Swedish Ivy Plectranthus madagascariensis 'Variegated Mintleaf' (v)

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Not blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
plectranthus 'Variegated Mintleaf'


The Variegated Mintleaf is a strikingly attractive plant with a lush foliage that is intricately patterned. The leaves are a rich, deep green and are irregularly splashed with bright, creamy white or yellow, creating a striking variegation that catches the eye. The leaves themselves are oval to rounded with a slightly scalloped edge, giving them a soft, inviting texture. The leaf surface is somewhat fleshy and has a velvety feel, complemented by the delicate and subtle minty fragrance when touched or brushed against. This variegated pattern offers a lovely contrast and adds a touch of brightness to any planting arrangement or when used as a decorative houseplant. The foliage tends to form in clusters, giving a full and bushy appearance that spills attractively over the edges of pots or when planted in the ground. This splash of color and texture makes Variegated Mintleaf a popular choice for both visual appeal and its easy-care nature.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Variegated Mintleaf, Variegated Plectranthus, Variegated Swedish Ivy, Variegated Spurflower.

    • Common names

      Plectranthus madagascariensis 'Marginatus', Coleus madagascariensis 'Variegatus'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Variegated Mintleaf is not considered toxic to humans. However, as with any plant not meant for consumption, ingesting it could potentially cause mild stomach upset or an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals.

    • To pets

      Variegated Mintleaf is also not considered toxic to pets such as dogs and cats. While not poisonous, if a pet were to ingest a large amount of the plant, they might experience mild gastrointestinal symptoms, such as vomiting or diarrhea, due to the novelty and fibrous nature of the plant material.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (0.3-0.6 meters)

    • Spread

      2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Easy to Grow: The Variegated Mintleaf is highly adaptable and can thrive in a variety of environments, making it suitable for novice gardeners.
    • Aesthetic Appeal: The plant features attractive variegated foliage, adding visual interest to gardens, patios, and indoor spaces.
    • Drought Tolerance: Variegated Mintleaf is relatively drought-resistant, requiring less frequent watering than many other plants.
    • Rapid Growth: This plant is known for its fast-growing nature, allowing for quick establishment and filling in of garden spaces.
    • Edging and Border Plant: The compact and spreading habit of the Variegated Mintleaf makes it an excellent choice for edges and borders in garden design.
    • Container Gardening: Its adaptability makes it suitable for container culture, allowing those with limited space to grow it indoors or on balconies.
    • Scented Foliage: The leaves of the Variegated Mintleaf are subtly fragrant, providing a pleasant aroma to the area around the plant.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Anti-inflammatory: Plectranthus madagascariensis may possess anti-inflammatory properties, potentially helping to reduce inflammation.
    • Antimicrobial: The plant has been studied for its potential antimicrobial effects against various pathogens.
    • Antioxidant: It may contain compounds that exhibit antioxidant action, which can help in protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals.
    • Analgesic: It has been traditionally used to alleviate pain in some cultures, suggesting analgesic properties.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • As a natural insect repellent: The variegated mintleaf can be planted around seating areas in gardens to help ward off mosquitoes and other insects, due to its strong fragrance.
    • In potpourri: The aromatic leaves of the variegated mintleaf can be dried and used in potpourri mixes to give a pleasant scent to rooms.
    • For flavoring water: Fresh leaves of variegated mintleaf can be added to water to infuse it with a subtle minty flavor.
    • As garden borders: The variegated foliage can be used to create attractive and colorful borders in garden beds.
    • In arts and crafts: The colorful leaves can be used for their aesthetic in various arts and crafts, such as pressed leaf art or in homemade paper making.
    • As a natural dye: The leaves may be boiled to extract a natural dye for fabrics or crafting materials.
    • Culinary garnish: The attractive leaves can be used as a garnish for various dishes, adding both color and a mild flavor.
    • In aromatherapy: The essential oil extracted from the variegated mintleaf may be used in aromatherapy diffusers for its relaxing scent.
    • As a teaching tool: The plant can be used in educational settings to teach children about plant growth patterns, variegation, and photosynthesis.
    • For hobby gardening: Variegated mintleaf can be grown as an ornamental plant for hobbyists interested in collecting different types of Plectranthus.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Variegated Mintleaf is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Variegated Mintleaf is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Variegation: The variegated patterns on the leaves of Variegated Mintleaf can symbolize diversity and variety in life, highlighting the beauty of unique characteristics and embracing individuality.
    • Mint: In general, mint plants are often associated with hospitality, wisdom, and virtue. The presence of mint is considered soothing and is thought to bring protection to the home.
    • Purification: Many mint-related plants, including Variegated Mintleaf, are believed in various cultures to have purifying properties, both in terms of cleansing the air and in spiritual practices to cleanse a space of negative energies.
    • Healing: Mint plants have been used for their medicinal properties for thousands of years. The Variegated Mintleaf could therefore symbolize healing and the soothing of ailments, both physical and emotional.
    • Eternal Refreshment: The refreshing scent of mint is often synonymous with renewal and invigoration. As such, Variegated Mintleaf could represent the idea of eternal life or rejuvenation of the spirit.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every year
Spring - Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Variegated Plectranthus should be watered regularly to maintain a consistently moist soil environment without being overly saturated. Watering with approximately 16 ounces of water once a week is a good starting point, but always check the soil moisture before watering; if the top inch of soil feels dry, it's time to water. During the growing season in spring and summer, watering frequency may increase due to higher temperatures and sunlight exposure. Reduce watering in the fall and winter when the plant’s growth slows down, ensuring that the soil is dry to the touch between waterings to prevent root rot.

  • sunLight

    Variegated Plectranthus thrives in bright, indirect light but can tolerate some direct morning sunlight. The ideal spot for this plant is near an east- or north-facing window where it can receive plenty of light without the harsh intensity of midday or afternoon sun. If the plant is not getting enough light, its vibrant leaf variegation may fade.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The ideal temperature range for Variegated Plectranthus is between 60-75°F. It can tolerate a short period of cooler temperatures down to about 50°F but should be protected from frost. During the summer months, ensure that the plant is kept away from hot drafts and air conditioning vents that could cause temperature fluctuations.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Variegated Plectranthus encourages bushier growth and can help maintain its shape. Prune lightly throughout the growing season as needed to remove any leggy stems or dead leaves. The best time for more extensive pruning is in the early spring before new growth begins.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Variegated Mintleaf thrives in a well-draining soil mix composed of peat, perlite, and compost with a slightly acidic to neutral pH ranging from 6.0 to 7.0.

  • plantRepotting

    Variegated Mintleaf should be repotted every one to two years or when it has outgrown its current container.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Variegated Mintleaf prefers moderate to high humidity levels, ideally between 40% to 60%.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light.

    • Outdoor

      Grow in part shade, protect from strong sun.

    • Hardiness zone

      10-11 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Variegated Mintleaf, commonly known as Plectranthus madagascariensis 'Variegated Mintleaf', begins its life as a seed that germinates in moist, well-drained soil with warm temperatures. Upon germination, it develops a small root system and grows its first set of true leaves, exhibiting the plant's characteristic variegation. As it matures, Variegated Mintleaf becomes a bushy, herbaceous perennial with stems that may root where they touch the ground, leading to vegetative propagation and expansion of the plant. Throughout its growing season, it produces clusters of pale purple to white flowers, typically in late summer or fall, which attract pollinators and can lead to seed production if fertilized. After flowering, seed formation may occur, and as the plant goes into dormancy during cooler temperatures, it relies on its underground parts to survive until the next growing season. With proper care, Variegated Mintleaf can live for several years, during which it will continuously grow, flower, and potentially self-propagate through both seed and stem cuttings.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring - Early Summer

    • The Variegated Swedish Ivy, Plectranthus madagascariensis 'Variegated Mintleaf', is commonly propagated through stem cuttings. This method is generally performed in the spring or early summer when the plant's growth is most vigorous. To propagate, select a healthy stem and cut a 4 to 6 inch (about 10 to 15 cm) length, making sure to include at least one node, which is the point where leaves emerge. Remove the leaves from the lower half of the cutting to expose the nodes. The prepared stem can then be placed in either water or a soil mix, ensuring that at least one node is beneath the surface for root development. If using soil, keep the medium moist and cover the pot with plastic to create a greenhouse effect, which helps maintain humidity. Roots typically emerge within a few weeks, after which the new plant can be transplanted into a pot for further growth.