Coleus – Loved for its Dramatically Variegated Leaves
A perennial flower grown as a tender annual, coleus is loved for its dramatically variegated leaves in shades of green, red, yellow, and white. Both shapes are markings and the shapes of the leaves vary from variety to variety and can be effective in a mixture or in plantings of one color.
They are often used in planters, pots, and window boxes as well as in beds. Tall varieties grow as tall as three feet, shorter ones as low as six inches. Well, to grow coleus, it is best to buy started plants in the colors and leaf form you desire. Growing coleus from seed is slow. If you want to try it, sow indoors as early as ten weeks before the last expected frost.
Sprinkle the tiny seeds on top of the soil and gently press them into it rather than covering them, and keep the soil moist and warm during germination. Transplant seedlings into the permanent location after the danger of frost has passed. Coleus plants should be spaced at least a foot apart; they can grow quite broad.
Young plants can be pinched to make them compact and bushy. A warm weather plant, coleus can grow in full sun in some climates, but part shade will prevent wilting in hot weather and produce stronger colors. A light mulch will help keep the soil moist, but don’t mound the mulch around the plant’s stems.