One of the more interesting and unexpected Christmas presents I received last year was a little silver pot with a leafy sprig of what my neighbor told me was Zulu Wonder. Intriguing! She said it would have flowers later. So I watched over it throughout the winter, leaving it on the porch thinking that would suffice, and it did. And then surprisingly it started getting quite leafy and broad in spring and it was obvious I needed to transplant. By then I’d googled and learned its proper name was Plectranthus ciliatus, part of the extended mint family. It’s also known as blue spur flower and Swedish ivy. I was promised a plant that would expand to 2′-3′ wide and 12″-18″ high. I also learned the Plectranthus has needs that are similar to clematis–shady, some sun, not too hot. So I opted to place it in a tall burgundy pot that was needing something new, next to my two clematis plants in pots, that get morning sun and shade the balance of the day. I’m very glad I did, as it kept growing and growing way beyond my expectations. I must forewarn, however, that on the hottest mornings I would go out and the poor Plectranthus would essentially be saying, ow, ow, ow, with its leaves contracted, not unlike an unhappy hydrangea which missed its daily watering. You know, right? Yeah, that. But it bounced back quickly with water and shade, so I left it where I’d planned.
I kept watching for the promised blooms and at last near summer’s end I saw what would undoubtedly be some kind of blossom. Here’s what unfolded!
And don’t you love it when a plant you put in makes friends with an adjacent already placed plant or statuary? I find my Zulu Wonder so pretty!
Now, a word on reproduction. My neighbor said, “Oh, you just do a leaf cutting! Put it in water. That’s what I did!” And I’ve just begun to try that. However, and this remains a mystery to me, which I love, but if someone more savvy might venture a guess, please explain to me how this happened. For a sprig of Plectranthus is now growing in my strawberry pot. Granted, when it was still in the silver pot, they might have been cavorting, but, still…
Love and fall blessings,
Book News: Latest great things are that a story from Plant Whatever Brings You Joy was excerpted in Western North Carolina Woman in their fall issue!
Also I’m delighted that Barnes and Noble has restocked copies in stores around the country! Yay! Thank you for purchasing copies. It means so much to know my stories and lessons are being well received and shared with new readers! xoxo
Posted on October 11th, 2015 by Kathryn
Filed under: Plants