in Tucson, Phoenix,
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Gardening in Tucson, Phoenix, and the Desert Southwest

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Growing Cuban Oregano / Mexican Mint: Plectranthus amboinicus

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Form: Herb.
Lifespan: At least 4-5 years under favorable conditions.
Leaf retention: Evergreen but dies to the ground in freezes.
Growth rate: Rapid.
Mature Size: 1-3' high and 2-4' wide.
Flowers: Purple, pink or white, arrayed in vertical spikes.
Bloom: Summer. Some cultivars may not flower.
Fruit: Smooth nutlets.
Leaves: Light green to dark green with purple undersides, depending on cultivar, thick, fleshy, scalloped edges, strongly fragrant, edible. The flavor has been described as strong oregano with a minty pepperiness.
Stems: No thorns, easily broken.
Roots: Not invasive; tap root.
Wildlife: Attracts pollinating insects. Not browsed by mammals.
Toxic / Danger: No danger to humans. Poisonous to dogs, cats and horses.
Origin: East and southern Africa.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 10-11. Root hardy to 9a.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun to part shade. Part shade is recommended in high temperature regions.
Water after becoming established: Monthly to twice a week depending on temperature and sunlight.
Soil: Very well drained, tolerant otherwise, pH 6.1-7.8 (slightly acidic to slightly alkaline). This plant can suffer from root rot in wet soil.
Mulch: Yes, to retain soil moisture and protect roots from temperature extremes.
Planting: Can be grown in pots, even indoors.
Litter: Low except dies to ground in freezes.
Propagation: Cuttings or seed. Easily roots from cuttings.
Uses: Ornamental, culinary. Used as a flavoring in cooking.

This plant is a member of the mint family. Another common name is Spanish Thyme.

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By Rameshng - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, httpscommons.wikimedia.orgwindex.phpcurid-18190546