Swedish Ivy

1 entry found.
Swedish Ivy
Common Name: Swedish Ivy, Swedish Begonia, Prostrate Coleus, Spur Flower
Botanical Name: Plectranthus spp. (plek-TRAN-thus)
Decorative Life: Many months but seldom for years under typical interior environments.
Post Harvest Care:
  • Keep well pinched to prevent spindly growth.
  • Frequently inspect for and remove any mealybugs, especially at leaf axils (where the stem intersects the leaf petiole).
Harvest Instructions: Slightly sensitive to chlorinated water as chlorine levels above about 40 ppm can cause damage.
Family Roots:
  • As a member of the Lamiaceae or Labiatae (mint family), it has many common relatives including coleus, mint, salvia, tyme, lambs-ears, germander, rosemary and bee balm or Oswego-tea.
  • Depending on species they are native to Africa, Asia and Australia.
  • A common species (P. australis) has square stems that are characteristic of this family. Stems are also rather succulent or fleshy and can grow to 3 feet but more often grown as a hanging specimen. Leaves tend to be light green and have shallow, round-toothed edges.
  • Other common species include P. purpuratus that has purple leaves and P. oertendahlii 'Variegatus' that has variegated off-white and silver leaves, especially at the leaf edges and/or veins.
Availability: Year-round.
Flower Color: Not applicable for most species and cultivars. However, those with showy flowers are usually white to pale mauve in color.
Storage Specifics: Chill sensitive, hold at 55F or higher.
  • From the Greek "plectron" meaning spur and "anthos" for flower. The corolla (petals) often have a basal spur.
Recent Findings: In an earlier (1978) study, Harbaugh et al. showed that this species could be sealed in a polyethylene package and still be marketable when held at room temperature after 60 days.