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    Best Coleus Varieties To Grow in Your Garden

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    coleus varieties with variegated leaves

    Homeowners and avid horticulturists are always looking for ways to make their gardens pop. If you're a newbie gardener, you're probably thinking of flowers, ornamental figurines, and stylish pots, which aren't bad ideas. But, if you want that next-level gardening look, you can opt for something more stylish to go well with different garden types everywhere. 
    We're talking about coleus plants, a family of colorful foliage with varieties that fit every type of gardener. This article will help you know more about these plants and some of the most colorful varieties that could go perfectly with your garden.
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    Overview of Coleus Plants

    Coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides), from the mint family, Lamiaceae, is an annual genus or a group of flowering tropical plants that live within a single season, or sometimes even two, depending on the species.
    They're known for their lovely leaf colors and beautiful textures and shapes that bloom in different directions. These plants are prominent in Asia and Australia but are now grown in different garden types. 
    Gardeners love these colorful plants because they're low-maintenance and provide a vibrant glow or a stylish finish to a landscape. They grow fast but not enough to invade other plants in your garden. To know more about your favorite plants that go well with your coleus plant and how to take care of them, visit Neverland
    Additionally, there are many spots where you can place your coleus plants, from gardens to hanging baskets.

    Quick Coleus Care Guide

    Plectranthus scutellarioides
    Coleus
    Herbaceous perennial (often grown as annual)
    Lamiaceae
    Asia and some parts of Australia
    Blue to white
    Up to 36 inches tall and wide
    Seasonal
    Rich, moist, loose, and well-drained
    Slightly acidic to neutral
    Partial shade to full shade
    10, 11 (but grown annually everywhere)
    Toxic to pets
    Botanical Name
    Common Name
    Plant Type
    Family
    Native Area
    Color
    Mature Size
    Bloom Time
    Soil Type
    Soil pH
    Sun Exposure
    USDA Hardiness Zones
    Toxicity

    Planting and Caring for Coleus Plants

    Rows of potted coleus plants in nursery pots.
    Image Source:Plant Coleus when temperatures are warmer and start them indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost date.
    It's vital that when you start planting your coleus plants, you do it indoors at least eight to ten weeks before the last frost date. This is because most coleus plants are not frost-tolerant, so bringing them out early will damage them.
    Before transferring your plants outdoors, it's essential to wait for the temperature to get warmer, preferably at 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Every time the temperature drops below 50, move the plants back indoors. 
    These plants thrive in various soil types, such as well-drained, rich, moist, and loose, but keep it slightly acidic to neutral. They also prefer their soil moist but not soggy. So only water when the top inch of the soil's surface feels dry to the touch. However, don't let it dry for long to avoid slowing their growth. 
    Too much sun exposure can burn the leaves of your coleus plants and cause them to discolor. It's best to place them in shady spots that offer partial or complete shade.
    However, certain coleus species can tolerate total sun exposure, so know more about the types of coleus you're planting. Generally, they prefer partial morning sun and full shade in the afternoon, especially during hotter days. 
    Feeding them is not necessary if you have rich soil. Otherwise, slow-release fertilizers work well for these plants. For container-grown coleus plants, you can go with water-soluble fertilizers.

    Top Colorful Coleus Varieties

    Coleus is a large family of flowering plants, meaning you have many options for your garden. All varieties of coleus plants are not only flowery but also stylish in their ways, thanks to different foliage colors and leaf textures.
    Listed below are some of the best types of coleus that may work perfectly with your landscape or indoor space:

    Kiwi Fern

    These coleus plants have a look that feels straight out of a science fiction movie with their beautiful array of purple-colored leaves that have yellow or pink edges. Kiwi ferns require low maintenance and partial shade. They prefer a warm climate and constant fertilization to thrive, with a maturity size of up to 24 inches tall and 18 inches wide. 
    These plants attract hummingbirds, which is excellent for adding a more natural feel to your yard.

    Wizard Mix | Rainbow Coleus

    The Wizard Mix is a variegated cultivar or a plant that offers beautiful bursts of various colors. In this case, they're mostly scarlet, chartreuse, and pink. Not only that, but they provide heart-shaped leaves, adding a layer of beauty to their style.
    They can be used among garden beds and as container plants. When they bloom, they attract hummingbirds and butterflies, which are perfect for springtime. Wizard mix prefers moist soil and partial sun to full shade for that healthy growth, with a maturity size of up to 10 inches tall and 14 inches wide.

    Fishnet Stockings

    The stunning combination of burgundy veins, lime-green leaves, and intricate textures makes fishnet stockings one of the most stylish flowering plants for your garden. They also make great houseplants that don't need deadheading. And they attract birds too. 
    These plants grow upright with a maturity size of 36 inches tall and 16 inches wide. They prefer part shade and regular watering during the dry season. Plus, they require average watering.

    Rustic Orange

    These coleus plants offer a burst of vibrant, bushy orange foliage with yellow edges, perfect for adding a livelier touch to garden beds and interior spaces.
    They grow up to 24 inches tall and 18 inches wide. They require warm weather, good air circulation, regular watering and fertilization, and full shade. They don't like soggy soil, so avoid overwatering.

    Henna

    Henna offers a gorgeous aggressiveness from its bursting fire-like appearance and its combination of copper and chartreuse leaves with burgundy to magenta undersides. 
    These plants have a maximum maturity size of 28 inches tall and 16 inches wide. They need regular watering, especially during the heat, and you must fertilize once every two weeks. Place them in full sunlight or partial shade for a desirable, vibrant finish.

    Trailing Plum

    These cascading coleus plants love being under the sun, offering a striking near-crimson red that gives out that luscious glow. 
    They prefer rich, moist, and well-drained soil to achieve healthy growth, and you need to water them regularly except during the heat when you need to water them more. These plants have a relatively faster growth rate, with a maximum maturity size of 12 inches tall and 24 inches wide. 
    One of the best ways to grow your trailing plum is by planting them in containers or hanging baskets.

    Black Dragon

    Black dragon offers an intimidating yet striking beauty with its molten-lava look and a deep burgundy color with black edges, which stays charming all year. These plants grow upright with a blooming time of mid to late summer and a maturity size of up to 14 inches tall and 12 inches wide. They require average watering and partial sun or shade.
    Black dragons are great in city gardens because they can tolerate pollution.

    Limelight

    Limelight offers a breathable, all-natural feel to a garden with its bright green color that pops, especially under full sun. It looks lovelier when you pair it with purple flowers, like some species of begonias, but it also works well with other colors.
    Limelight prefers well-drained soil to achieve a healthy growth of up to 16 inches tall and 15 inches wide. They're typically disease and pest–free, so you wouldn't have to worry about contaminating other plants when bringing them home.

    Salmon Pink

    These coleus plants provide a look that feels like it's from a famous painting, with a variation of burgundy and pink leaves combined with green outlines and undersides and a lovely texture. They stand out when you grow them in pots or on your garden's borders, and they have a maximum growth of about 30 inches tall and wide. 
    Salmon pink loves to be in full to partially shaded areas. They require average watering and regular fertilizing once every two weeks.

    Big Red Judy

    These plants offer a large and upright growth with a maturity size of 40 inches tall and 36 inches wide. The Big Red Judy's red leaves and velvety finish go perfectly with ornamental grasses and other plants. You can plant them under the full sun for healthier growth, and they don't need fertilizer. But you need to water them weekly, except during the first six weeks when they need water twice a week.
    Note Icon
    Did you know?
    “Gardeners grow coleus plants for their foliage, not for their flowers. You can pinch the flowers off without damaging your coleus plants' overall look and charm.”

    Visit Neverland – The One-Stop Shop for Your Garden 

    Coleus plants are perfect for every garden. They’re low-maintenance and provide different styles that will certainly fit the vibe of your landscape. So, whatever theme you’re going for, there's a right coleus plant for you.  
    Visit Neverland for the perfect coleus plant or other colorful foliage for your garden. We will connect you to fellow horticulturists as you search for the ideal indoor or outdoor plant. Check us out today!
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    Where to buy
    Coleus cultivars or varieties are easy to grow and can be added to containers or garden beds for a splash of color. Find the perfect plant to brighten up your day at Neverland!

    FAQs on Coleus Varieties


    How many species of coleus are there?
    There are nearly 300 species of coleus worldwide and around 1,500 known varieties or cultivars.
    Are coleus plants toxic?
    Coleus plants are only toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. So better to keep your pets away from these plants.
    Can you propagate coleus plants?
    Yes, stem cuttings are the most common way to do that. You can do it effectively in either water or soil. They're easy to take and root too.

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