Dogbane – Plectranthus caninus

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Plectranthus caninus (syn Colues canina) is a herb in the mint family Lamiaceae, native to east Africa and southern Asia. Under the name “Coleus canina”, it is sold and marketed as a natural repellent to cats and dogs (labeled as “Scaredy Cat Plant” and “Piss-off plant”), though no research currently exists that supports that usage. These plants root easily from cuttings or from just touching the ground. They like full sun and well drained soils.

Both the leaves and flowers of the plant are sticky to the touch, and have a mild odour not unlike that of marijuana. It makes a great companion plant for fruit trees and vegetables.