moderate; water wise
20 – 50 cm x 60 cm spread
white to mauve; sporadically through the year; spring summer autumn
shade; semi-shade; container; rockery; small gardens; slope bank; green roof; green wall; walls; narrow spaces; wildlife butterflies insects butterfly host; clay soils;
woodland forest; coastal east coast; coastal kzn
thicket; Highveld; subtropical east coast; bushveld savanna; western cape
Find informative indigenous gardening articles in our web magazine - www.theindigenousgardener.co.za
The Money Plant is a rapid-spreading semi-succulent perennial groundcover with glossy, bright green leaves and white to mauve flowers grow on tall spikes above the leaves from March to July. Plants root where stems touch the ground. Leaf colour is influenced by light intensities, soil moisture and regional variations, ranging from bright greens to darker green with maroon underside. As with many succulents, the red/purple hue on the underside of the leaves becomes more pronounced when the plant is water stressed. Typical leaf shape is oval to round with prominent veins underneath and broadly-toothed margins; the oval to round shape of some forms has given rise to the other common name, Money plant. Natural habitat is wooded, frost-free regions in river valleys and on rocky ridges, where the rainfall is between 700 and 1750 mm a year. So while semi-succulent, is does enjoy moist conditions where it will grow lush and thick. As the stems root, as they spread, it is a hardy species to bind soils on shady slopes. Use it to drape over walls or creep along a rock edging. It also forms an attractive mat under a tree without smothering the tree trunk. Mix it with taller strap-like leaves of Clivia, Dietes, or shade-loving bulbs like Veltheimia and Scadoxus species. While the money plant will cover the soils well, it does not form an impenetrable barrier, and the deciduous bulbs will push their way through the leaves each season. A large expanse of Plectranthus verticillatus backed by the large and equally lush green leaves and candy-pink flowers of Crinum moorei will make a beautiful combination. Use it to cover the soils beneath the shade of a large cycad - the differing textures and colours are quite striking. Plant as a covering around the shade aloes, A. dyeri and A. pruinosa, or plant in front of the shrubby Plectranthus species for a colourful autumn display. Host plant for many butterfly species.