Cool Coleus (pronounced: coal-eez)

I love versatile, easy care coleus. They are available in spring and all through fall in most places. While some coleus will give you just a little bit of flowering, they are generally more of a showy, leafy plant. In warmer climates they can last all year, but in colder states, they will perish (and not come back).

Most prefer indirect sun or part shade, but check with your garden center – in some areas, certain types of coleus do like full sun. They are outdoor plants and are perfect to give a punch of assorted colors to containers or gardens.

Do be aware though, like a lot of other plants, they are are highly toxic to pets – so keep the coleus outdoors where they belong.

If you have coleus growing now, this is the PERFECT TIME to pluck off a few sprigs and put them in a jar of water to root them (outside). Change the water every 2 days. Within a week or so, you should see little roots sprouting from the stems. Once the roots are established you can transplant the new plants into other pots or into your garden.

If you aren’t growing any coleus, check out your local garden centers. August is the best time to find coleus that have intense fall colors. Plant them in your garden or pots with fall flowering plants that are found in your area. Think deep reds, maroons, oranges and deep yellows. Just be sure the flowering plants you choose also want the same type of light as your coleus.


– MIX several different types and colors of coleus together for an extra impact and add fall flowers. Mix the green and off-white coleus with darker coleus in fall and add vibrant orange and yellow flowering plants. Or try green/maroon coleus with deep pink flowering plants.

– PINCH:  As they grow, pinch off the tops for a fuller plant. If you want them to grow slim and tall, wait a bit to pinch off the tops. If you don’t pinch them at all, they will grow very tall and lanky.

– FOR AN OVERALL INTENSE FALL LOOK: Plant them in containers that are dark shades of orange, yellow, maroon, red or glistening gold. For more focus on the plants, try a dark forest green container.

– EASY FALL ENTRANCE IDEA: Plant a container filled with coleus (or a pair) outside your front door for a welcoming fall look. Switch out your welcome mat to something with fall colors. Hang a simple fall wreath on the front door.

– REMEMBER: When growing any kind of plants, be sure if you bring them inside they are NOT toxic to your pet. Even many basic herbs and plants that we think are safe, might be hazardous to your pet.

While most folks don’t want summer to leave – right now, is the perfect time to grab yourself some coleus and other fall flowering plants and get them growing for fall. And if you already have coleus, start rooting them now to plant in your fall garden or fall containers.  There are many coleus varieties, below are a few more, all brimming with vibrant colors.

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