Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Coleus Plant Profile

Coleus Plant Profile

Coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) is a colorful annual plant that adds interest and texture to the garden. Coleus is often compared to stained glass art or decorative rugs. There are several hundred Coleus cultivars in many different foliage shades and variegations to add punch to a shady spot or a mixed container. Some newer introductions are even quite sun-tolerant.

Coleus prefers consistent moisture and being planted in soil that is well-draining. It needs only occasional light fertilizer. Avoid placing it in windy locations or hot afternoon summer sun. If your Coleus is bothered by slugs or snails, sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the base of the plant.

It thrives in temperatures between 60 to 95 degrees F. When nighttime temps start to drop below 55 degrees F, you can take cuttings from your plants and root them in water. Then pot them up and over-winter them indoors as a houseplant.

Whether to allow Coleus to set flower or not is up to you. Letting it flower does takes energy from the plant, so we recommend pinching the emerging flowers back every few weeks to encourage the Coleus to grow more dense foliage and in a more compact form.

Coleus: You Can Grow That!

The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine as part of our Plant Profile series for Mid-Atlantic USA gardeners.

Audio and text by Kathy Jentz

Video and editing by Brandie Bland

See a related video on how to take Coleus Cuttings at:

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~ Podcast: GardenDC


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