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The Plant Guide

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Coleus

Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Mariposa’

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‘Mariposa’ is a big, upright, very striking coleus with 6- to 8-inch-long leaves that drape downward, allowing a clear view of their magnificent crimson-pink color. A single plant makes an imposing specimen. Coleus are tender tropicals that are generally grown as annuals because they are hardy only in Zone 11.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsLarge size, big downward-leaning leaves, striking pink color. May be overwintered indoors where not hardy. Coleus have been popular since Victorian times or earlier.

CareColeus 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 to retain attractive shape and to keep focus on the foliage.

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
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