Grown mainly as indoor foliage plants Coleus are indeed a colorful addition as a house plant. It is mainly the hybrids that we see for sale, and these are available in shades of red, yellow and purple, as well as few other colors.
Coleus blumei hybrids ( see picture right) are perhaps some of the most widely grown of all. Colorful foliage and easy care.
As house plants they are easy, give them s strong filtered light and and moist well drained soil and they are happy. However in warmer climates these colorful plants can also be grown outdoors.
Regarded as both an annual and a tender perennial, depending a little on the enthusiasm of the gardeners and if they grown in warmer climates. Most Coleus available are hybrids developed specifically for the foliage so don’t expect great flowers.
Coleus prefer a humus rich moist but well drained soil or potting mix. They need a bright filtered light, this is what makes them so good indoors. Temperature needs to be no lower than 50F, and this in winter, the rest of the year they like 65F + to perform well.
Indoors we suggest as slow release general purpose fertilizer along with regular application of a liquid seaweed fertilizer. Outdoors you can use pelletised poultry manure.
Although most people will buy a potted plant in spring and discard it in fall as it dies back, you can propagate Coleus from cuttings if you wish.
- Coleus forskohlii
- Coleus canina (a cat and dog repellant plant)
- Coleus amboinicus
- Coleus blumei