Botanical name: Plectranthus spp
Common names: Gossip Plant, Begonia Ivy, Swedish Ivy, Swedish Begonia, Whorled Plectranthus, Spurflowers
The Whorled Plectranthus also called Swedish Begonia, Gossip Plant, Begonia Ivy or Swedish Ivy are creeping plants important for clothing the edges of pots and hanging baskets.
They are easy to grow even for a beginner. Though called Swedish Ivy, Whorled Plectranthus is not a true ivy and will flourish in dry air where true ivies would fail.
Whorled Plectranthus will withstand occasional dryness at the roots and also produce occasional flowers under room conditions.
Despite the name 'Ivy', the leaves in Swedish Ivy resemble a small and plain Coleus rather than a colorful Ivy.
The foliage in Whorled Plectranthus is more colorful and the trailing stems are covered by foliage and they grow very fast. The leaves are more rounded and deeply veined.
The common name of Swedish Ivy indicates their popularity in Scandinavia where they are grown in hanging baskets or on window-sills.
The Plectranthus genus has about 350 species comprising of warm-climate plants occurring largerly in the Southern Hemisphere, in Sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar, India and the Indonesian archipelago down to Australia and some Pacific Islands.
Plectranthus are closely related to Coleus blumei commonly called Painted Nettle. The Plectranthus plants are also known as spurflowers.
The variegated types are more popular like Plectranthus oertendahlii is especially colorful with leaves measuring 1 in. across, prominnent white veins, underside and leaf edge rosy-purple.
Plectranthus coleoides marginatus bears the largest leaves which measure 2-2.5 in. wide, have a broad white edge and a hairy surface.
Plectranthus australis bears all-green leaves which are thicker and glossier than for other species.
Buy beautiful and healthy Swedish Ivy (Whorled Plectranthus) from Etsy.
Whorled Plectranthus grows best in bright, indirect light.
Keep your Whorled Plectranthus away from direct sunlight to avoid leaf sun scorch. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.
Water Whorled Plectranthus liberally during the growing season and allow the top 2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.
Reduce watering for your Whorled Plectranthus during the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist as growth is minimal at this time.
Avoid soggy soil for your Whorled Plectranthus as it can lead to root-rot disease which can result in the eventual death of your plant.
Ensure the pot for your Whorled Plectranthus has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy. Read more on how to water houseplants.
The best temperature for growing Whorled Plectranthus indoors is an average warmth with a minimum of 120C.
Protect your Whorled Plectranthus from draughts to prevent sudden changes in temperature as it can lead to leaf drop. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.
Average room humidity is ideal for Whorled Plectranthus. Where the air is too dry, raise humidity for your Whorled Plectranthus by setting the pot on a wet pebble tray. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.
Occasionally wash the leaves of your Whorled Plectranthus with plenty of water to get rid of dust and discourage pest infestation. Read more on how to clean houseplants.
Feed Whorled Plectranthus with a nitrogen-rich, water-soluble fertilizer every 4 weeks during the growing period.
Withhold feeding for your Whorled Plectranthus during the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time may lead to fertilizer burn. Read more on how to feed houseplants.
Repot Whorled Plectranthus during the growing season only when the plant has become pot-bound.
Use a free-draining soil that is rich in organic matter for your Whorled Plectranthus.
Ensure the pot for your Whorled Plectranthus has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot and eventual death of your plant
Pruning Whorled Plectranthus is easy. To control the height of the plant and encourage a bushy, compact plant, pinch the growing tips.
Remove dead flower stalks from your Whorled Plectranthus immediately to keep it neat and to reduce the breeding ground for pests and diseases.
Cut back the overgrown or leggy Whorled Plectranthus to rejuvenate growth. Read more on how to prune houseplants.
Whorled Plectranthus propagation can be done at the beginning of the growing season from stem-tip cuttings.
Take a 4-6 in. stem-tip cutting from a healthy Whorled Plectranthus.
Strip off the lower leaves and insert the Whorled Plectranthus cutting in moist rooting soil.
Place the set up in a warm, shaded place and maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges.
Allow the Whorled Plectranthus to be well established before transplanting.
The wilting of Whorled Plectranthus despite regular watering is an indication of root-rot disease.
Isolate the affected Whorled Plectranthus, take stem-tip cuttings and propagate a new plant. Discard the diseased Swedish Ivy as it will not recover.
Overwatering or soggy soil are the cause of yellowing leaves in Whorled Plectranthus.
Reduce watering for your Whorled Plectranthus during the cold season and ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy.
Soft and dull leaves in Whorled Plectranthus are due to underwatering.
Water your Whorled Plectranthus immediately, maintain the soil moderately moist at all times and never allow the soil to dry out completely.
Leggy growth in Whorled Plectranthus is caused by too little light This is an attempt by the plant to reach the light source.
Move your Whorled Plectranthus to a brighter spot where it will receive bright, indirect light but away from direct sunlight.
Regularly turn the pot to ensure the plant receives light on all sides for uniform growth and prevent lopsided growth. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.
The common disease in Whorled Plectranthus is leaf spot disease.
Isolate the affected Whorled Plectranthus to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it approprately for the disease.
Isolate the affected Whorled Plectranthus to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it approprately for the pests.
Whorled Plectranthus (Plectranthus spp) is non-toxic to both humans and pets.