'Mona Lavender' Pectranthus: Plant Care & Growing Guide (2022)

'Mona Lavender' is a hybrid form of Plectranthus, originating from a 1990s cross between two South African perennial evergreen species, P. saccatus and P. hilliardiae ssp. autrale ''Magwa'. It displays the parental traits of both plants, with both vibrant leaves and lavender blossoms. 'Mona Lavender's pretty purple, two-lipped blooms open along a purple stem that juts out above glossy ovate leaves that are green on the top side, purple on the undersides. Its care needs are very much like other Plectranthus plants. This sturdy little tropical plant is easy to grow and will thrive with minimal care. The botanical name derives from two Greek words: “plectron,” which means spur, and “anthos,” which means flower.(Plectranthus plants are often known as spur flowers.) It is a member of the mint family and is closely related to Coleus and the common lawn weed, creeping Charlie.

'Mona Lavender' is a cold-sensitive plant that is very often grown as a houseplant, but in zones 10 and 11, it can be planted in the garden in the spring as a perennial, where it serves as a broadleaf evergreen plant that blooms as summer days shorten and into winter.

Common NameMona Lavender, 'Mona Lavender' plectranthus, lavender spur flower
Botanical NamePlectranthus 'Mona Lavender'
FamilyLamiaceae
Plant TypePerennial, shrub
Mature Size1-2 ft. tall, 1–2 ft. wide
Sun ExposurePartial
Soil TypeRich, well-drained
Soil pHAcidic
Bloom TimeFall, winter
Flower ColorPurple
Hardiness Zones10-11 (USDA)
Native AreaCultivar, no native range

'Mona Lavender' Care

The best feature of this perennial is how easy it is to grow both indoors and outdoors. 'Mona Lavender' thrives indoors as a houseplant and also makes for a no-fuss shrubby perennial when planted outdoors in warm climates. It brings beauty to your garden year-round with pretty foliage and flowers appearing in late summer and blooming into the winter months.

Considered to be a short-day plant, Plectranthus will shift into its flowering mode as days become shorter and its growth will taper off as temperatures get warmer and days get longer. If you're growing it as a garden plant in a region with mild winter temperatures, you can expect your plants to flower on a consistent, steady basis from late summer all the way through spring. Just keep in mind that the light will determine both its leaf and flower color—the brighter the light, the richer its color becomes. When grown as an indoor houseplant, 'Mona Lavender' will need as much bright indirect light as you can give it to display to maximum effect.

'Mona Lavender' Pectranthus: Plant Care & Growing Guide (1)

'Mona Lavender' Pectranthus: Plant Care & Growing Guide (2)

'Mona Lavender' Pectranthus: Plant Care & Growing Guide (3)

(Video) How to Propagate Purple Flower Plant "Mona Lavender" or "Plectranthus" WITH UPDATE //GREEN PLANTS

Light

A spot that receives bright, indirect light is ideal for this perennial, preferably receiving some direct morning sun. It appreciates afternoon shade, especially in hot climates. The plant tolerates full shade, but the foliage colors and blooms will not be as intense.

Soil

When choosing soil, opt for a well-drained, slightly-acidic (pH 5.6-6.5) variety containing organic matter. Choose rich, loamy soil that drains well.

Water

'Mona Lavender' will grow best when provided with both regular and even moisture. It's considered a thirsty plant and should be watered every few days, whenever the top inch or soil feels dry to the touch. However, make sure the soil drains well to avoid root rot.

Temperature and Humidity

Though this plant prefers year-round temperatures of 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, 'Mona Lavender' grown as a garden plant can briefly withstand light frosts and temperatures down to 25 or 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fertilizer

'Mona Lavender' can be fertilized every six to ten weeks with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer. For the amount to use, follow the product label instructions. In alkaline soils, fertilizing with an acidifying fertilizer can help improve both foliage color and flowering. During the short days when 'Mona Lavender' is flowering, it is best to withhold fertilizer, resuming when the flowering begins to taper off.

Types of Plectranthus

'Mona Lavender' is a first-generation hybrid cross between P. saccatus and P. hilliardiae ssp. autrale 'Magwa', and there are no additional cultivars of that cross. However, there are other Plectranthus species that are similar plants:

  • Plectranthus ciliatus is sometimes known as blue spurflower. The 'Troy's Gold' cultivar has green leaves with creamy margins that resemble those of coleus. The 'Zulu Wonder' cultivar looks very much like 'Mona Lavender', with purple undersides to the leaves.
  • Plectranthus oertendahliiis sometimes sold as Swedish ivy (it is very popular in that country) or as Brazilian coleus (it was formerly categorized in the Coleus genus). The leaf surfaces are green with silver markings, with undersides that are deep red. But there are also many cultivars with different leaf variations.

The Plectranthus and Coleus genera are very closely related, and many species have swapped positions over the last few years, moving from Coleus to Plectranthus and vice-versa.

Pruning

Though this plant doesn't require a significant amount of pruning, you can pinch young plants regularly to help encourage branching and the fuller, bushier growth. Long-growing stems can also be snipped (if you wish, these can be rooted to propagate new plants).

Trim off new stem tips on a regular basis to help the plant retain its compact shape and form, and remove the flower spikes after blooming.

Propagating 'Mona Lavender'

The easiest method for propagating new plants is to take stem cuttings and root them. The process is much the same as for Coleus, which are easily rooted either in a porous rooting mix or simply by suspending the cutting in water until roots form. Propagation can be done almost any time, but it is often done in the fall as a method for continuing plants that are being grown outdoors. By taking cuttings in fall, rooting them indoors and potting them up in the winter, you will have healthy adult plants ready to return to the patio or garden when spring arrives. Here's an easy method to do it:

  1. Take 4- to 6-inch cuttings from the tips of healthy plants. Pinch off any flowers or flower buds, and strip the leaves off the bottom one-third of the stem.
  2. Suspend the cutting in a jar of clean water and place in a location with bright indirect light (the cutting can also be immediately planted in a porous potting mix, if you prefer).
  3. Watch the cutting carefully, adding water as it evaporates from the jar, and replacing it if it becomes yellow or brownish.
  4. When a good network of roots has developed, plant the cutting in a container filled with commercial potting mix, and continue to grow the plant in bright, indirect light.
  5. If the new plant gets excessively leggy, pinch off the stems to force bushier growth. In the spring when all danger of frost has passed, the new plant can be moved outdoors or planted in the garden. Make sure to harden it off first by giving the plant increasingly longer visits to outdoor conditions over a week or two.

How to Grow 'Mona Lavender' From Seed

Because 'Mona Lavender' is so easily propagated from stem cuttings, as well as the fact that 'Mona Lavender' is a hybrid cultivar, seed propagation isn't done very often. Seed collected from the plant will not grow true to the parent, as it's a hybrid variety. However, you can purchase 'Mona Lavender' seed from a reputable company if you have trouble finding live plants at local nurseries.

Sow the seeds indoors about six to eight weeks before the last spring frost, in seedling flats or small pots filled with a seed-starter potting mix. Sow the seeds shallowly, just barely covering them with mix. Place the flats or pots in a bright location (but out of direct sunlight) at a temperature of 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Seedlings usually emerge in seven to 14 days.

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When the seedlings emerge, move them into direct sunlight or place them under fluorescent plant lights, giving them eight hours of darkness each night. When the seedlings are three to four weeks old and have at least two sets of true leaves, feed them with a half-strength solution of houseplant fertilizer.

Before planting outdoors, harden off the seedlings for a week. Make sure to move the seedlings indoors if freezing temps are expected. This hardening-off process toughens the plant cells and minimizes transplant shock.

Potting and Repotting 'Mona Lavender'

When growing Plectranthrus in containers, be sure to choose a soilless medium designed for use in pots. Any pot material will work but make sure the pot is well-draining. When grown indoors, 'Mona Lavender' will do best in a spot near either a bright east or south window. When temperatures rise above freezing in the late spring, you can shift your plant outside for the summer. Do your best to protect 'Mona Lavender' from the afternoon sun, as this is a plant that cannot thrive in extreme heat.

Every year or two, repot 'your 'Mona Lavender' plant into a larger container (1 to 2 times wider than the current one) using a well-drained potting mix. Or, you can propagate a stem cutting and discard the parent plant.

Overwintering

'Mona Lavender' plants being grown in the garden in warm climates usually enter their bloom period in the fall and winter, and will require extra water during this time. Fertilizer should be withheld, as it stimulates foliage growth at the expense of flowering. The same holds true for plants being grown indoors if you want them to bloom robustly.

'Mona Lavender' is very sensitive to freezes, so if you live in an area with freezing temperatures it's essential that you bring outdoor potted plants indoors—or take cuttings to propagate indoors—if you want your 'Mona Lavender' plants to survive the winter.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

Like other Plectranthus species, 'Mona Lavender' is largely free of pest and disease problems when planted outdoors, provided they are growing in good, well-draining soil. Occasional pests can include whiteflies, aphids, and spider mites during the summer months. Horticultural oils can handle these pests if they become serious, but natural predators often take care of them without any intervention. Pests are sometimes more troublesome when 'Mona Lavender' is grown indoors as a houseplant.

Diseases include leaf spot, stem rot, and root rot, all of which are more likely in humid conditions or when the plants are growing in dense, poorly draining soils.

How to Get 'Mona Lavender' to Bloom

Because it typically blooms in fall through winter, it surprises many people who expect a typical spring and summer bloom period. Thus, except for gardeners in the deep South, Plectranthus is more often grown as an indoor potted houseplant. To enjoy plentiful indoor blooms, you will need to give it lots of bright light. Failure to bloom is usually the result of not enough light or too much high nitrogen fertilizer. Excessive feeding causes these plants to develop foliage but may compromise the flowering. It's best to withhold fertilizer as these plants enter the bloom season, then resume again in spring.

Common Problems with 'Mona Lavender'

Other than the common pests that affect many indoor houseplants, 'Mona Lavender' is largely problem-free. But it can tend to get leggy and sparse, especially in indoor locations where it is not getting enough bright indirect light. This is a common problem in northern climates where daylight hours are short in winter. This can be remedied by hard pruning back of leggy stems, and by giving plants the brightest indoor locations you can find—usually a south- or east-facing window.

When you notice leaf-curling, this is always a sign that the plants are in need of water. These plants love moisture, but also need good drainage to prevent root rot.

FAQ

  • With its fall-through-winter bloom period, Plectranthus is normally grown as an indoor houseplant or potted patio plant, except in regions with very mild winters, where it takes on the role of a shrubby, broadleaf evergreen plant that flowers through the winter. Gardeners in cold-winter regions can move the potted plant back and forth between indoor and outdoor locations with the seasons.

  • In suitably warm climates, Plectranthus can serve as a semi-woody shrub that lives for decades. Potted plants grown as houseplants typically live about five years. By periodically taking stem clippings and rooting them to create new plants, you can continue to enjoy Plectranthus plants indefinitely.

  • Yes, like many tender perennials, this plant can be grown as an annual in climates with cold winters. However, it must serve as a foliage plant only in this case, as it does not flower until fall and winter. Some gardeners may get a short fall bloom period before the plant dies from the cold.

(Video) Mona Lavender Plectranthus Florida Friendly Plant Gardening

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FAQs

How do you care for Plectranthus Mona lavender? ›

“Mona Lavender” enjoys a rich soil with plenty of extra compost. It is quite a thirsty plant, so water every few days to keep it fresh and turgid. The plants enjoy being pinched back to induce better branching and compactness. Fertilize every six to ten weeks with a water soluble fertilizer.

Is Mona lavender Plectranthus an annual or perennial? ›

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.

Should Mona lavender be cut back? ›

Prune mona lavender twice per year to keep it flowering throughout spring, summer and fall. Prune it after the first flowers have finished growing. Prune the plant again in fall after it has finished flowering before the cold weather arrives. Shape the plant at the end of fall to keep it neat and to the size you like.

Is Mona lavender an indoor plant? ›

'Mona Lavender' expresses the parental traits of colorful leaves and large lavender blossoms. It's attractive year-round, in flower or out. This beauty is also versatile, thriving indoors as an easy-care houseplant or outdoors as a no-fuss shrubby perennial.

Should I cut back Plectranthus? ›

Many varieties of plectranthus are quick-growing. To keep them looking nice and tidy, give them an occasional pruning or pinching. It's best to pinch off a few leaves just up from the base of young plants. This encourages good branching early on and helps create a bushy plant.

Is Mona lavender fast growing? ›

Fast growing for autumn colour impact.

How do you get Mona lavender to bloom? ›

This plant starts blooming when the days get shorter in fall and will often bloom into spring. The shiny dark green leaves are ornamental with purple undersides. Pinch the stems to maintain a bushy rounded form. Mona Lavender prefers partial shade in humusy moist soil with good drainage.

Why isn't my Mona lavender blooming? ›

The reasons for lavender not flowering are usually because the plant is stressed. Lavenders are adapted to sandy soils of low fertility. If the soil is too rich and nutrient dense then the lavender will grow leggy and produce fewer flowers.

What conditions do Plectranthus like? ›

Growing Plectranthus (Plectranthus)

They are vigorous growers in full sun or partial shade (required in warm inland areas of the West) with some being shade tolerant. Grow in organically rich, evenly moist soil. Plants should not be allowed to dry out, but can tolerate brief periods of drought.

How do you get Mona lavender to bloom? ›

This plant starts blooming when the days get shorter in fall and will often bloom into spring. The shiny dark green leaves are ornamental with purple undersides. Pinch the stems to maintain a bushy rounded form. Mona Lavender prefers partial shade in humusy moist soil with good drainage.

How do you take care of a Plectranthus? ›

Growing Plectranthus (Plectranthus)

They are vigorous growers in full sun or partial shade (required in warm inland areas of the West) with some being shade tolerant. Grow in organically rich, evenly moist soil. Plants should not be allowed to dry out, but can tolerate brief periods of drought.

Why isn't my Mona lavender blooming? ›

The reasons for lavender not flowering are usually because the plant is stressed. Lavenders are adapted to sandy soils of low fertility. If the soil is too rich and nutrient dense then the lavender will grow leggy and produce fewer flowers.

Does Plectranthus Mona lavender repel mosquitoes? ›

It is a vigorous, upright, rounded, bushy perennial that typically grows to 75 cm tall. Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender' is used for its repellent effect on mosquitoes.

Videos

1. Plectranthus ‘Mona Lavender’ Beautiful Purple Flower For Houseplant
(Creative Home & Garden)
2. MONA LAVANDER | HOW TO TAKE CARE
(MADAM DURAY)
3. Propagation of Plectranthus using cuttings.
(The Plant Propagator)
4. How to Propagate Mona Lavender from Cuttings
(Garden Down South)
5. Plectranthus " Mona Lavender "
(Crazyforflowers)
6. Planting root bound Mona lavender in a container video *Rachel’s Home and Garden*
(Rachel’s Home and Garden)

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