Incense – Learn the secrets of this magnificent plant

Perhaps many of you do not know that this plant that you see in the photo is incense . We say it because it is very typical of any terrace or interior of houses, at least in Spain, and in many cases we have it because of the shape and color that its edges offer (it is not a disease!).

Do not think that from this plant you can extract the leaves and make incense sticks to aromatize the house :), but it fulfills its function as a plant.

Do you want to know their care?


You will surely agree that King Gaspar did not bring this plant to the baby Jesus. What most of us know as frankincense  refers to aromatic vegetable resins to which essential oils are sometimes added.

Wood resins such as Boswellia ,  a genus of plant species believed to have been used in Biblical times, are used for its manufacture  .

Returning to the subject of the plant and leaving this curiosity behind, we tell you some things of interest related to the cultivation of  Plectranthus madagascariensis ,  the name of this plant.

This is the resin-based incense that we all know


Although it is practically considered as an indoor plant , it has a series of precautions, such as exposing it to light but avoiding contact with the sun’s rays.

In the case that it is grown outdoors we have to have this premise above all else. It is grown in the shade or shelter of larger plants.

As for the temperatures, the normal ones that occur inside the house or in the case of the outside, warm temperatures of between 15 and 22º C.


Incense requires a substrate with good compost content Mix soil with organic matter or use substrates that come in bags and are sold in stores. Once your future incense plant is planted.

That compost or manure will have to be restored periodically or buy a liquid fertilizer that you will apply according to the periodicity with which I recommend the product.


When we grow in pots we can control more precisely when we water.

[alert style = »green»] The substrate must be damp (that wet one which we put our finger or a pencil into the ground and it remains damp and with some remains stuck to it) but it must not be flooded. [/ alert]

We will water little by little until the earth absorbs all the amount of water and we will eliminate the rest that remains on the plate. We will reactivate the irrigation once the substrate dries. And it is not worth just looking at the condition of the substrate surface! Since it may be that it is dry (due to environmental dryness or exposure to light) but the interior is humid, as it usually happens almost always.


We have several options to have the incense plant in our house. Either we buy it in an establishment since they are usually quite common and are usually quite inexpensive or we borrow a cutting from the neighbor . In spring we take the cutting and place it in a substrate that is a mixture of sand and peat (commercial ones are also good), at a good temperature (not cold) and light.

Here is a video about the multiplication of incense from cuttings of other plants:




If you see that the plant grows too long, with very long stems and becomes creeping, you can prune it in spring, removing the old branches and cutting the young ones. Do not be afraid to cut it grows quite fast!

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