I'm sure you all know what a coleus is but if you don't it's a very colorful plant and it's leaves, which are the colorful part, show's itself in a wide and exciting range of colors. The coleus is considered to be a tough, durable annual plant and will add a bit of excitement to anyone's garden.
It's history goes back many years.....actually over the past few centuries. It is a member of the mint family and it's leaves come in many colors, textures and even their shapes. New coleus breeding focuses on new color combinations and different foliage characteristics .....like being more compact and even trailing forms which would be very nice for hanging baskets.
Study is still being done to delay its flowering. Coleus leaves are nice, that's for sure, but its flower seems to take away the look of the plant itself. Like we mentioned earlier you should just snip them off.....but you don't have to.....but it will encourage more energy into the stem and foliage growth and not into more flowering. Also if you let your Coleus flower it may lose its vigor as the plant will then put all it's vigor into seed production. I guess the coleus wants to get along with us humans.
The leaves of a coleus can be green, pink, yellow, orange, red, shades of maroon, brown, cream and even white. I have not seen a white one but I will still be on the lookout for one.
Patterns in the leaves can be solid, splashes, blotches, streaks, flecks, margins and veins. Color intensity could be affected by sunlight. Many years ago it was not suggested that they be put in the sun at all. But now it's all different. And even in Florida they will do just fine in full sun. There are coleus that are called 'sun coleus'.....Darker colors seem to do better in direct sunlight.....lighter colored coleus might do little better in morning sun and a little afternoon shade.