Plectranthus Species, Purple Swedish Ivy, Vick's Plant

Plectranthus purpuratus

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Plectranthus (plek-TRAN-thus) (Info)
Species: purpuratus (pur-pur-AH-tus) (Info)


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage


Good Fall Color


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


36-48 in. (90-120 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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By simple layering

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

San Diego, California

San Antonio, Texas

Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 8, 2012, Spittlebug from Fort Collins, CO wrote:

I have grown this plant for many years in Fort Collins, Colorado. It makes a great hanging basket. I've had the best luck by setting my black Swedish ivy outdoors for the summer, under a shade tree, bringing it back inside before frost time. It tends to get sparse and leggy in the house even in bright sun, but after a sojourn outdoors it comes back healthy, vibrant and bushy. It's never had bug problems. I don't like the smell of it...a bit stinky I think. It grows roots quickly in water and I frequently sell or give away my cuttings.


On Apr 7, 2003, gardener1492 from Ogallala, NE (Zone 5a) wrote:

I got a start from my mother-in-law and planted it in a large container with some wondering jew and left it outside all summer and then brought it into the sunroom last fall. It is now about 4 foot tall with several shoots going every which way seeking the light. Makes a beautiful display in the middle of the wondering jew. I will have to trim all of the plants back to get them outside in May and will post a pic of it after it gets it's growth back. It will take full shade, partial, or full sun and will spread and thicken up when pruned no matter how severely.


On Sep 10, 2002, Sunshine3 wrote:

Hi, I am new to this beautiful plant and I would like to know how to propogate. Do I pinch off at certain places? Do I place the pinched off pieces in water to root? I would like to add new rooted pieces back into the original container as I lost a lot of stems during a real hot spell. I keep my beautiful plant on a table on my balcony facing SE.

Thanks for any help.


On Jun 8, 2002, Tx_herb_guy wrote:

This is a wonderfully aromatic plant, that gives a definite menthol smell when leaves are brushed. The plant spreads by itself, my plant is approx. 2ft high, and is spreading out by itself, I have mine in a garden with mulch and compost, infrequent waterings. Full sun during early day then shaded in hot afternoons