What Makes Coleus a Unique and Showy Tropical Plant

Dan Nursery Crops, Specialty Crops, This Land of Ours

What makes Coleus a unique and showy tropical plant. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.

tropical plant
Coleus Rainbow
Shutterstock image

Coleus is a showy, upright or mounded tropical plant grown for its highly ornamental foliage. Most varieties need some shade but they lap up the heat, making them highly useful annuals where summers are long, hot and humid. Their remarkable variety in leaf colors and markings makes them useful on a number of fronts, especially in combination with other summer annuals.

A single coleus plant grows between 12 and 40 inches high and between 12 and 36 inches across, depending on the variety. And, there are more than 100 varieties available, many of them grouped under trademarked series such as Color Blaze, Kong, Premium Sun and Flame Thrower.


Coleus can be used in garden beds, as an accent plant, as a way to fill post-spring voids in a plant border or grouped as an edging plant, but its primary value is as container plant. Coleus are so varied that you can use them every summer for years without repeating color combos.

Most coleus prefer a location where they will receive morning sun but some shade in the afternoon.

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What Makes Coleus a Unique and Showy Tropical Plant