How to Grow Persian Shield: A Vibrant Annual for Your Garden

If you’re looking for a vibrant annual to add some color to your garden, look no further than Persian shield. With their flashy shimmering iridescence and metallic silver sheen, the leaves resemble small armor shields ready for battle.

Although the name of this plant means “Persian,” it is native to Myanmar (formerly Burma), not Persia. It’s an evergreen shrub that grows in hot climates.

It is grown as an annual or herbaceous perennial in cooler climates, and it is popular as a houseplant because it blooms in the winter.

However, the vivid violet color fades over time as outdoor perennials and indoor potted plants are usually removed after a couple of years.

Common Name Persian shield, royal purple plant
Botanical Name Strobilanthes dyerianus
Family Acanthaceae
Plant Type Annual, perennial
Mature Size 3-4 ft. tall, 2-3 ft. wide
Sun Exposure Full, partial
Soil Type Rich, moist
Soil pH Acidic, neutral
Bloom Time Fall, winter
Flower Color Purple
Hardiness Zones 8-11 (USDA)
Native Area Asia

Tips for Keeping Your Plants Healthy

If you live in a hot climate, you can plant Persian shield as an evergreen shrub. However, if you live in a cooler climate, it is best to grow it as an annual or herbaceous perennial.

Here are some tips for keeping your plants healthy:

  • Plant Persian shield in well-draining soil.
  • Water regularly, but do not over-water.
  • Fertilize monthly with a balanced fertilizer.
  • Cut back the plant after it blooms to encourage new growth.

Lighting and Temperature

Persian shield grows best in partial sun to full sun. It prefers humid conditions and will tolerate some shade, but it will not bloom as profusely.

It is a tropical plant that is not tolerant of frost, so it should be planted after all danger of frost has passed.


Soil that is too rich will cause the plant to produce more foliage than flowers. Fertilize Persian shield monthly with a balanced fertilizer such as 20-20-20.

Pinch back the tips of the stems in late spring to encourage branching and prevent leggy growth.


Fertilizer isn’t necessary, but if you want to give your Persian shield a little boost, use a balanced fertilizer once a month.

Water regularly to keep the soil moist, but not soggy. These plants are drought tolerant, so don’t worry if you forget to water them occasionally.


Pruning will help to keep your plant tidy and prevent it from becoming too leggy. Cut back the stems by a few inches every couple of weeks or so.

You can also remove any dead leaves or flowers as they appear.


Strobilanthes does not like to dry out, so make sure to keep the soil moist but not soggy. You can allow the top layer of soil to dry out a bit between watering.


Persian shield grows to be about two to three feet tall and wide.


Persian shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus) adds a splash of color to gardens in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 11 through 12.

The shrub also makes a beautiful houseplant that can be brought outdoors for the summer months and then back inside when temperatures start to cool in fall.

Common Pests and Plant Diseases

Persian shield is a beautiful and exotic-looking plant that is native to Madagascar. The plant has large, glossy leaves that are striped with shades of green, purple, and silver.

Persian shield is a popular ornamental plant, and it is often used as a houseplant or in containers on patios and decks. While the plant is generally resistant to disease and pests, there are a few things that can cause problems.

One of the most common issues is aphids, which can be controlled with the use of horticultural oils. Whiteflies can also be problematic, especially when plants are stressed by drought.

Generally, however, Persian shield is a low-maintenance plant that will provide years of beauty with minimal care.

Propagating Persian Shield

Plants can be easily established by cutting stems in the manner used by the majority of delicate perennials.

Harvesting cuttings is best done in the spring and early summer, but it can also be done in the fall to start new plants in time for spring.

Here’s how it’s done:

Use sharp pruning tools to make the cuts. Cut about 3 inches of stem from a diseased plant, cutting just below the node.

The leaves must be removed from the bottom cut. Place the cutting in a nondescript container filled with peat.

To keep humidity in, moisten the potting medium and then place the container inside an unsecure plastic bag. Place it in a sunny location, but keep it out of direct sunlight.

Every day, remove the plastic bag for about 30 minutes to allow the plant to breathe. Spray it with a mister again before reattaching the plastic bag.

In about two weeks, roots will have formed and can then be transplanted into soil. With this method, you can easily start new plants from cuttings.

Types of Persian Shield

While there are no Persian shield cultivars to choose from, the Strobilanthes genus is massive, with over 350 species.

Additionally, other species that are commonly used in garden landscaping but are difficult to find in the garden plant market include Strobilanthes alternata, also known as Hemigraphis Alternate, and S. maculates, a Himalayan species.

Alternata is commonly referred to as “the waffle” plant and is frequently used as a groundcover or houseplant.

It is only hardy in zones 10-11 and there are numerous cultivars to consider, including ‘Belgian waffle,’ ‘Red Flaming Ivy,’ and Snow White. Maculates, on the other hand, is a Himalayan species with silver-flecked leaves. Lastly, S.

lactates is a Brazilian species with blotched white leaves. Consequently, while it may be difficult to find a Persian shield for your garden, there are plenty of other options available in terms of both cultivars and species.

Does Persian shield need sun or shade?

Persian shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus) is a beautiful tropical plant that is native to Myanmar. It is often grown as a houseplant or annual in temperate climates, and it is prized for its vibrant purple leaves.

Persian shield does best in partial shade, but it can also tolerate full sun. If it is grown in full sun, especially in hot weather, it will require regular watering to prevent it from dying.

Help to make the growth of Persian shields easy by spreading a 3-to 4 inches of mulch around the plant. With proper care, this stunning plant will add color and interest to your home for many months to come.

Why is my Persian shield losing color?

Persian shield is a beautiful ornamental plant that is often grown for its colorful leaves. However, it is not uncommon for the leaves of this plant to lose their color over time.

This is most often seen on older leaves that are nearing the end of their life cycle. While there is nothing that can be done to prevent this from happening, exposure to brighter light may help to keep the leaves looking more vibrant for longer.

In general, however, the loss of color in Persian shield leaves is perfectly normal and should not be cause for concern.

Should I mist my Persian shield?

If you have a Persian Shield plant, it is important to provide high humidity in order for the plant to thrive. The leaves of the plant will dry out and drop off if the humidity is low.

You can raise the humidity around the plant by misting the foliage with water, but be sure to use rain water or distilled water so that you don’t damage the leaves.

When misting, avoid using water that contains chemicals like chlorine, as this can leave scratches on the leaves of the plant.

By providing high humidity and protecting the leaves of the plant, you can ensure that your Persian Shield will thrive.

Is Persian shield plant rare?

Jon started collecting plants more than 10 years ago, and has since amassed a impressive collection of rare and exotic species.

Among his prized possessions is the Persian shield plant, an uncommon plant with bright green, vivid purple, and striking leaves. While not as well-known as some other foliage plants, the Persian shield is a real beauty – and Jon is lucky to have one in his collection.

Thanks to his keen eye for rare plants, Jon has built up an impressive array of specimens that would be the envy of any gardener.

How much sun does a Persian shield need?

The Persian shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus) is a beautiful flowering plant that is native to Myanmar. It is characterized by its large, iridescent leaves, which range in color from deep purple to bright green.

The Persian shield is a relatively low-maintenance plant, but it does require some care in order to thrive.

One of the most important requirements for this plant is full sun. In partial shade, the leaves of the Persian shield will lose their vibrant colors and begin to fade.

The plant will also become leggy and produce fewer flowers. For best results, choose a spot in your garden that receives 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day.

With proper care, the Persian shield will provide you with months of colorful foliage and eye-catching blooms.

How do you water Persian shields?

Persian shield is a gorgeous plant that sports vibrant colors of purple, silver, and green.

It’s an easy to care plant that is perfect for those who are new to gardening, or for those who simply don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to their plants.

To keep your Persian shield healthy, simply pinch the stems to create bushiness and make sure to water the plant once the top two inches (5 cm.) of soil are dry.

It’s important to let the soil dry out a bit more in winter, as too much water can lead to root rot. With just a little bit of TLC, your Persian shield will thrive and provide you with seasons of beauty.

Where should Persian shields grow?

Persian shield is most productive in temperatures that are warm (above 60°F) and humid and hot air. It is completely evergreen in USDA zones 10 and 11 and is able to grow as a normal perennial within zones 9 and 8 which is when it dies back to the soil, but typically comes back in spring.

Persian shield does best in full sun, although it will accept partial shade, especially during the hottest part of the day. It grows 18 to 24 inches tall and wide, with a slightly larger spread. Persian shield blooms from mid-summer until early fall.

The flowers are small, lavender-blue, and borne on spikes. They are not showy, but they are attractive to hummingbirds. The leaves of Persian shield are its most striking feature. They are large, pointy, glossy green, and striped with silver.

In fall, the leaves often turn reddish-purple. Persian shield is not particularly drought tolerant, so it needs regular watering during dry spells. However, too much water can lead to leaf spot problems.

Fertilize Persian shield monthly with a balanced fertilizer during the growing season. After bloom time, cut back the plant by one-half its height to encourage bushiness next season

Can you overwater Persian shield?

Persian shield is a beautiful plant that is native to Madagascar. It has large, colorful leaves that can range in color from green to purple.

The plant is sometimes grown as an annual, but it can be a perennial in warmer climates. Persian shield prefers bright light but can tolerate some afternoon or evening sun.

It is important to avoid placing the plant in shade, as this can lead to excessive watering and loss of color variation. When watering Persian shield, it is important to do so sparingly.

The plant does not like wet conditions and overwatering can lead to root rot. If you are unsure whether the plant needs water, it is best to err on the side of caution and wait until the soil is dry before watering again.

With proper care, Persian shield can be a stunning addition to any garden.

How much sun can Persian shield tolerate?

Persian shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus) is a beautiful evergreen shrub that is native to Myanmar. It is often grown as a houseplant or annual, but in warmer climates it can be grown as a perennial.

Persian shield prefers full sun but will tolerate partial shade. It prefers well-drained soil and does not like to be waterlogged. Persian shield grows best in humid conditions and is fairly drought tolerant once established.

It will flower in late summer or early fall, producing blue or purple flowers. The leaves of Persian shield are its most striking feature, being large and brightly colored with shades of green, silver, and purple.

Persian shield is an easy plant to care for and makes an excellent addition to any garden.

How do you care for an outdoor Persian shield?

Persian shield is a beautiful, eye-catching plant that is often used as a houseplant. However, it can also be grown outdoors.

When growing Persian shield outdoors, it is important to make sure the soil

is damp and to include mulch to prevent the soil’s moisture from drying out.

The plant loves humid air, so placing it on top of a tray with rocks and water can help boost the humidity around the plant.

Persian shield is a low-maintenance plant that does not require much care, but making sure it has enough moisture will help it thrive.

Jessica Miles

Jessica Miles is a writer for Botanique Boutique, a plant and gardening blog. She has always loved plants, flowers, and anything green. When she was younger, she used to watch her grandfather garden and would be in awe of the beautiful flowers he would grow. Now Jessica writes about all things related to plants and gardening - from beginner tips on how to start growing your own plants, to in-depth guides on caring for a specific type of flower or plant. She loves helping others learn about this fascinating hobby, and hopes that her writing will inspire people to get outside and enjoy nature!

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