Silver in the Shade: Plectranthus argentatus

If you are looking for a native understory plant to grow where no plant has succeeded before give Plectranthus argentatus a try. It will grow in the dry soil under large trees and ramble about filling in bare patches and creating a dense silver layer to a dark forgotten corner.

Plectranthus argentatus has a lightly suckering root system, enabling it to spread in somewhat a weedy habit, you need to keep an eye on it or it may just colonise into precious areas of your garden.

It needs to be cut back quite hard in late winter, as it can get very leggy and scrappy looking. It will also grow in dry, sunny positions, making it a versatile garden plant in subtropical gardens.

It combines well with strappy leaved plants like Dianella caerulea, Lomandra ‘Tanika’ and Asplenium nidus. The large furry silver leaves blend in with rainforest or tropical plants but also provide structure and continuity in a contemporary style.

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