The Encyclopedia of House Plants

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Coleus

Family: Lamiaceae.

Coleus blumei
Coleus Genus of about 150 species of annuals, evergreen perennials.With colorful leaves, Coleus are perfect for providing constant brightness in shaded and partly-shaded areas. Leaves on different varieties can be heart- or lance-shaped, laced or fringed, and variously-edged, mottled or streaked in mixes of chartreuse, red, lime, pink, salmon, yellow, purple and green. Use as bedding, edging or container plants. Too much sun will bleach colors out, and too much shade will result in poor growth and less colorful leaves, so keep shade partial. Easy to grow from seed. Pinch young plants to encourage bushiness. Pinch inconspicuous flowers before they develop. Mist the leaves in summer.
Growing conditions Watering and misting Propagation
Keep the plant warm - minimum 60F in winter. Some direct sun is essential. Water moderately from spring to autumn. Water sparingly in winter/ Misting is necessary. Take stem cuttings in spring. Sow seed in spring.

User-submitted additions and corrections:

Deirdre
NC
13th Sep 2007
I am growing coleus wizard mix now. I sowed 5 seeds, and all are beginning their 3rd "true" leaves, and are already seem to have splatters of colors. I love growing plants from seed, especially houseplants! I am going to sow African Violets soon, I am waiting for my seeds. 3 different kinds..........one trails!!!! a mini one, so small it looks fake, and regular size. All are hybrids, and mixes of different colors, even in blue. I plan to give to friends, swap. Cannot wait.
Lint
singapore
13th Mar 2008
I bought a pot which i later replanted into 3 different pots. Now I must have about 10 times what I bought! They are growing so well on the ground under direct sunlight. Only of one colour, deep maroon with bright yellow but nonetheless beautiful!
Josh
PA, USA
26th Feb 2009
I have gotten cutting of this to root and grow in simply a cup of dechlorinated water. The plant seems to do OK but the colors aren't what they were when it was taken from the parent plant. It took about a week to get the roots growing, now that it's been two weeks I plan on transferring this to real soil.
Marla
NB, Canada
23rd Nov 2009
I fell in love with Coleus about two years ago and bought a variety pack this past spring. I have over 200 plants at the moment (about 7 different varieties) and plan to sell them next spring. The have a wonderful scent when the flowers are pinched off. They are so easy to root and add great colour to my outdoor pots. My favourite are the salmon coloured leaves surrounded with light green. Beautiful.
Sue Landtroop
14th Nov 2012
I purchased some purple coleus this spring and put them outside in a spot they get about 6 hours direct sun light. They were 30” tall and turn a beautiful deep purple. So before the first frost I took cutting and will have them rooted and in soil already.
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