Care and uses of the incense plant at home

It is one of the most used decorative plants in the home. Discover the best tips for healthy growth and developing its relaxing fragrance.

Last update: 16 January, 2022

When the incense plant is mentioned, it is very common to be confused with the resin-based flavoring and oils of different origin. Although it is one of the bushes from which the components are extracted, it is also a characteristic plant inside the home.

Withstands varied temperatures, is easy to care for, and offers aromatic benefits. In addition, the frankincense plant is fast growing and can be used as a pendant. It is suitable for patios, terraces and also indoors.

Main characteristics and care of the incense plant

Native to regions such as Australia, Africa or India, the frankincense plant stands out for its shiny green leaves and wavy edges. In general, these extremities acquire a light tone, similar to cream or white, which gives it a particular beauty.

Its scientific name is Plectranthus madagascariensis or Plectranthus “coleoides” Marginatus and comes from the lamiaceae family. From its leaves and stems some components used in the preparation of incense and flavoring incense are extracted.

It does not have great complications in its care and it is easy to adapt to different climates and home environments. with proper growth can reach up to 50 centimeters high at a fast pace.

light and temperature

The frankincense plant withstands varied temperatures, both inside and outside the home, but its ideal range is from 15 to 23 degrees Celsius. Having a tropical origin, extreme cold climates and frost can harm it, so under these circumstances it should be kept indoors.

On the other hand, it is necessary to expose it to a good amount of sunlight, without the need to place it in direct contact with the rays. If it is in the garden, it is best to have shade or shelter from other plants during that time of year.

The frankincense plant provides some ingredients for the commonly used flavoring, but it is not the same.


The composition of the land requires considerable levels of fertilizer or organic matter. It is possible to get it in any specialized store or nursery, in addition to obtaining it through homemade compost.

On the other hand, it is possible to use liquid manure with the frequency indicated by the manufacturer. Some nutrients that favor it are peat, coconut fiber, perlite and earthworm humus.


This plant does not have great complications for the irrigation system. The most important thing is to take into account the frequency.It should be higher in the hot months, when the plant absorbs more.

It is important that the soil maintains a constant humidity, but without the formation of puddles. To control it you have to insert a pencil or Chinese stick. When removing it, it must be damp and with some remains attached, but not waterlogged.

Frankincense Plant Reproduction

The incense plant is easy to get in any nursery, but also through cuttings. It is enough to remove it from a pot and place it in a new container, which must contain a substrate mixed with sand and peat. At first, reproduction should be prioritized under warm temperatures and plenty of light, so spring is the ideal season for this task.

An alternative way is to place the cutting in a container of water and wait for the roots to develop. After 10 to 15 days, move it to the ground or the pot. It is important to moisten the bases well during the first weeks.


Frankincense plant pruning should be done in early spring or when it reaches an exaggerated length. The most important thing is to remove old branches, leaves and flowers in poor condition, caring for new shoots. With some leftover cuttings it is possible to get new specimens.


Some dangers from which the plant must be protected are aphids, especially during the summer and in dry environments. Also from slugs and snails if found in the garden. In addition, excess watering can produce fungi.

The best recommendation to avoid these problems is prevention. However, when the plague is present, it is possible to solve it with the incorporation of systemic fungicides.

The frankincense plant is not free from pests, so pay attention to early signs of infestation.

What is the frankincense plant used for?

Incense carries legendary beliefs and uses, due to its assimilation in different ancient cultures. In addition, millions of people choose it for its aesthetics as a decorative indoor plant.

Discover some of its most widespread uses in the world:

  • Smell: the frankincense plant has a pleasant aroma, although it is not as powerful. However, since ancient times it has been discovered that, when burned, it produces a strong fragrance with relaxing effects.
  • Incense: With its resin, combined with oils of plant and animal origin and other elements, flavoring incense is prepared.
  • Anti-mosquitoes: Due to its smell, the frankincense plant works as a mosquito repellant.
  • Phytotherapy: many people give it a ceremonial and decorative use. Others use it in aromatherapy, phytotherapy or herbal medicine.

Useful tips for having an incense plant

To achieve healthy plants with consistent growth, it is important to follow a series of recommendations. For example, place them in spaces with good lighting and ventilation. This encourages them to develop their characteristic borders.

Sunlight has to be indirect in summer. Sometimes it can catch the rays through the reflection of nearby glass, so pay attention to that detail.

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