You might know them as coleus or poor man’s croton depending on where you are, but for many of us we know them simply as coleus plants (Coleus blumei). Anyway, I love her, as do many others. They have some of the most colorful foliage – in combinations of green, yellow, pink, red, maroon, etc. Coleus also have a wide variety of leaf sizes and overall shapes. This means that no matter what area you want to place Coleus in, you can find one that’s perfect. These plants are great for adding color to the garden (or house), especially those dark, drab corners.
Growing Coleus Plants Coleus is probably one of the easiest plants to grow and propagate. In fact, the plants root so easily that you can even make cuttings in a glass of water. They can also be propagated from seed indoors about eight to 10 weeks before your last expected spring frost.
Coleus can be added to beds and borders for interest, or grown in containers. They need fertile, well-drained soil and usually do best in areas with partial shade, although many cultivars will tolerate sun as well.
When growing coleus, remember that these beauties can grow quickly. Plant coleus close together as bedding plants or insert them into baskets and containers for a fast-growing and spectacular addition. Care for Coleus Plant Caring for Coleus is just as easy. They need to be kept moist, especially newly planted coleus. Potted plants also need more frequent watering than those grown in the garden. Although not required, plants can be given a semi-solid liquid fertilizer during their active growth in spring and summer. Their spiky flowers usually appear in summer; However, these can be removed if necessary. You can also pinch the shoots of young coleus plants for bushier growth.
Another factor in Coleus care is overwintering, as these plants, considered tender annuals, are very susceptible to cold temperatures. As such, they must either be dug up, potted and brought indoors for wintering, or grown through cuttings to establish additional plants.