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Plectranthus scutellarioides

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Coleus are tender tropicals that are generally grown as annuals because they are hardy only in Zone 11. The variously shaped leaves of these popular bedding plants typically combine several colors, such as chartreuse, rust red, cream, and purple-black. Some cultivars sport almost all of these colors combined. The darker the red in the leaf, the more sun the plant will tolerate. Coleus blooms in summer, but the blue to white nettle-like flowers are unremarkable and tend to detract visually from the impact of the foliage. -Debra Lee Baldwin, Regional Picks: Southern California, Fine Gardening issue #127

Want to make more of your coleus? Check out this article.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsColeus may be overwintered indoors where not hardy.  The leaves frequently feature mixtures of colors in irregular patterns.

CareColeus are tender tropicals that are generally grown as annuals because they are hardy only in Zone 11. Provide full sun to part shade and moist but well-drained soil. Water freely in dry weather. Pinch back young plants to encourage bushiness. Flowering stalks may be removed to keep the focus on the foliage.

PropagationColeus are easy to grow from cuttings. Wait to put plants outdoors until spring nights remain above 50°F. See the link above for step-by-step instructions.

ProblemsColeus are generally unbothered by pests or diseases when grown outdoors, but watch for aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites indoors.

  • Genus : Plectranthus
  • Plant Height : 1 to 3 feet
  • Plant Width : 1 to 3 feet
  • Zones : 11
  • Moisture : Adaptable
  • Plant Type : Annuals, Perennials
  • Uses : Color, Containers, Foliage
  • Characteristics : Deer Resistant, Showy Foliage
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Maintenance : Moderate
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest, Summer Interest
  • Bloom Time : Summer
  • Flower Color : White

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