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Coleus Add Constant Color To Your Backyard Garden

Updated on February 27, 2015

Plant Coleus For Constant Color In Your Garden

Coleus is a highly prized annual plant known for it’s striking foliage and easy to grow nature. They appeal to many gardeners as a ’must in the garden’ because Coleus offer such a wide array of vibrant leaf colors, patterns, and plant habit. There are hundreds upon hundreds of varieties cultivated for today’s market!


Nature’s Kaleidoscope!

The leaf forms of Coleus offer up some amazing detail. Attractive, multi-colored upper leaves dazzle and dance for your pleasure. The underside of Coleus leaves are also colored, and usually it is a solid shade derived from a color component from the topside of the leaves. For some Coleus varieties, this is a complement ~ one to the other, while some create a pleasing color contrast. Coleus are sensational when the wind blows! Nature’s kaleidoscope!


Coleus ~ A Most Versatile Plant

Coleus plants present an astonishing amount of different leaf shapes and sizes. Broad or thin, ruffled or bibbed, serrated or smooth. The plants themselves grow in an army of forms. Compact or cascading, bushy or tall, spreading or prostrate.

Above all, it is the staggering amount of colors that abound in the Coleus family that excites the gardener ~ and ignites the garden! Coleus is such a versatile, jovial plant that any hanging basket, container, or garden can accommodate them effortlessly. I believe Coleus just may be the most versatile plant that you can grow!

Why Are Coleus So Popular?

Many gardeners are already familiar with growing colorful Coleus plants. They have been admired and cultivated for decades. Coleus do produce a nice flower spike, but generally, Coleus are grown because of their awesome foliage! Traditionally, Coleus are allocated to a shady location of the porch or landscape ~ dwelling in the dark. Dimly lit areas come alive when accented with the vivid colors and energetic patterns that Coleus freely display.

Amazing Array Of Coleus Leaf Forms And Coloration

Coleus 'Wizard Mix'
Coleus 'Wizard Mix' | Source

Improvements to Coleus breeding have produced new varieties that have enabled these animated beauties to move from the shadows into the spotlight.

Advancements have made it possible for Coleus to adapt readily to part sun and even full sun exposure!


The Versatile Coleus

Coleus with darker leaf colors seem to acclimate and perform better if grown in brighter areas than do their paler-colored counterparts. Coleus plants grown in sunnier areas will require more moisture than in sheltered, shady spots. Color retention in the leaves will gradually decrease for Coleus plants grown in a full sun situation.

Rule of thumb ~ the darker the area - the more vibrant the color. That is not to say that Coleus are forever regulated to the somber spot of the landscape. Quite to the contrary!

Gardeners today can enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Coleus that are specifically engineered to live their life happily and undaunted in a bright, sunny place.

Coleus Are Undemanding

Coleus have a very short list of likes and dislikes. Treat Coleus as an annual plant, as frost usually signals their demise. They prefer well-drained, moist soil with an application of nitrogen-rich fertilizer once a month. Beyond regular watering, Coleus demand very little. Check your Coleus plant periodically for signs of whitefly, mites, aphids and occasionally slugs. The newer varieties of Coleus are bred to resist insects and disease.


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    • profile image

      Anubhav Sharma 8 months ago

      Even i love coleus as there is no plants like them..... There color is so exciting that i cant miss the chance of getting different coleus to my home........ I just love coleis and croton........ With coleus we dont have to worry about them and they are easy to propagate as well...... Just by cutting a stem

    • NotTooTall profile image

      NotTooTall 4 years ago from The Land of Pleasant Living

      No, not to humans. They are poisonous however to animals, so if your pets nibble, take precautions to keep them from having access to them/

    • profile image

      mystiegl 4 years ago

      are they in any way poisonous if consumed?

    • NotTooTall profile image

      NotTooTall 5 years ago from The Land of Pleasant Living

      Hi thoughtforce,

      Thank you for coming by and leaving your comments. I appreciate it!

      I also adore the dark violet Coleus. It looks amazing planted alongside something bright, like Ipomoea Marguerita. Very vibrant.

      Thank you for your visit! :)

      N T T

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 5 years ago from Sweden

      Coleus is one of my favorite flowers! They come in so many fantastic colors and can make a pot or a place in the garden look amazing! My special favorite is the dark violet coleus that almost looks black. It goes so well with other bright colors and makes them even brighter. You have covered this subject so well in this hub! Voted up, interesting, useful


    • NotTooTall profile image

      NotTooTall 5 years ago from The Land of Pleasant Living

      Hi RTalloni,

      Sunny or shady spots are only enhanced with these unusual plants. Coleus are like potato chips, you can't have just one!

      I'm on the look-out for the 'Kong' variety this year. It is supposed to grow into a 'monster' of a plant!

      Thank you for stopping by, and leaving your comments.

      I appreciate it very much!

      N T T

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks so much for reminding me of coleus. They will be some easy color for early summer to mix with flowering plants since loads of big blooms are not dependable for specific time frames. I want these bright festive plants to delight guests in every corner of our yard! In the past I have mixed them with those small lacy, silvery leaved plants that are commonly called smoke. Sorry that I don't know their proper name for they blend so well with coleus!

    • NotTooTall profile image

      NotTooTall 6 years ago from The Land of Pleasant Living

      Hi Rachel Richmond,

      Thank you so much for coming by, and leaving your comments. I appreciate it very much! I'm happy that you enjoyed the Hub. :)

      N T T

    • Rachel Richmond profile image

      Rachel Richmond 6 years ago from California

      I love this easy to work with. Thanks for the awesome hub.