' the better. In winter, the two are in the same, upstairs, south exposure, on the window sill, one hangs in bathroom west window.

Sometimes Plecs get leggy if not pinched.

I didn't see much if any yellow on your Maranta. Yellow usually indicates, over-watering. Marantas should be well-watered, but dried, somewhat, between drinks, especially in winter when days shorten. They aren't the easiest plants to keep/over-winter, especially in dry climates.

Some people may disagree, but I firmly believe removing yellow/brown leaves from all plants..Nutrients focus on unhealthy leaves instead of new/healthy foliage.
Plus, it looks unsightly. I'm not talking about your plants, Moonie, especially since I don't see yellow on your Maranta. I'm speaking in general. Toni

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