This Coleus is one of the most popular and common of indoor plants. It is suitable for using in almost any location where there is direct sunlight to brighten the colour pigments in the leaves. The plant is also a very easy species to grow and can be shaped very simply by pinching out the terminal shoots. These same shoots provide ideal propagation material when they are large enough, and can be fun to root in water, where the roots can be watched developing. The small flowers are rather disappointing and may be cut off if not wanted. After the first season of growth, the Coleus becomes rather leggy, so it is best treated as an annual to be discarded and renewed each year. Propagate new plants from the terminal shoots.
Plant type : Foliage plant with bushy habit
Season of interest : All year round
Size : 30-60cm (12 —24in)
Flower : Insignificant, blue, amongst foliage, produced in late spring/summer
Leaf : Pointed, oval, 5-7.5cm (2 —3in), with variable coloration and bold patterning, ranging from white to pink, orange, red and green
Temperature : 15-18°C (60—65°F)
Aspect/Light : Full light, some direct sunlight
Humidity : Reasonable, but requires more humidity as temperature increases
Watering : Evenly moisten compost throughout year
Feeding : Houseplant fertilizer once every two weeks in spring and summer
Propagation : Plant tip cuttings, 5-7.5cm (2—3in), from mid summer to autumn in seed and cutting compost or in water at 18-20°C (65-68°F)
Potting : Houseplant potting compost
Problems : Red spider mite, legginess as plant gets older
Availability : Commonly available in spring and early summer
Uses indoors : Good plant for windowsill, conservatory, greenhouse or porch