Coleus (Green)



Coleus is a member of the mint family, with its characteristic square stems and oppositely arranged leaves.

Coleus also have a wide variety of leaf sizes and overall shapes. This means that no matter what area you are looking to put coleus, you can find one that will be perfect. These plants are great for adding colour to the garden (or home), especially in those dark, drab-looking corners. It is actually a heat-loving herbaceous perennial but is usually treated as an annual since even the slightest breath of frost will turn it to mush. They have some of the most stunningly coloured foliage in combinations of green, yellow, pink, red, maroon, etc.


Common Name Painted nettle, croton of poor man
Maximum Reachable Height 1 to 8 feet
Difficulty Level Easy

Planting And Care

Where the growing season is long, pinch the tips of the stems regularly to encourage branching and compact growth.

When growing coleus, keep in mind that these beauties can grow rapidly.

Plant coleus closes together as bedding plants or stuck them into baskets and containers for a fast-growing and spectacular addition.

Another factor in coleus care is overwintering, as these plants, which are considered tender annuals, are highly susceptible to cold temperatures.
Coleus Care
Coleus plants should be grown in the garden in bright, indirect light, or in partial shade. The lower growing dwarf varieties (6-12 inch) will create a colourful border, or you can use the taller (up to 36″) types as a dramatic background planting.

Many Coleus plants will survive full sun exposure but the foliage colour is often enhanced when they are grown in the shade.
Coleus is also quite striking when they are planted in a container and grown as a house plant. By removing the flower spikes as they develop, and keeping the plant pinched back, the Coleus can be kept growing as a perennial for several seasons.

Sunlight Dappled or partial shade
Watering Evenly moist soil but not soggy. Container plants also require more frequent watering than those grown in the garden.
Soil Good quality soil mix.
Temperature The average temperature is 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fertilizer A balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks for plants in containers; in the ground, once a month is enough, with the fertilizer diluted to half-strength.

Coleus Uses
Ornamental Use:

  • These plants are great for adding colour in the garden (or home), especially in those dark, drab-looking corners
  • Their diversity of foliage colour, leaf shape, and growth habit make Coleus a valuable container and bedding plant, especially in the shade where summer colour is scarce


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