Now that I’ve started numerous flats of coleus, I’m full of anticipation for what this year’s crop will bring to my flower beds and containers. Coleus provides constant leaf color, whether used in sun or part shade. I combine complimentary types of coleus in pots for the deck and hanging planters, while other coleus plants find their way into perennial beds as shown here.
This year I’m planting the dark red, ruffled-leaf Black Dragon, the large green leaved Limelight, as well as two from the Wizard series (lemon-lime and red Pineapple and a more copper orange and gold Sunset – both pictured below). I’m also trying Palisandra, a nearly black coleus with dark green leaf veins.
Many catalogues offer only coleus plants, but search out companies that sell coleus seeds as a way to maximize coleus plantings for minimal outlay. The miniscule seeds easily sprout when sowed on top of the soil in indoor flats about this time of year. The tiny plants may get off to a slow start, but they grow quickly once placed outdoors after there is no longer a risk for frost. Unfortunately, deer will seek out the fleshy leaves, so coleus is best planted out of their reach.
Coleus have been one of my must have plants for years and now that their popularity has increased, I have many varieties from which to choose. Though I start many types of coleus from seed, I always manage to find new varieties in local nurseries that scream for a place in my garden.