Booyong Conservation RetreatGardeningOrchardVegetable Garden


This beautifully winter flowering plant is said to repel dogs and cats. It is commonly known as Dogbane (Plectranthus caninus) and is sometimes referred to as Scaredy Cat, Piss-off Plant, or the Mozzie bush. We grow it predominantly for its stunning blue-purple flowers which occur intermittently throughout the year.

Growing – Dogbane is a dome shaped spreading shrub and grows remarkably similar to a mint plant. It can grow 1 metre wide and 60cm high in full sun to part shade. It grows best in a warm area out of the wind and protected from frost and can tolerate a variety of soil conditions but prefers a fertile well drained soil.

Care – When crushed the leaves have a strong aroma. Once established this plant is drought tolerant and native flora and fauna won’t eat it which is always a bonus. (Yes – Something we do not have to net).

Pruning – As required to keep it compact and tidy.

Companion Planting – Dogbane is a general companion plant for fruiting trees and vegetables. It is said to deter cats, dogs, and bandicoots. However, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims.

Pests and Diseases – Apparently, used as a tea this plant can be sprayed as a repellent spray for aphids.

Harvest – Not required.

Propagation – Easily from cuttings.

Health Benefits – It has apparently long been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine; however this site is for information only and we would recommend seeking professional advice.

Eating – Not edible.