Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Plectranthus
Plectranthus argentatus 'Silver Shield'

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Plectranthus (plek-TRAN-thus) (Info)
Species: argentatus (ar-jen-TAY-tus) (Info)
Cultivar: Silver Shield

One vendor has this plant for sale.

5 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

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

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)
15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From softwood cuttings
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel
By simple layering

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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3 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive nhrunner On Sep 13, 2014, nhrunner from Francestown, NH wrote:

This is by far my favorite annual for silver-ish foliage. I planted 3 small plants at the beginning of the season in sun/part shade at the back of a border. It is now about 3' in full flower. Absolutely zero maintenance and looks wonderful. So hoping I find it again next year in my local nursery.

Neutral smartseeds On Aug 25, 2010, smartseeds from Claremont, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

'Silver Shield' does just fine here in zone 9, though it sure lets you know when it needs water. (Flat on the ground!). It's planted next to the succulent garden (which needs water, too) in partial sun and is a little TOO successful. Since I'm not attached to it, it seems like this big silver lump I have to keep tending to.

This is a terrific plant for people who like gray in their garden. It's really low maintenance, recovers from abuse, thrives on being whacked back, would make a good feature plant or background for greener things to show them off.

My neutral rating is strictly personal. The plant is easy to care for and quite good looking. Perennial here in zone 9.

Neutral tstefanick On May 21, 2010, tstefanick from Dewitt, MI wrote:

I purchased this plant at "Flowerday" in the Eastern Market of Detroit, MI. The seller didn't know what it was but I did. They told me it would trail and would be good for hanging baskets. Is that true? From what I've read here, it seems to be more bushy than trailing. Any comments would be helpful.

Positive CarynDalton On Feb 21, 2008, CarynDalton from Marysville, OH wrote:

This is by far my favorite silver plant to compliment in my garden. I grew it from seed last year (germinated both in baggies and in seed trays under lights) with no damping off or other problems. Pinched a few when planting out to encourage bushiness. The seed pack said full sun so I put three in the sunniest spot I had which range from 3-4 hours of indirect sun per day in a raised bed about 6 inches of enriched soil with nasty red clay underneath. I watered only when I had to which was about twice per month. The other three (I couldn't bear to throw away seedlings) I planted in bright light no direct sun, close to the same type of soil sitatuation. The ones that I planted with the most sun got big. They were beautiful with a dense wide and round multi-stemmed habit from the center (vase-like) but with no central leader. You should plan in a spot like mine to have them get at least 24" x 24". The plant will cast shade. The plants that I grew in bright light but not direct sun were a much more manageable size...getting only about 18 inches high and 12 inches wide. On the ones with less sun there was less of the beautiful overall round shape and more of an upright vase shape.The leaves on both sets are about 2-3 inches long at their most mature point. They are a lot like lambs ears in texture but not shape. They are beautiful in bright sun to early dusk..basically all the time. When wet, the leaves are bright apple green. This is the plant that most people commented on in my garden, wanting to know what it is. I am in zone 5b and these plants are closer to 6b because they are close to the house. They survived several nights that got cold (50 degrees or so) but after the first frost, they wilted and turned brown.

Oh, and about gathering seeds. These send up pretty little lavender colored flowers really late in my season, I think it was late September, October. I collected some "seed" too early and as it turned out, that was just fluff. The real seed of this plant is smallish but not minute. It is shiny and black. I just shook the flower spikes off into a baggie. You have to do a good many to get a lot of seed because the flower spikes drop the seeds pretty quickly once they set seed. Flowering lasted about 3 weeks. The flower is pretty, but the plant might even look better without them because of the way the spikes protrude awkwardly off the plant about 12 inches.

Around the same time as flowering, the stems become so heavy that they will start to split away from the main stem(s) of the plant. This did not seem to affect flowering or anything else. I noticed only when I went to collect cuttings before frost last season. Cuttings did fine as long as the tissue was not too woody. I took 2-3 inch cuttings and stripped all but one or two small leaves (on some even completely) and used rooting powder on the stems where I had stripped the leaves and set in the only window I've got which unfortunately gets dim light. The branches that I discarded in the compost pile or accidentally left on the ground were rooting when I found or moved them weeks later! We didn't even have rain during that time. These plants do NOT need extra water and that's good since it costs a fortune for me to water! In fact, I have forgotten my cuttings several times this winter and they are still fine. For me, because it is still pretty and manageable in more shady conditions, I am going to experiment with this plant in other spots in my mostly shady conditions and I will absolutely grow it again in the same spots as last year. Too easy.

Positive Sashagirl On Oct 27, 2007, Sashagirl from Davenport, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:

I was gifted with a tiny seedling, from another gardening friend, this spring.
In my zone 5a garden, this is an Annual. I potted it in a 10 " pot, in MG container Mix, so I could experiment with this heretofore unknown plant (to me).

It seemed happiest on the west side of my house, getting full sun, from 11a.m. till dusk, and watering every other day. It grew to a 3ftX3ft shrub size, with many bloom stalks starting in late Aug/early September.

It appears to have lots of tiny seed pods, now, so I have collected them and will try my luck with drying and planting some next spring.
The foliage is nice, plant is well behaved-but it's no "Star of the Show" on it's own. I think it's prettiest at dusk and dawn, where the leaves really do cast a silvery glow.

Neutral macybee On Sep 28, 2007, macybee from Deer Park, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Plant in mosit, well-drained soil in part shade. Protect from frost and prolonged dry conditions. Propagate by seed or cuttings or by layering. Many species are spreading and will self-layer.
This Australian species is a spreading shrub up to 3' high. Its branches and leaves are covered with short silver hairs. The leaves are 2-4" long, oval with finelly toothed edges. Its flowers are blue and white, in 9- to 11-flowered spikes that are12" long.
Zones 10-11


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

Claremont, California
San Francisco, California
Brooksville, Florida
Davenport, Iowa
Farmington, Minnesota
Francestown, New Hampshire
Averill Park, New York
Marysville, Ohio
Mercer, Pennsylvania

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