Its name is Strobilanthes dyeriana “Persian Shield” and it is such a stunning color in your garden or containers. Be ready with that name because you will be asked time and time again.
This beautiful plant that I have on my front porch in matching urns has grown so well this year. It is partly shaded through most of the day and that helps it keep its rich purple color. Too much sun can fade it. I have mine planted with a sweet potato vine which is a great color match for its undertone. Yes, I planted a real sweet potato in the urn (not the ornamental type) and it has really grown. I guess I could dig sweet potatoes if I wanted. But that green perfectly matches the stripes in the purple Persian shield.
I wish that I had planted the ornamental sweet potato vine, though. I think that neon green would have been even prettier, don’t you think?
The Persian shield can also be a beautiful houseplant if you want to bring it inside. I plan to cut several slips and root them so that I can bring it in and save it for next year. Outside it can be in a container or in the ground. Persian shield can get very large as it continuously spreads across the ground. Just pinch the branches to keep it tidy in a container or just let it sprawl and crawl across the beds.
I usually find my plant in the spring in a nursery. It is a little expensive since I paid $10 for a small plant, ( I bought two) but I think it is worth it. After all, it quickly grows to about three feet all and wide in a pot, but seems to be less tall when planted in the ground.
Persian Shield Blooms
I have never had the pleasure of seeing my Persian Shield bloom, but it can bloom with pretty blue flowers. I guess the season here in Ohio is not long enough and conditions may not be right inside for mine to reach bloom stage, but someday I may get lucky.
The flowers are small and the foliage is so pretty, I don’t mind if mine never flowers. ( Though I would like to see it just once.) This year in the new house, we have large basement windows where I can put houseplants, so I may get lucky and see these flowers for the first time.
Be sure to wash off the cuttings under running water and inspect for any infestation. The last thing you want to do is bring insects or eggs into the house for the winter. Fighting them off all winter would be a nightmare. I speak from experience and have learned from my mistakes. See this post for bringing in your potted plants.
I am supposed to be exercising on that elliptical machine, but I just can’t seem to find the time. (snicker) It is my daughter’s and she is able to whip through a session, but seriously, I can only last about 15 seconds and I am whipped. I must not use “those muscles” when I garden. Well, someday I may master it. But it won’t be today. With my plants in there, if they ask me if I have been in the Exercise room, I can honestly say “Yes, I have.” (snicker)
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Stats on Persian Shield
- Hardy in zones 9-11, dies back to the ground in zones 7-8 but resumes in spring
- Grows to 36″ and spreads to 24″ or more
- Grows in sun, but best color in partial shade.
- Prefers a moist soil or frequent watering in a container
- Cold water or chlorinated water can spot the leaves
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Hi, I am Kim and thank you so much for visiting my magazine! I am a gardener and a hypertufa maker. If you came here to learn about hypertufa, I have a lot of information. But I also write about flower gardening and using succulents which are great drought-tolerant plants.