Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Vick's Plant, Mentholatum Plant
Plectranthus cylindraceus

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Plectranthus (plek-TRAN-thus) (Info)
Species: cylindraceus (sil-in-DRAK-ee-us) (Info)

20 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Late Fall/Early Winter
Mid Winter

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Flowers are fragrant
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 12 photos.
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6 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Budsie On Jul 1, 2014, Budsie from Cincinnati, OH wrote:

I received this plant wrapped in a moist papertowl inside a zip lock bag from my boyfriend's mom. She got it from the Amish in Casey County, Kentucky. I didn't get to plant it until a couple days after recieved it. But I did as she recommended, placed it on moist soil of a well draining pot and just watered it every couple of days. It has flourish. I have repotted it once and have given pieces to several people. I have had it on a porch and in a window inside during the winter. I started a new little plant and both are blumming now (June). I have never seen this plant in a nursery before.

Positive kathy65468 On Oct 31, 2008, kathy65468 from Eunice, MO (Zone 5b) wrote:

This plant does well in a hanging basket and grows rapidly. It propagates readily from cuttings. I love to crush some leaves and put them in the toe of a stocking and hang in the shower when I have a cold. It really seems to help clear the sinus.

Positive gb4155 On May 10, 2008, gb4155 from Ashburn, VA wrote:

In looking for cerveza'n Lime', plectranthus, I could not find an exact match, but the pictures match well for Vicks, mine has more of a citrus scent. I received it as a cutting and am trying it out of doors in VA. I'll look a little closer for an exact match.

Neutral DougC On Sep 21, 2005, DougC from Los Angeles, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I've had P. cylindraceus for more then 5 years growing in very poor soil outdoors year round. It certainly is a surviver, and doing well on its own. Its fragrance is somewhere between camphor and menthol.
Today, I finally cleaned it up, placed it in a larger pot with fresh soil, and gave it a good trimming.

Did some research on it, from 'Sunset's Garden Book' syn. P. marrubioides, native of Africa, common names: 'Vick's Plant' and 'Mentholato'.


Positive thebeeman On Mar 19, 2004, thebeeman from Lyons, NJ wrote:

The VA hospital at Lyons, NJ grows about two hundred 5 inch pots a year and never has lost a pot. i have never seen flowers on the plant. it could be that we are always taking cuttings. its a big seller for us and good for our traing program

Positive DragonStar On Mar 12, 2003, DragonStar wrote:

I have had vicks plants for 3 years. I have made lots and lots of cuttings to give away. I had never seen one bloom until recently. I had a new start right over my sink and I knocked it off in my dishwater 2 days before it bloomed. I got it right out of the water and hoped it didn't die.

Positive mesaili On Nov 13, 2002, mesaili from Dallas, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I obtained my first cutting from friend in Taos, NM. " Zone 5"

Now I have 4 plants from the same cutting well established in Glenn Hgts., TX " Zone 8" Plants are healthy and nothing BUGS them! As an Herbalist , I have extracted an alcohol based tincture,to be used externally for chest cold treeatments.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Los Angeles, California
Reseda, California
Brandon, Florida
Clearwater, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Evansville, Indiana
Muncie, Indiana
Valparaiso, Indiana
Columbia, Maryland
Cincinnati, Ohio
Austin, Texas
San Antonio, Texas

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