Coleus plants soared in popularity in the 1990s for their easy care and how much color they produce growing in shade. Since that time, more and more hybrids of coleus have been produced, and some can handle more sun, even full sun, than the coleus plants of Victorian times.
We offer nearly 20 choices, ranging from deep orange or bronze to pink, green, and maroon-red leaves. Coleus are perfect backdrops to add some medium height to a container or bed behind lower-growing bedding plants.
The Best Way to Use Coleus
Line a shady garden bed with colorful coleus, or add it as thriller in a container with flowers. Most coleus plants are winter hardy only in growing zones 10 and 11. The plants can grow from 24 to 40 inches tall and can grow from 1 to 2 feet wide with an upright growth habit.
The plants prefer moist, but not soggy, soil. Most grow best in part shade, but some in full shade or sun. Grow coleus for easy-care color from its foliage color, though most send up a small flower after reaching a mature height. You can grow coleus from seed or transplant a new nursery plant.
Garden bed border or accent
Available in 20+ color combinations
Typically 2-3 feet high & 1-2 feet around
Growing zones 10 to 11
Can be brought inside as a houseplant
Landscaping Tip: Use other reblooming plants with flowers that contrast with the unique foliage of coleus. This should give 3 seasons of interest in your garden.
Plant other annuals or perennials that grow best in the same partial shade to full shade sunlight conditions. Fill a container or garden bed with other coleus or plants that will contrast with the foliage. Here are some of our favorites to plant with coleus.