Coleus is a unique unpretentious plant that is famous for its simplicity of cultivation. But modern coleus, thanks to breeders, outwardly transformed almost beyond recognition. This is the most colorful of all decorative deciduous plants! There is no shade, effect or combination of colors that could not be found on the leaves of the once almost disappeared from the windowsills “nettles”. At the same time, even against the background of unimaginable diversity, there are unique cultivars that literally dazzle with an unexpected explosion of color.
10 stunningly vibrant Coleus varieties
Unimaginably rich palette of Coleus leaves
Varieties koleusa (Solenostemon) you can find the desired shade, if not in the main color, then in the details. Leaves color metallic silver and copper, bronze and gold, cold emerald, all shades of green (from almost black to aniseed) and even bright pink-fuchsia, lemon-yellow or orange atypical for deciduous crops.
It is the rich color range that makes Coleus an ideal “textile” plant, allowing you to select green accents for the interior, the textures and fabrics presented in it. But the beauty of the velvety, wrinkled, surprisingly pleasant to the touch surface of the leaves should not be underestimated.
In this plant, even the shape resembling nettle leaves is not at all a necessary feature. Coleus leaves are lanceolate, heart-shaped, oval, large and small (from 2 to 20 cm both in length and in diameter), wrinkled and smooth, embossed, with varying degrees of jagged edges (from serrated to crenate, serrated, deeply cut, wavy and scalloped) and even with lobed and feathery variations.
Hundreds of different variations of leaf shapes and colors are the main thing that attracts both gardeners and florists to Coleus. None of the dozens of varieties that can be found in flower shops and garden centers can be called purely indoor or intended only for outdoor cultivation. Amazing plasticity, the ability to look equally good in pots, and in flower girls, and in soil, makes Coleus even more unique and desirable.
1. Koleus «Rainbow Multicolor Superfine »
Koleus «Rainbow Multicolor Superfine » (Superfine Rainbow Multicolor) – a unique variety with chaotic spots of salmon pink, bright yellow, grassy green and dark red, reminiscent of camouflage, mixed on each leaf in different extravagant combinations. Other varieties with multicolor ripples:
- Chain Exhibition Mobil (Giant Exhibition Marble);
- “Tickle Pickle” (Tickled Pickle);
- Fairway Mosaic (Fairway Mosaic);
- “Stumi Vote” (Stormy Weather);
- “Victoria” (Victory);
- Paisley Show (Paisley Shawl);
- “Anna” (Anna).
2. Koleus «Tikld Pink »
Koleus «Tikld Pink » (Tickled Pink) – the pinkest variety in existence with curly, whimsically curling leaves. Dazzling neon fuchsia pink is combined with a wine border, but this does not detract from the brightness of the plant. Other varieties with neon pink:
- Ruby Lays (Ruby Laser);
3. Koleus «Premium San Chocolat Coverd Cherry “
Koleus «Premium San Chocolat Coverd Cherry» (Premium Sun Chocolate Covered Cherry) – a unique late-flowering variety that retains its decorative effect for a very long time with a raspberry-pink feather in the center of the leaves, emphasized by an uneven dark cherry border and a thin one affecting only rounded teeth at the edges, with a bright light green border. The wavy edges spoil the heart-shaped shape somewhat, but the bushes branch densely, they are compact, suitable for borders and containers. Other varieties of Coleus with a play of pink, cherry and bright green:
- Prince Bishop (Prince Bishop);
- Blidin Hut (Bleeding Heart);
- “Habreike” (Heartbreaker);
- «Superfine Rainbow Color Pride » (Superfine Rainbow Color Pride);
- Votimelen (Watermelon);
- Kong Rose (King Rose).
4. Koleus «Wizard Sunset »
Koleus «Wizard Sunset » (Wizard Sunset) – the brightest orange variety. The serrated edge, highlighted with a light yellow border, makes it appear marbled. Light green spots are almost invisible against the background of the watercolor play of salmon, apricot, coral and gold. The bushes are very dense, in the fall they are repainted in pure gold. Other varieties with a blazing orange effect:
- “Favey Orange” (Fairway Orange);
- “Feckels” (Freckles) ;
- Kairos (Cairos);
- Fancy Feze Coupe (Fancy Feathers Copper).
5. Koleus «Black Dragon “
Koleus «Black Dragon “ (Black Dragon) – the legendary coleus with large, pretentious ruffled leaves, on which the glowing ruby center emphasizes the velvety-wine color around the edges. Other varieties with almost black leaves (more often in addition to emerald details):
- «Premium San Dak Chocolate» (Premium Sun Dark Chocolate);
- «Premium San Chocolate Mint» (Premium Sun Chocolate Mint);
- “Con Scarlett” (Kong Scarlett);
- “Black Beauty” (Black Beauty).
6. Koleus «Rainbow Vulcano Superfine »
Koleus «Rainbow Vulcano Superfine » (Superfine Rainbow Volcano) – a dazzling scarlet-red variety with a serrated edge, slightly highlighted with a bright green border and as if powdered with dark red and wine shades. It seems like a scarlet fire both from afar and up close. Other varieties with red velvet leaves:
- “Donkey” (Maharaja);
- «Wizard Velvet Red» (Wizard Velvet Red);
- Salsa Roja (Red sauce);
- «Ruby Slipé» (Ruby Slipper);
- Exotic Niche (Exotic Nature).
7. Koleus «Wizard Scarlet »
Koleus «Wizard Scarlet » (Wizard Scarlet) – one of the most spectacular contrasting varieties, in which luminescent bright light green along the rim is combined with a feather-shaped wine center, highlighted in the center by a vein. The bushes are very neat, cushion-like. Other varieties with cherry-lime combination:
- Scarlett Poncho (Scarlet Poncho);
- Sole Flee (Solar Flare);
- “Lovebod” (Love Bird);
- Con ed (Kong Red).
8. Koleus «Wizard Golden »
Koleus «Wizard Golden » (Wizard Golden) from afar it looks refreshingly neon. Dazzling light green-aniseed variety with small oval leaves and densely branched, low, but very dense “pillow” bushes. Other varieties with lime and aniseed variations:
- “Faway Yellow” (Fairway Yellow);
- “Pele” (Skin);
- Tickled Lime (Tickled Lime);
- “Lamon Chiffon” (Lemon Chiffon).
9. Koleus «Golden Sands »
Koleus «Golden Sands » (Golden Sands) Is a charming whimsical ruffle variety whose scalloped, deeply cut golden leaves create lush cushions and cascades. Other varieties with dazzling shades of yellow:
- “Saibirian» (Siberian);
- Fashion (Freshness);
- Lace (Lace).
10. Koleus «Henna »
Koleus «Henna » (Henna) – the brightest representative of “feather” coleus with very narrow and long teeth along the edge of small leaves. The combination of a yellow aniseed plate with light wine edges creates an unprecedented contrast. Thanks to the original sharp-toothed border, the variety with a similar leaf shape also attracts attention – Tilt Well (Tilt a Whirl).
Read also our article The Return of Indoor Coleus, or The New Life of Decorative Nettles.
Conditions without which bright coleus cannot be grown
No matter how undemanding this plant may seem, without suitable conditions and regular care, it will not be possible to fully reveal the full potential of the variety and enjoy the beauty of its leaves. In order not to be disappointed in extravagant Coleuses, it is worth remembering a few basic requirements:
- Coleus of the brightest varieties are more photophilous than their less original counterparts, they need to provide diffused, but bright lighting – without the risk of getting sunburn at the height of summer, but also without strong shading, in which patterns and textures will disappear.
- In the garden, Coleus will prefer cool places, in the rooms – cool and stable. But do not abuse the plant’s endurance – stable temperatures, protection from drafts and cold winds will allow the greenery to become even more beautiful.
- The soil for Coleus should be loose, breathable and nutritious.
- After planting, the coleus are fed every 2-3 weeks with fertilizers for decorative deciduous plants. For indoor plants, you can use long-acting fertilizers.
- Coleus do not like droughts and dampness, they water the plants often, but without frills, allowing the soil to dry out.
- The leaves of the plants should not get wet, unnecessary spraying and showering will destroy the Coleus.
For any wheel, one should not forget about pruning. To enjoy the beauty of the leaves, you need to prevent flowering, pinch the tops in time to thicken and keep the bushes in shape all the time, preventing the shoots from stretching and accumulating dry and damaged leaves. Coleus can easily endure even a strong haircut. Constant cleaning and careful hygiene are the best preventive measures to keep Coleus healthy.
Coleus are very volatile. No matter how hard you try to create optimal conditions, you should be prepared for the fact that the Coleus will differ from the “ideal” – a sample of the characteristics of the variety. The thing is that even small changes in temperature, humidity and lighting change both saturation and shades. Each varietal Coleus is not only unique, but also always different in different rooms and places. Two bushes can differ even on the same windowsill!