[Guía de Plectranthus Tomentosa] Los cuidados de la planta del Vicks Vaporub que debes conocer

Plectranthus Tomentosa is a very special plant.

Specifically, what stands out most about it is its minty aroma, reminiscent of the famous “Vicks Vaporub” cream. 

In fact, that is the reason why it is also known as the “Vaporub Plant” (but no, the cream is not made from this plant; they only share the aroma).

But beyond this curious coincidence, there is another reason why Plectranthus Tomentosa is so interesting to have at home: how easy it is to maintain.

You want to know more?

Then keep reading, because in this article we are going to tell you everything you need to know about the care of the Vicks Vaporub plant, including:

  • Basic care (watering, temperature, substrate, etc.).
  • The most common diseases you can suffer from.
  • Reproduction method.

In addition, we will also talk to you about the medicinal properties of Plectranthus Tomentosa (because yes, it also has some very interesting ones).

Let's see them.

Essential care of the Plectranthus tomentosa or "vick vaporub plant"

Let’s begin by introducing you to this plant:

The Plectranthus tomentosa is a perennial succulent, belonging to the Lamiaceae family.

It is a plant from South Africa, where (like most succulents) it is used to living in extreme conditions of soil, sun, and temperature.

Hence, with very little effort, you can get Plectranthus to develop in all its splendour and give you its pleasant minty aroma.

In addition, it is perfect to have it indoors. 

Its average height is around 40-60 centimetres, so you can even use it as a desktop plant in the office.

Of course: even if it is very rustic, that does not mean that you can neglect yourself. If you don't take proper care of it, you could end up damaging it.

We are going to see some points to take into account.

1. Temperature

Due to its African origins, the Vicks Vaporub plant does not tolerate cold or frost. 

If the winters are mild in your area, you can grow it as an outdoor plant. Of course, it is important that it is sheltered from the wind (for example, placing it near a wall or other taller plants that provide protection).

Otherwise, this plant can live without any problems indoors.

2. Exposure to light

The Plectranthus tomentosa is a lover of light.

It needs to receive many hours of sun to grow well and develop in all its fullness.

But be careful, because this plant does not tolerate direct sun. Too much exposure could damage its leaves.

If you grow it indoors, place it near a window or in a very bright room. And if you have it outdoors, you can put it under a tree for partial shade.

3. Irrigation

Like most succulents, Plectranthus tomentosa withstands droughts well. It is a very undemanding species with humidity, and in the warmer months, it will be enough to water it 2 to 3 days a week.

The real danger is overwatering it.

If you notice that the leaves of the plant are blackening and wilting, it means that you are giving it too much water.

vick planta viveros gonzalez

4. Substrate

As with irrigation, the Vaporub plant is undemanding to the substrate. A universal substrate will be more than enough for it to develop.

5. Pruning

Although it does not grow too much, the truth is that this plant develops very quickly.

If you want to slow it down a bit, you can apply topping pruning. This technique consists of cutting the tips of the youngest stems to reduce the growth of the plant.

This, in addition, will force the stems to produce new branches, so you will have a much more leafy and compact plant.

6. Diseases and pests

As we said, the main enemy of this plant is overwatering.

If you notice that the leaves are wilting and the stems blacken, that will be a sign that you are going overboard. Remember that the substrate must dry completely between one watering and the next.

On the contrary, if the problem is that your plant lacks water, then you will see that the leaves wither.

Apart from that, there are some common pests that affect the Vaporub plant:

  • White mould: a type of fungus that manifests itself in the form of a white powder that covers the leaves. 
  • Cottony Mealy bug: If you find small cotton-like spots, your plant has most likely been infected by this variety of mealy bug.
  • Aphids: they are usually dispersed by the stems and leaves of the plant. If you don't eliminate them, they could end up killing her.

If you notice that your plant suffers from one of these pests, it is important that you use a suitable phytosanitary to eliminate the root problem.

7. Reproduction

The best way to obtain new specimens of the Vicks Vaporub plant is through cuttings.

You simply have to cut one of the stems below the node and plant it in a new pot. Remember to use a well-sharpened, sanitized utensil to make a clean cut.

Reproduction of this plant is carried out in early spring.

Is the Vicks Vaporub plant used to treat colds? Medicinal uses of this plant

We already anticipated it at the beginning of the article, but its name is not the only thing that this plant shares with the famous ointment; it also has some medicinal properties.

The strong mint aroma of the Vicks Vaporub plant makes it a good option for:

  • Decongesting the nose.
  • Relieve allergy symptoms.

The usual thing is to boil the branches and leaves and absorb the steam that it gives off, but there are those who also use the leaves to make an infusion.

vick plant viveros gonzalez

Now you know how to take care of your Plectranthus tomentosa

As you have seen, this succulent is very grateful. With a few cares, it will develop in all its splendour and will give you its pleasant aroma.

If you have any other questions about how to take care of your Vaporub plant or what products to use, you can contact us. 

We will be delighted to help you.