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How to Grow Plectranthus Amboinicus

Plectranthus amboinicus, commonly known as Mexican mint, Spanish thyme, Cuban oregano or Indian borage, grows as a perennial in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 and 11. Mexican mint thrives indoors as an annual and is prized for its aromatic foliage. It produces 3- to 4-inch-long green variegated leaves with a fuzzy texture similar to sage. Outdoors, it grows best with partial shade. Indoors, full light with protection from the afternoon sun works best. Mexican mint tolerates most well-draining soil types and water levels, and it requires very little care once established. Gardeners typically grow Mexican mint from cuttings or divisions in the early spring.

Things You'll Need

  • 12-inch pot with drainage holes
  • Well-drained potting mix
  • 10-10-10 water-soluble fertilizer
  • Insecticidal soap
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    • 1

      Plant the stem of a cutting or roots from a divided plant directly in the ground in an area that receives dappled sunlight or in a 12-inch pot filled with well-draining potting mix. Space cuttings at least 15 inches apart.

    • 2

      Keep the pot in an area that receives full sunlight except direct afternoon sun if you're growing Mexican mint as a houseplant. Water the cutting regularly and deeply until it roots, usually about two weeks.

    • 3

      Water the established plant when the soil feels dry at a depth of 2 inches. Mexican mint tolerates lower water levels, so it can be left alone when planted outdoors if it rains regularly.

    • 4

      Fertilize Mexican mint every two weeks with 10-10-10 water-soluble fertilizer mixed into 1 gallon of water.

    • 5

      Spray the plant weekly with insecticidal soap if it's affected by spider mites or mealybugs. Stop spraying when the pests are gone.

    • 6

      Pinch or cut off leaves as needed for culinary use and wash them thoroughly before use.