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Coleus x hybridus

Pronunciation: Koe-lee-us x hye-brid-us
Family: Lamiaceae/labiatae (mint family)
Common Name: Flame nettle, painted leaf
Plant Type:
  • perennial
  • succulent and cactus
Height to: 1-6'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Sun Exposure:
  • full shade
  • part sun
  • full sun
Bloom Description: The distinguishing feature of coleus is it's beautifully colored and patterned leaves. These leaves are velvety to the touch and vary in size from 1-8 in (2. 5-20. 3 cm) in length. They come painted in a startling palette of colors from florescent yellow, to red, pink, white, maroon, and cream. One of my favorites is a striking metallic purple and violet. The light blue or lavender flowers are usually unimpressive and tend to detract from the glory of the plants foliage.
Plant Perks:
  • Suitable for Houseplant
  • Easy to Grow/Ideal for Children
  • Container Gardening
Propagation: The best way to propagate is by cuttings which root easily. The seed is very small and must be germinated under warm conditions - a real hassle. I prefer to buy small plants in cel-paks to make sure that i get exactly the color and pattern i want. Seeds gathered from the garden produce offspring that are variable and usually quite unlike the parent plant.
Native to: C. Blumei is a parent of many of the coleus hybrids, it is native to the island of java (indonesia). Another parent is c. Pumilus which is also native to indonesia and to an area extending across the east indies to the philippines. Other species used to hybridize the many varieties of coleus come from africa, india and central america.
Notes for Identification: Source: floridata - because they are inexpensive, most gardeners treat this plant as an annual, disposing of old plants in the fall and replacing with new plants in the spring. Coleus is a perfect choice to brighten shady areas with bursts of color. Creates striking effects when used in mass plantings. Also great in containers indoors (provide light and humidity) and out. Coleus is the low maintenance king of the flower bed and border. Coleus can provide dramatic effects in a short time with little effort on the part of the gardener. Because it is so easy to root cuttings, even the cash challenged gardener can propagate enough plants to really put on a show. Durability and ease of propagation have made the coleus a schooltime favorite for teaching kids about plants and botany. Care: prefers a light well drained soil. In most varieties, the flowers aren't much to look at. If you don't remove them as they appear, at least remove them when they fade to keep the plants from looking scruffy. Once coleus set seed their life cycle is over and they soon die off. To extend their life, pinch back flowers. Shade to bright sun depending on the variety. If grown indoors provide space near a bright window. Provide adequate moisture - varieties grown in bright sun require frequent watering.
Located in: Succulents
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