Name: Plectranthus ciliatas
Type of Plant: This is an annual unless you live in a zone 10 and above. It grows to a small bush-size in one growing season, however, and has yellow-green leaves that have purple undersides.
Why I love this: I love the fact that when most annuals are starting to shut down in the fall, this Plectranthus bursts into bloom and becomes covered with lavender flowers. It’s attractive earlier in the summer as well, with the yellowish leaves that are purple underneath, but in late September and October it shines! Once you have this plant know that it’s easy to take and root cuttings and keep it from year to year. I got my plant from Avant Gardens a few years ago and plant the cuttings I’ve saved into pots for my porch in the spring.
A Word to the Wise: This plant works best in pots I think – you can grow it in an out-of-the-way sunny spot all summer if you want, and move it into a place of honor in the fall. Know, however, that because this plant grows very bushy it becomes top heavy in autumn…if a storm or high winds are expected, move this to a protected location so that it doesn’t blow over and break just as it’s coming into flower.