Coleus plants, also known as solenostemons, plectranthus or painted nettles, are grown for their velvety leaves that come in combinations of bright red, burgundy, yellow, green, pink, brown and bronze.
Coleus look great in summer bedding or as filler at the front of a summer border, and are ideal for summer pots and containers. They are perfect for an exotic or jungle-like planting. They can also be grown as houseplants or in a conservatory.
Coleus is actually an ornamental member of the mint family, native to Indonesia. All species formerly in the Coleus genus have now been split into either Plectranthus or Solenostemon.
How to grow coleus
Grow coleus in a sunny or partially shaded location to bring out their beautiful leaf colors. They thrive best in moist but well-drained soil. Coleus plants are tender perennials, meaning they will not survive cold weather. They are usually grown as annuals in the UK, planted out in May when there is no threat of frost. To keep plants from year to year, bring them indoors in the fall, or take cuttings in the summer that can be grown on for new plants the following spring.