Lobster bush


Lobster bush

Plectranthus neochilus

Scientific name

Plectranthus neochilus (lobster bush, fly bush, or mosquito bush) is a perennial ground cover with highly fragrant, partially scalloped, ovate leaves. flowers are purple blue inflorescent spikes. Overall the plant almost resembles a succulent lavender bush, with oversized flowers.

Lobster bushes can tolerate wide temperature ranges, dry conditions and almost any soil, but prefer a well drained sandy loam in full sun or partial shade. Hard pruning is suggested after flowering.

This plant will take over if not kept in check. Ensure to cut back when necessary.

It is said that this plant can repel snakes, mosquitoes, flies and most garden pests as a result of its fragrant nature. This makes Plectranthus neochilus an ideal companion plant for vegetable gardens, if competition with actual garden produce is prevented.

Tea made by steeping fresh leaves is similar to mint tea.

Propagation instructions

By cutting

Moisten the soil and dig a small hole. Cut some stems, preferably with roots and place in the hole. If you plant out in summer, make sure you water for 2 weeks until it has roots when you will see the flowers and leaves look healthy and beautiful.

If you take cuttings without roots, place in a jar of water until they have grown roots, and plant out as above.

References and further reading

PlantZAfrica profile »

Wikipedia page »

Image credit: Paul Hoekman
We currently have no seeds of this species in our seedbanks. Do you have any seeds or do you know where we can get some? Get in touch!

This table below shows how many plants we are trying to obtain for this species.

Site Area Quantity
Site #21 Rosebank 40
Site #38 Rosebank 40
Site #64 Mowbray 100
Total 180

Can you help grow this species?

We are in need of this species! Can you help? Maybe you have this species at home, or perhaps you can collect seeds or cuttings (if applicable) from friends or from a public space. If so, why don't you help establish this species in areas where it is much needed!

I can help!

Important characteristics

This species was selected because it has various important characteristics.

Drought-resistant

Edible

Pioneer species

Easy to grow

It provides food for:

Honeybees/flies

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