Support plant profile: Dogbane



I share my love for this plant a lot with workshop participants and our local permaculture group Permaculture Connect Brisbane Every single one of them would have a cutting by now. Dogbane – Coleus canina or Plectranthus caninus is a quiet achiever.

As a pioneer plant it has low growing requirements, is easy to propagate and establishes fast. A pioneer support plant in a permaculture design provides several functions.

Dogbane adds so much value to a perennial food system. It attracts pollinators, makes a good ground cover, is easy to propagate from cuttings, esthetically pleasing by providing different leave colour contrast and said to have medicinal value as well. Despite the name it is not toxic to dogs.

It only grows to a 60cm in height and stays in clumps, making it easy to control it’s spread. It has a very distinguished smell, that is similar to a coffee shop in Amsterdam.

Weed suppressing edge plant in a young food forest swale system installation for a Sunshine Coast client.

Dogbane is a great ground cover. Use it as a weed suppressing edge plant


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