Coleus

Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Dark Star’

Photo/Illustration: 
Jennifer Benner
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Coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Dark Star’)
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Synonyms:  Coleus blumei var. verschaffeltii
Genus:  Solenostemon

The simple, indigo-purple leaves of mid-size ‘Dark Star’ draw all eyes to its inky depths. Coleus are tender tropicals that are generally grown as annuals because they are hardy only in Zone 11. They are easy to grow, reliable plants known for their colorful foliage that comes in many color combinations and mixes well with other garden plants. 'Dark Star' contrasts well with white flowers or silver foliage, or it can be used to emphasize the blueness of certain flowers.

Noteworthy Characteristics: 

Indigo-purple leaves, bushy plant shape, tight mound of foliage. May be overwintered indoors where not hardy. Coleus has been popular since Victorian times or earlier.

Care: 

Coleus likes warm soils with decent drainage; 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

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,
Specimen Plant/Focal Point,
Suitable as Annual
Style
Formal Garden
Seasonal Interest
Spring Interest
Type
Perennials

Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Dark Star’