Coleus is an evergreen plant grown as an annual. It is highly appreciated for its leaves that can take on different colors. This plant belongs to the Coleus genus, to which about 150 species belong, and to the Labiatae family. The name "coleus" derives from the Greek "koleos" which means "sheath", referring to the filaments of the stamens which are gathered in bundles. coleus is native to Asia and Africa. In Italy it is grown mainly as a houseplant, due to the beauty of its leaves which are showy and colorful, but we also find it in gardens where it is used for the creation of flower beds and borders. THE coleus they have a quadrangular section stem, generally reaching a height of 50 cm, but there are species that can reach 1m; the leaves can be oval, heart-shaped or lanceolate, with smooth or serrated edges, of different colors combined with each other, including red, yellow, orange, green, white. The flowers are small and not particularly beautiful, they form a panicle inflorescence of red, white, blue, purple color.
Environment and exposure
The coleus should be placed in a bright place; it is also possible to expose them to direct sunlight which will favor a brilliant coloration of the leaves. The most suitable temperature for the cultivation of these plants goes from 20 to 25 degrees; they tolerate even higher temperatures well, but do not survive very low temperatures, which is why in winter they must not be exposed to temperatures below 12 degrees.
For a better cultivation of coleus it is advisable to use a fertile and light soil; it is preferable to add peat and sand to the soil; the sand will favor the drainage of the water.
Planting and repotting
The coleus are planted in late spring; a fairly deep hole is dug, the plant is extracted from its pot, free from excess earth, being careful not to damage the roots, and is placed in the hole; it is covered with fertile soil, the earth is compacted and watered abundantly. Repotting should be done two or three times per season; you have to transfer the coleus in a slightly larger pot than the previous one, trying not to damage the plant.
The coleus needs a lot of water; in spring and summer, therefore, it is good to water a lot with water at room temperature, while in autumn and summer watering should be reduced; water stagnation must be avoided which would cause serious damage to the plant, but the earth must always remain moist between one watering and another.
The coleus must be fertilized from the beginning of spring to the end of summer, while in the other seasons the fertilization must be suspended; it is advisable to use a liquid fertilizer that contains nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, which must be mixed with the water used for irrigation; the treatment must be repeated every fifteen days.
The coleus reproduces by seed and by cutting. Sowing must be carried out in the months of January-February; the seeds must be placed in a container with fertile soil which must always be moist, and covered with a plastic sheet, which will serve to protect them. After a few weeks (or in some cases after months) the seeds will begin to germinate; at this point the plastic sheet is removed and, once the plants have grown, they can be transplanted into their final pot. The cuttings can be taken from April to September; it is necessary to cut a branch of about 8-10 cm with a sharp and above all clean knife, in order to avoid infections to the plant, and place it in a pot with peat and sand; when the first sprouts appear it will mean that the cutting has taken root and once the seedling has strengthened it can be transferred to the final pot.
The coleus do not need a real pruning, just cut the vegetative apexes of the branches and the stems of the flowers; this topping will lead the coleus to produce new branches, and in this way the plant will have a more compact appearance and will be more luxuriant. Dry and damaged parts must also be eliminated. These operations must be carried out with sharp and clean tools, in order not to damage the plant.
The flowering period varies depending on the species. The flowers are very small, are gathered in a panicle inflorescence and can be red, white, blue, purple. The coleus is not cultivated for the flowers, which are not particularly beautiful, indeed it is advisable to cut them to prevent the plant from wasting energy and so that all the absorbed substances are used for the development of the leaves, which are more appreciated.
Diseases and parasites
The coleus is quite resistant to diseases and pests. However, it can be attacked by scale insects, which determine the appearance of spots on the underside of the leaves; in this case it is possible to intervene by washing the plant with a sponge, to manually remove the parasite, or by using a specific pesticide. Aphids can also damage coleus; the remedy is to use a specific insecticide.
Before buying coleus it is advisable to check the health of the plant. Make sure that there are no parasites and that the plant has been watered sufficiently (this can be verified by observing the degree of humidity of the earth in the pot). Lush coleus, with bright colors and without dry and damaged parts, are preferred.
Among the various species we have: Coleus Blumei, which is the most widespread and used for the creation of hybrids; it can reach a height of 1 m and has oval, serrated purple leaves with green margins; Coleus thyrsoideus, which has heart-shaped leaves and blue flowers.
A substance is extracted from coleus that is useful in weight loss, as it promotes the transformation of fats into energy.
Indoor Coleus Care: How To Grow A Coleus Houseplant
Can I grow coleus indoors? Sure, why not? Although coleus is typically grown outdoors as an annual, its vibrant leaves provide many months of enjoyment indoors if growing conditions are just right. In fact, coleus plants respond well to potted environments. Read on to learn more about growing coleus as an indoor plant.
Coleus - Coleus blumei - garden
Coleus Blumei - Mixed Color - (100 to 120 seeds) - MGS1285
Price: 60 Taka (60 to 80 seeds)
Germination Rate (Approx.): 70%
Physical Purity (Min): 98%
Genetic Purity (Min): 98%
Germination Temperature (Approx.):21 ° C to 24 ° C
Germination Time (Approx.): _10_ to _18_ days
Moisture Requirement:Keep seed moist until germination
Maturation Period:__ to __ days
Can Reach Up To (Height.): 12 inches
Sowing Rate:_02_ to _05_ seeds per cup
* Note: It is recommended to prepare seedling in a small cup or pot for better success rate and keep the soil moist.
One of the prettiest and neatest varieties to come along in quite a while, Chocolate Mint offers rich brown to burgundy-maroon foliage with a trim mint-green scallop and matching reverse side of leaf. Very easy to start from flower seeds, it grows quickly into a well-branched, bushy little plant just ideal for containers indoors or out as well as the partly to fully shaded annual bed.
Sow flower seeds indoors. Gently press the seeds into the starter mix, but do not cover the flower seeds. Transplant the Coleus seedlings once they have at least 2 - 3 sets of true leaves. You will love watching the new seedlings emerge, showing their permanent coloring from the time of their appearance. Pinch the plant once or twice as it grows to encourage more branching, then sit back and enjoy these dark foliage plants from spring through fall, or year-round indoors.
Disclaimer: In accordance with the universal custom of seed trade we give no warranty expressed or implied as to description, quality, productivity or any other matter of any way for the crop results beyond the purchased price especially under unsuitable season, abnormal weather, unsuitable soil and other unexpected conditions.
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Previously known as:
- Coleus blumei
- Coleus pumilus
- Coleus x hybridus
- Plectranthus scutellarioides
- Solenostemon pumilus
- Solenostemon scutellarioides
Coleus is an annual or herbaceous perennial in the mint family with attractive foliage and succulent stems that comes in many colors and provides year-round interest. It forms at 3 ft. mound as it grows and it can be used as a tender annual outdoors in a bed or border, in a hanging basket or container. If grown as a houseplant, it requires bright light. Remove flowers as they appear and pinch back stems to promote bushy leaf growth. Too much sun will cause plants to wilt, too much shade causes them to become leggy. It is easily grown from stem cuttings in potting soil or a glass of water. These plants are seldom damaged by deer.
Some dwarf forms exist that may be labeled under the former name Coleus pumilus they have a trailing habit, bright coloration, and are excellent in mixed containers.
Name Changes: Many Solenostemon and Plectranthus species have been moved to the genus Coleus. Technically, Coleus pumilus and Solenostemon x scutellarioides now fall under Coleus scutellarioides.
Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites on indoor plants.
- Various multicolored leaves with crenate to incise
- Opposite leaves on square-angled stems & twigs
VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Annuals, Perennials, Vines, and Groundcovers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.
Profile Video: See this plant in the following landscapes: Floating GardenGarden "Bed" Fence PlanterGarden "Bed" Pitcher Plant PlanterJapanese Shade GardenCollector's Garden Cultivars / Varieties:
- 'Alabama Sunset'
- 'Carnival' (Sun)
- 'Color Blaze Dark Star'
- 'Color Blaze Royal Glissade'
- 'Color Blaze Wicked Witch'
2nd Place in the 2019 NC State Annual Color Trials (in ground plantings)
- 'Compact Red'
- 'Dark Heart'
- 'Dipt in Wine'
- 'Dragon's Claw'
- 'El Brighto'
- 'Fairway Mix'
- 'Fancy Rose' (Sun)
- 'Florida Sunrise'
- 'Indian Summer'
- 'Mint Mocha'
- 'Mosaik Burgundy Velvet' (Sun)
- 'Mosaik Rose Blast' (Sun)
- 'Mosaik Thin Mint' (Sun)
- 'Pineapple Splash' (Sun)
- 'Pineapple' (Sun)
- 'Pineapplette' (Sun)
- 'Rebel Rouser' (Shade)
- 'Red Head'
- 'Red Hot Rio' (Sun)
- 'Hisses' (Sun)
- 'Sun Lancelot Velvet Mocha'
- 'Sunset' (Sun)
- 'Sun Wasabi'
- 'Tell Tale Heart'
- 'Trailing Red'
- 'Trailing Rose'
- 'Trusty Rusty'
- 'Pour Crimson Gold'
- 'Pour Lime'
- 'Versa Redhead'
- 'Pour Watermelon'
- 'Yellow Ruffles' (Sun)
There are hundreds of different coleus cultivars, and new ones are being developed all the time. In addition to the named cultivars, various series with unique characteristics are available in a variety of different colors.
Here are some of my favorites and you can read all about the best coleus cultivars in our guide. (Coming soon!)
With midnight purple foliage, tinged with just a hint of red and a compact growth habit, "Black Dragon" makes a dramatic impact on beds, borders and containers.
The small, deeply lobed leaves have an almost velvety appearance, and this cultivar reaches a height of only 10-12 inches, with a similar spread.
It is ideal as a moody bedding plant or as an accent for more colorful flowering annuals.
Color can vary depending on growing conditions, sometimes appearing more dark red than purple.
You can find packages of 1000 seeds available from True Leaf Market.
"Chocolate Mint" has deep burgundy foliage with bright green edges, which highlight the serrated leaves.
It grows to a mature height of 12-20 inches, with a spread of 12-14 inches. A bushy plant with a tumultuous growth habit, "Chocolate Mint" thrives in full shade.
You can find sets of six plants or 25 seeds available at Burpee.
"Watermelon" is an eye-catching cultivar with bright pink foliage with green margins accented with cream spots and dark red veins.
With a mature height of 20-22 inches tall and 18-22 inches wide, it has a tumultuous growth habit and provides vibrant color to your garden or containers.
You can find seed packets or a set of four plants available at Burpee.
What to Do With Coleus Blooms
What you do with the flower spikes is up to you. Leaving the flowers tends to cause less foliar development and reader stems, probably because the plant is directing its energy to flower formation.
You can pinch off the spikes just as they are forming and redirect that energy back into leaf formation while helping create a more compact, thick form. Trim the stem back to the first growth node before the spike forms. Use scissors, pruners or just pinch off the growth on slender stems. Over time, new leaves will sprout from the cut area and fill in the space left by the spike.
Alternately, you can let the blooms grow and produce seeds. If a coleus plant has flower spikes, simply wait until the petals fall off and a small fruit is formed. Seeds are tiny and will show themselves when the capsule or fruit splits. Save these in a plastic bag until you are ready to plant them. Coleus plants are easy to start from seed, either indoors or outside when temperatures are at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 C.).
Sowing Coleus Seeds
Coleus may be started with cuttings or seeds. If you saved your seeds, you can plant them at any time if growing them indoors. If you intend to use them outside, wait until soil temperatures have warmed up and all danger of frost has passed, or sow them indoors in flats 10 weeks before the date of your last frost.
Sow the seed into moistened sterile medium in flats. Cover the tiny seeds with a fine sifting of the medium. Cover the tray with a plastic lid and keep moist in a warm location until sprouting occurs.
Thin the seedlings and transplant them to larger pots when they have two sets of true leaves. Grow them on in containers indoors until outdoor temperatures are at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 C.) and then gradually harden them off before transplanting them to containers or prepared garden beds.
In this way, the flower spikes can adorn the plants for added appeal and provide a new generation of the plants for years to come.