Colorful foliage and shade tolerance gained this plant favor in gardens for many decades. But the increase in varieties, sun tolerance and our love of foliage plants resulted in 2015 being named the year of the coleus.
You’ll find coleus in a wide variety of colors resulting in its other common name, painted nettle.
Grow coleus in containers or in the garden. Use en masse or mixed with other flowering and foliage plants.
But wait for the danger of frost to pass and temperatures to warm before planting coleus outdoors. They thrive in warm temperatures and struggle as temperatures linger below 55 degrees F.
Grow coleus in shade or morning sun. Or use Sun coleus for those sunnier spots in the garden. Avoid over and under watering that can lead to decline.
And remove the small flowers as soon as they appear to encourage more compact and vigorous growth.
A bit more information: Coleus has gone through several name changes in the past few decades. For many years it was botanically known as Coleus blumei and Coleus hybridus. In 2006 they were grouped together under the name Solenostemon scutellarioides. And then in 2012 the taxonomists declared Plectranthus scutellariodes was the correct name. Fortunately, gardeners know what you mean when you say coleus. For a colorful slide show of a few of the many varieties, visit the National Garden Bureau website.
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