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The Plant Guide

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Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Dark Star’

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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 CharacteristicsIndigo-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.

CareColeus 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

PropagationSow seed on the soil's surface at 72° to 75°F in early spring. Root softwood cuttings from late spring to autumn. 

ProblemsMealybugs, scale insects, and whiteflies may be a problem under glass. No serious insect or disease problems.  

  • Genus : Solenostemon
  • Plant Height : 1 to 3 feet
  • Plant Width : 1 to 3 feet
  • Zones : 11
  • Uses : Containers
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Maintenance : Moderate
  • Plant Type : Perennials
  • Foliage Color : Purple/Burgundy
  • Characteristics : Showy Foliage
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
  • Bloom Time : Summer
  • Flower Color : White
View Comments


  1. saywenn 10/06/2014

    I've just brought my coleus plant indoors, I'm in Massachusetts....Anything special I should do to keep it healthy? They're showing sprouts of flowers. Should they be snipped off?

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