Purple Swedish Ivy, Vick’s Plant, Purple Spurflower
ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY AWARD OF GARDEN MERIT
Plectranthus purpuratus Harv. is the accepted scientific name for the Purple Swedish Ivy. It was named and described as such by William Henry Harvey in Thesaurus Capensis 1860.
The genus, Plectranthus L’Hér., was named and described by Charles Louis L’Héritier de Brutelle in Stirpes Novae aut Minus Cognitae in 1788.
As of 1-2-23 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online lists 84 species in the Plectranthus genus. It is a member of the plant family Lamiaceae with 232 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.
THERE ARE A FEW LINKS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE FOR FURTHER READING.
I brought this 4-pack of Plectranthus purpuratus (Purple Swedish Ivy) home from Wagler’s Greenhouse on May 1 in 2019. I put all four plants in the same pot.
Plectranthus purpuratus is considered a tender perennial where it is warm enough. Although this species is cold-tolerant, they are not frost-tolerant. They can be brought indoors and grown as a houseplant during the winter.
Origin: South Africa
Zones: USDA Zones 9a-11 (20 to above 40° F/-6.7 to above 4.5° C).
Size: 1-3’ tall x 1-3’ wide.
Light: Part to full shade. Brighter light brings out the best color.
Soil: Well-draining soil
Water: Average to slightly moist.
Uses: Can be grown in the ground, in pots, inside or out.
They need well-drained potting soil if grown in pots with even moisture. Sometimes I get behind and their leaves started to droop. That is NOT a good idea for too long of a period or they will lose a lot of leaves…
They can be grown in part to full shade but brighter light brings out the color more. I had this pot on the back deck in full sun for a while. As you can see in the above photo, a few of their leaves started to sunburn. I had to move it to the front porch…
Vick’s Plant is one of the common names due to its leaves smelling like Vick’s Vaporub when its leaves are crushed… Information online also says it is used as a mosquito repellant in South Africa…
This was a great plant and I really enjoyed growing it. I didn’t bring this pot inside for the winter because of limited space. I always hope I can find plants I like the next year but that doesn’t always (usually in most cases).
Unfortunately, there isn’t that much online about this plant except for websites offering them for sale.
I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus, species, and/or cultivar of this plant. If you notice I made an error, please let me know. Of course, you can always send me an email at email@example.com.
FOR FURTHER READING:
PLANTS OF THE WORLD ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES)
ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY
THE NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION
NOTE: The data (figures, maps, accepted names, etc.) may not match on these websites. It depends on when and how they make updates and when their sources make updates. Some websites have hundreds and even many thousands of species to keep up with. Accepted scientific names change periodically and it can be hard to keep with as well. Some of the links may use a name that is a synonym on other sites. In my opinion, Plants of the World Online by Kew is the most reliable and up-to-date plant database and they make updates on a regular basis. I make updates “at least” once a year and when I write new pages or add new photos but I do get behind. We are all a work in progress. 🙂