04 Aug

Colorful Foliage Plants for Gardens: Coleus

Solenostemon or Coleus is a popular houseplant for its strikingly ornamental foliage. Native to tropics, these colorful foliage plants grow outdoors under partial sunlight where they produce colorful leaves of purple, red, yellow, green and pink colors. A number of cultivars with variegated leaves are also available commonly.

Coleus can be grown as pot plants, as ground covers, to form borders and hedges in gardens or just as foliage plants in landscapes. When allowed to grow freely, most species of Coleus would turn leggy. The best way to keep these plants in share is pinching their growing points to encourage bushy growth. Plants that are clipped properly form dense, colorful and well-shaped foliage. Most species would grow 0.5 to 1.5 meter in height.


Coleus, Image by Ann Stretton

How to Grow Coleus

As Coleus comes from tropics, it would grow well in a temperate and well-lit spot. Water, clip and feed Coleus plants regularly for healthy ornamental foliage. When grown indoors, place them near windows where they receive plenty of light and some fresh air. Plants that are grown indoors or under filtered sunlight usually have deeper colors and contrast in their colorful leaves. Coleus propagates freely from seeds as well as cuttings.

Coleus is also known as Painted Nettle or Flame Nettle.

Coleus Leaves

Coleus, Image by Ann Stretton

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