Coleus is a beautiful landscape plant prized for its colorful foliage, which comes in shades of green, yellow, pink, red, orange, and maroon. Here in Florida, these beautiful plants are often seen on patios and in hanging baskets. Coleus is heat-tolerant, which makes them a desirable annual in our hot climate.
Traditionally, most coleus plants grow best in partial shade. However, there are now new varieties that seem to thrive in full sun – like the Stained Glassworks coleus. Be sure to check the specifics for your variety before planting to ensure it gets the light requirements needed for optimum growth.
With large leaves and unique patterns, it is easy to make a bold and colorful statement with these shade-loving plants! Since their color and interest comes primarily from their leaves, you won’t have to worry about this plant going out of bloom. You will definitely want to protect your plants from the wind, especially since their foliage is somewhat thin and delicate. They can easily tear if they are exposed to long periods of wind or other abuse.
Many people think that if you have a shaded yard, you can’t have a lot of color. That simply is not true! If you choose coleus plants, you can benefit from vibrant color for most of the seasons. They make great container plants, which allows for easy portability from one area to another. Since most shaded areas are usually under large trees, container plants allow great landscape color without digging or damaging the roots around your trees.
It’s also easy and affordable to turn one coleus plant into many by taking stem cuttings. Start off with a healthy and disease-free plant. Use a sharp, clean knife and cut off a 2″ – 6″ section of the stem. Trim the stem a half-inch below the bottom-most leaves and remove those leaves. Put the stem in a pot of moist soil and place it in a shady spot for a couple of weeks to allow the roots to form.
Many gardeners seem to look for bold color in their landscapes or containers, and they often forget that plants like coleus give non-stop color with their vibrant leaves. I encourage you to add one to your landscape. Soon thereafter, you will be rewarded with beautiful color all season long!