Plectranthus ‘Mona Lavender’ is one of the unsung heroes in my garden. I can’t explain why, but I always seem to overlook it when asked what my favourite plants are. Can you think of plants like that at your place?
Mona Lavender is a great plant that forms a low neat shrub in the garden. It seems to pretty much take care of itself. In actual fact, now that I think about it, I never water or feed my specimen. Hmmm…now I feel rather neglectful.
In my defence I think it’s because I have it located in a shady spot that I don’t pay attention to very regularly. However, it’s been the perfect trial of a plant that claims to grow well in dry, shady zones as I can certainly attest to that now!
Despite my neglect (or perhaps I’m doing it a favour), my specimen has thrived. The foliage is always lush and dense and forms an even mounded shape. This is even despite losing a large section due to a mishap during a house renovation. It has bounced right back. I am impressed by its resilience to adverse conditions including the fair share of soccer balls and footballs that get launched into my garden beds.
Like many Plectranthus species, Mona Lavender has interesting foliage in that the undersides of the leaves are a rich port colour whilst the topsides are dark green. This makes for an interesting contrast in the breeze and can be used to create dramatic impact if you like playing around with foliage colours in your plantings. From summer through to autumn the plant also produces lovely spikes of lavender coloured flowers.
Mona Lavender does not spread like other members of this family can, but maintains its neat, low and mounded habit.
For those of you interested in where it came from, Mona Lavender originates from South Africa and was bred at the famous Kirstenbosh Botanical Garden in Capetown. Gotta get there one day!