Coleus

Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Swallowtail’

Photo/Illustration: 
Jennifer Benner
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Coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Swallowtail’)
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Synonyms:  Coleus blumei var. verschaffeltii
Genus:  Solenostemon
‘Swallowtail’ puts on a fantastic display of texture and color. Its rippled and deeply scalloped leaves are a remarkable lemon yellow, with a lettuce-green and wine-red river flowing through the center of each one. It grows to 24 inches tall.
Noteworthy Characteristics:  May be overwintered indoors where not hardy. Coleus has been popular since Victorian times or earlier.
Care:  Coleus likes warm soils with decent drainage, and these plants are not happy in overly dry conditions. Grow in full sun to medium shade; their colors are most vivid in full sun. Half-day sun produces softer colors that are still very appealing. Plants grown in too much sun may wilt, and plants grown in too much shade may become leggy. Pinch off flowers spikes to retain plant shape and to avoid detracting from the beautiful foliage.
Propagation:  Sow seed on the soil's surface at 72° to 75°F in early spring. Root softwood cuttings from late spring to autumn.
Problems:  Mealybugs, scale insects, and whiteflies may be a problem under glass. No serious insect or disease problems.

Overview

Height
1 ft. to 3 ft.
Spread
1 ft. to 3 ft.
Growth Habit
Clumps
Growth Pace
Moderate Grower
Light
Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture
Medium Moisture
Maintenance
Moderate
Characteristics
Showy Foliage
Bloom Time
Summer
Flower Color
Island Paradise,
White
Foliage Color
Colorful/Burgundy Foliage,
Evergreen
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Container,
Indoor Plant,
Specimen Plant/Focal Point,
Suitable as Annual
Style
Formal Garden
Seasonal Interest
Spring Interest
Type
Perennials

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