Coleus plants are a favorite among gardeners for their colorful leaves and low maintenance. Coleus plants can be grown in pots, as well as in the ground. These beautiful plants come in many shapes, hues, and sizes and grow as tall as 10 feet. You can enjoy more blooms with some extra care. Coleus is a genus that belongs to the mint family, with over 200 species classified as either annual or perennial. Coleus plants are resistant to various plant diseases, making them a great addition to your garden.
The Different Types of Coleus
There are many types of coleus, and the 5 most common ones are;
The kiwi fern is very colorful, with baby blue and purple leaves, and it mainly attracts hummingbirds. This variety grows up to 24 inches and thrives well under partial sunny conditions. Its ideal soil type is slightly acidic (pH 6 – 7), loosely textured.
The fishnet stockings are very easy to grow, spread up to five feet wide, and reach three feet in height. The leaves are of striking green color and have slight burgundy variations. This variety does best when it receives partial sun or filtered sunlight. Its ideal soil type is slightly acidic (pH around six) and prefers well-drained soil.
This type is also known as the ‘Plectranthus scutellarioides. The foliage color is a striking red, with the margins of crimson coloring. It can spread up to 10 inches and grow well in partial sun. Its ideal soil type is slightly acidic (pH between five and seven). The coleus types above are only a few of the many available options.
Salmon Pink Coleus is a low-maintenance plant with huge leaves with unique patterns and light green leaves with pinkish veins. It loves shade for optimum performance; however, it can grow in partly sunny areas. This plant grows very fast under the right conditions, up to 30 feet tall. It is the perfect plant for your border hedges and general garden décor.
Black dragon is an exotic shade-loving plant that gives you a brilliant hue with limited sunlight. It has unique serrated leaves and a fantastic texture that sets this variety apart from another coleus. Black Dragon has a warm deep red shade with purplish-black edges, and the color remains bright throughout the year giving your garden borders intense color. Black dragon can significantly reward you for planting it on well-drained soil. They are effortless to grow and maintain.
Coleus Care and Maintenance
Coleus is relatively easy to care for; however, it does require some attention. You can also apply some mulch around the plant to maintain moisture in the soil, which will help to promote growth.
The best way to propagate coleus is by taking cuttings, but they can also be grown from seeds if you collect them and sow them straight away. It would be best if you waited until the plant had finished flowering before taking cuttings for the best results.
Coleus Growth Conditions
Coleus will grow in most conditions, but here are some tips to help you get the best out of your plant.
Coleus will grow in partial sun, but make sure it is not exposed to direct sunlight to scorch its leaves. Also, do not place them in a dark corner as they will not receive sufficient light to thrive.
The soil should be well-drained but moist at all times. Coleus tend to be thirsty plants, so make sure you water them frequently during the growing season.
Coleus can handle a wide range of temperatures, from as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit to up to 100 degrees. However, they tend to wilt if exposed to cold winds or low temperatures; make sure to put them in a protected area.
Coleus thrives well when the air is humid but not wet. If the air is too dry, it will cause its leaves to turn brown and crispy at the tips.
Coleus can benefit from an occasional dose of fertilizer during the growing season, but make sure it is well diluted before application.
Coleus Pests and Diseases
The most common coleus problem is mealybugs, which appear as white leaves. Mealybugs should be treated as soon as possible and can kill the plant when left untreated.
Coleus is a great plant that has many health benefits. They also come in various colors, making them an attractive decoration for your home or garden.