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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Mona Lavender- Plectranthus

The Mona Lavender plant isn't in the lavender family after all. This attractive perennial (for the south- annual for the north) bush is an unfussy hybrid. It blooms continually here in central Florida as long as we keep the blooms pinched back and deadheaded.

I'm definitely partial to plants that have more than one feature. This one has its dark green, fuzzy leaves with intensely purple undersides and then sprays of lavender flowers dashed with deeper purple markings. So when it isn't blooming profusely it still offers a spot of color and texture.

They thrive in shady places or filtered sun. Mona Lavender will work well in the ground as a bedding plant - it looks wonderful in multiples displaying a lovely splash of its purple hue.

I've chosen to grow them in containers mixed with companion greenery of ivy, vinca, and liriope. They are protected by the screened lanai where they absorb the early morning eastern rays of sunlight.
Following a slight cool front sweeping briskly by us it was a perfect Florida weekend. We relished the temps peaking at 72 degrees warming up from right around 55-60 degrees in the mornings. We ate all of our meals outside on the back lanai and lingered around with friends and family soaking in what has to be the reason so many folks from the north come here this time of year. I've placed the mona lavender right where we can enjoy it as we also savor these days while they last.
October 2008 Update:
Hoe & Shovel gets an abundance of hits for Mona Lavender and this post. I thought I'd link a more current post as a follow-up to this information for those interested in seeing the progression of the mona lavender planted here in Feb. 07. Turns out I took them out of the featured containers here and moved them to containers where they could get more sunshine. Filtered through the screened lanai but they seemed to like that extra dose of sunshine. Click the link for further information.


  1. What a nice Plectranthus! I had a terrific one two years ago that I kept outdoors as I bought it for a container plant for summer. It had variegated leaves but wasn't the one it was supposed to be, and it had wonderfully blue--not purple, violet or lavender--flowers. Haven't seen it again; it was shipped to the nursery under the wrong label, they never figured out what it was and so neither did I. But I'd love to have this one!

  2. Lovely flowers! And you really do have a wonderful gift for arranging!

    This weather has been so great! I wish it would last... but it's supposed to be below freezing up here Wednesday and Thursday nights. According to AccuWeather, we still have at least a couple more weeks of winter left. UGH! I wanna go home!!!

  3. Jodi- Thanks! blue sounds wonderful- I do know they come in a number of shapes and colour forms ranging from white, through pink to dark mauves and lavenders.

    sophie: Thank you. This is the weather paradise is made of... it won't be long and you guys up there will be having your gorgeous spring weather... then I'll wish I was up there. :-)

  4. Your container planting is attractive. The Plectranthus blooms have interesting markings.

    It sounds as if you are having perfect weather for sitting out and enjoying friends and family!

  5. What a gorgeous plant, an annual for us here in TN, but so what! Will have to keep an eye out for it. Thanks again for the fave pick!

    Frances at Faire Garden

  6. i love these purple flowers. and your arrangements are so beautiful. as always.

  7. Do tell, where did you get this lovely plectranthus? I've never heard of it or seen it before. Will it freeze outdoors?

  8. Always lovely popping in for a bit of sunshine and heart warming color in your garden. It's snowing again here ... sigh ... but spring is right around the corner :)

  9. Kate: I agree the markings are quite delicate and yet distinct.

    Frances: It is sold as a perennial here but likes the shade/part sun so it is perfect for me.

    mlm: thanks, my dear.

    Susan: they are sold at one of my fave nurseries just north of my home... yes, it will freeze.

    joey: I'm sorry you can't blink away the snow for a respite... but you are right- spring is soon to bring you green and all sorts of lovely color!

  10. Actually, to clear a few things up.
    'Mona Lavender' is just the name of the variety, Plectranthuses are referred to commonly as 'Swedish Ivies' - though not swedish nor ivy.

    And both these and Lavender are members of the Lamiaceae family, so they are related, though cousins and not sisters. :)

    What I'd like to know, is how long does it live as an indoor plant?
    It's usually used in gardens, and is an annual anywhere there is frost... But the term 'annual' tends to mean 'this is a tropical plant that dies slowly and horribly when it gets cold'.

  11. I was wanting to know the same thing as Marasmus. How does Mona Lavender fare as a house plant. I saw it at a grocery store's floral department and almost snagged it because it looks so beautiful. I figured I should do some research before bringing it home. Does anyone know if Mona Lavender does well inside? and what is the proper care for inside? If anyone could help with answer that would be great. Thanks!

  12. marasmus and BUZZ: I do apologize for not seeing your comment until the latest one from Buzz showed up in my INBOX.

    I was not aware they were cousins... I'll have to research to learn more, but thanks.

    I can't help either of you with how well Mona Lavender does as an indoor plant as I have only grown them outdoors. They have been real beauties under my sunny screened lanai.

    Recently I planted them outdoors in the ground and they have adjusted to that move quite well.

    Sorry, maybe another reader can help you with the indoor question.

  13. We recently picked up two beautiful Plectranthus (mona Lavender)and have enjoyed them all summer. We are insane for them but we live up north in soon-to-be frozen Ohio. Does anyone have any ideas about how we can winter them and be able to enjoy them again next year? Ditto for Royal Palms. Please reply to Thanks!


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