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Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Fishnet Stockings’ (Coleus, Painted nettle, Flame nettle)

Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Fishnet Stockings’ Photo/Illustration: Jennifer Benner


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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Botanical Name: Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Fishnet Stockings’ sol-en-oh-STEM-on skoot-el-lar-ee-OY-deez Common Name: Coleus, Painted nettle, Flame nettle Synonyms: Coleus blumei var. verschaffeltii Genus: Solenostemon
A tall, upright coleus, 'Fishnet Stockings' has inky black lines throughout its vivid lime green leaves, tracing the pattern of every vein. The leaves are neatly notched along the edges, which are also outlined in black. 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. Blue to white nettle-like flowers bloom in racemes in summer, but are not showy and tend to visually detract from the attractiveness of the plants.
Noteworthy characteristics: Inky black veins and vivid lime green leaves. May be overwintered indoors where not hardy. Coleus have been popular since Victorian times or earlier. Tall coleus suitable for backdrops in containers and beds.
Care: Coleus like warm soils with decent drainage, and they 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.
Height 1 ft. to 3 ft.
Spread 1 ft. to 3 ft.
Growth Pace Moderate Grower
Light Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture Medium Moisture
Maintenance Moderate
Characteristics Showy Foliage
Bloom Time Summer
Foliage Color Colorful/Burgundy Foliage;Evergreen
Flower Color Blue Flower; White Flower
Uses Beds and Borders, Container, Indoor Plant, Specimen Plant/ Focal Point, Suitable as Annual
Style Formal Garden
Seasonal Interest Spring Interest, Summer Interest
Type Perennials

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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

As basic as a black dress, 15-inch-tall ‘Red Trailing Queen’ bedecks herself from leaf to stem in regal burgundy. Her simple oval leaf shape and straightforward color complement most shades, except blue and true purple. The subtle strength of the coleus’s burgundy foliage strikes a balance with soft pinks or pale yellows as well as bright fuchsias or bold oranges.

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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

‘Meandering Linda’, a close cousin of  Solenostemon ‘Red Trailing Queen’, grows 16 inches tall and bears crinkly, chocolate-purple leaves banded in rich raspberry-pink, with touches of cream along the edges. It makes a scrumptious duo with anything silver, especially the elegant silver-white foliage of dusty miller (Centaurea cineraria ‘Colchester White’, Zones 7–11). ‘Meandering Linda’ appears to be a sport of ‘Red Trailing Queen’, and if planted in less than half-day sun, it sometimes reverts to its plain burgundy form.

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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

The 14-inch-tall cultivar ‘Trailing Bleeding Heart’ has hot fuchsia-pink leaves ringed with purple and a band of lime green.

Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Trailing Salamander’ Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Trailing Salamander’
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

‘Trailing Salamander’, which grows 14 inches tall, has oval, near-black leaves edged in bright lime. Its neutral color scheme makes it a choice filler for containers. It looks good with almost anything. 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. Blue to white nettle-like flowers bloom in racemes in summer, but are not showy and tend to visually detract from the attractiveness of the plants.

Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Ruby Ruffles’ Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Ruby Ruffles’
(Coleus, Flame nettle, Painted nettle)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

‘Ruby Ruffles’ has frilly, fingery foliage with ruby centers and chartreuse edges. It is a relatively compact trailer. 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. Blue to white nettle-like flowers bloom in racemes in summer, but are not showy and tend to visually detract from the attractiveness of the plants.