Waist high clouds of stormy purple flowers from September through November. To add electric color to the warm rust and gold of many fall plants, you just can’t beat this easy to grow, pest free plant.
We grow this as a cold tender, fast growing tropical in Zone 8. In warmer places, it will come back making a short lived perennial.
Late winter rooted cuttings grow quickly, making an attractive foliage plant most of summer. Kelly green leaves have a bit of burgundy, so it comes across as a green, sort of bland coleus. But in late summer, when those flowers come on, you cannot miss the show.
Back in the 1990’s we ordered wild collected seed of Plectranthus fruticosus from Silverhill Seed in South Africa. Of the many plants grown from those seed, two stood out for their difference from the species. This one, we selected and called ‘Purple Martin’ both for the bird but also for horticulturist Jim Martin (now of Charleston South Carolina).
Many plectranthus like shade. This species will tolerate a good bit of shade but flowering is best in full sun.