Coleus is an annual flower that does well in See more pictures of annual flowers.

Coleus is an annual flower that is a colorful classic with serrated leaves on branching plants. Coleus is a member of the mint family.

Description: Plants show their colors when small. Leaves are banded and veined with multiple improbable colors like purple, lime, red, brown, white, and copper, in a variety of lacy or plain shapes. Leaf size can be from 1 to 6 inches, and plants have a mounded shape anywhere from 6 to 36 inches tall and almost as wide.


How to grow: Grow plants in moist, rich soil in partial shade. Space ten or more inches apart. Protect coleus from frost and drought. Pinch back tips for bushiness. Remove flower spikes before they open.

Propagation: Start seeds indoors eight weeks before planting. Seeds germinate in 10 to 12 days at 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Root tip cuttings for a week or two in moist soil, vermiculite, or even plain water.

Uses: Group identically colored plants together for better design. Use plants in containers, bedding designs, and borders. Side branches, cut, have been known to make roots while still in bouquets.

Related varieties: Breeders love the many variations of color and form. Solid purple and velvety Palisandra is great for combinations. Countless named types in all colors have tiny, huge, frilled, or serrated leaves and have led to a craze for coleus.

Scientific name: Solenostemon scutellaroides

As an indoor plant, coleus thrives easily and is therefore a welcome colorful addition to the living room. Learn what makes it such a perfect house plant in the following section.

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  • Perennial Flowers. Complement your annuals with these delightful perennial flowers. They are also organized by height, soil type, sunlight, and color.


House Plant: Coleus

Coleus, or flame nettle, is a colorful house plant.

The coleus is a brightly colored shrub with square stems and leaves ranging from heart-shaped to deeply fringed. The foliage can be any combination of yellow, pink, orange, red, or green.

This plant loses much of its beauty when it begins to bloom. The blue flowers should therefore be pinched out as soon as noticed. It is best to start a coleus from stem cuttings each spring. It is also easily grown from seed. Coleus can be grown outdoors in full to semi-shade during the summer.


Coleus Quick Facts

Scientific Name: Coleus blumei

Common Names: Coleus, Flame Nettle

Light Requirement for Coleus: Full Sun to Bright Light

Water Requirement for Coleus: Very Moist

Humidity for Coleus: High

Temperature for Coleus: House to Cool

Fertilizer for Coleus: Balanced

Potting Mix for Coleus: All-Purpose

Propagation of Coleus: Seed, Stem Cuttings

Decorative Use for Coleus: Hanging Basket, Table

Care Rating for Coleus: Easy

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