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Coleus Plectranthus scutellarioides

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Coleus blumei
  • Coleus pumilus
  • Coleus x hybridus
  • Solenostemon pumilus
  • Solenostemon scutellarioides
Phonetic Spelling
plek-TRAN-thus skoo-tell-air-ee-OY-deez
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Plectranthus scutellarioides is an annual in the mint family with attractive foliage that comes in many colors. It can be grown outdoors as a tender annual/herbaceous perennial or indoors: it is slightly succulent too.  It forms a 3 ft. mound as it grows and can be used in hanging baskets.  If grown as a houseplant, it requires bright light.  Remove flowers as they appear and pinch back stems to promote bushy leaf growth. This plant can be in the landscape in a flower garden as a cultivated, tender annual.  Too much sun will cause plants to wilt, too much shade causes them to become leggy.  It is easily grown from stem cuttings in potting soil or a glass of water.  Some dwarf forms exist that may be labeled under the former name Coleus pumilus; they have a trailing habit, bright coloration, and are excellent in mixed containers.

Name Changes: Many Solenostemon species have been moved to the genus Plectranthus. Technically, Coleus pumilus and Solenostemon x scutellarioides now fall under Plectranthus scutellarioides.

Seasons: all season

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites on indoor plants.  These plants are seldom damaged by deer.

Quick ID

  • Various multicolored leaves with crenate to incise
  • Opposite leaves on square-angled stems & twigs
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Alabama Sunset'
  • 'Buttercream'
  • 'Camellia'
  • 'ColorBlaze Wicked Witch'
    2nd Place in the 2019 NC State Annual Color Trials (in ground plantings)
  • 'Compact Red'
  • 'Dark Heart'
  • 'Defiance'
  • 'Dragon's Claw'
  • 'Eclipse'
  • 'Flare'
  • 'Florida Sunrise'
  • 'Fright'
  • 'Pinata'
  • 'Tell Tale Heart'
  • 'Trailing Red'
  • 'Trailing Rose'
Tags:
#red#tropical#pink#sun#poisonous#full sun#houseplant#annual#summer#foliage#heavy shade#spring#deep shade#shade tolerant#red leaves#showy leaves#colorful leaves#interiorscape#pink leaves#fall interest#interesting leaves#hanging baskets#flower garden#deer damage#deer resistant#burgundy leaves#burgundy#fantz
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Alabama Sunset'
  • 'Buttercream'
  • 'Camellia'
  • 'ColorBlaze Wicked Witch'
    2nd Place in the 2019 NC State Annual Color Trials (in ground plantings)
  • 'Compact Red'
  • 'Dark Heart'
  • 'Defiance'
  • 'Dragon's Claw'
  • 'Eclipse'
  • 'Flare'
  • 'Florida Sunrise'
  • 'Fright'
  • 'Pinata'
  • 'Tell Tale Heart'
  • 'Trailing Red'
  • 'Trailing Rose'
Tags:
#red#tropical#pink#sun#poisonous#full sun#houseplant#annual#summer#foliage#heavy shade#spring#deep shade#shade tolerant#red leaves#showy leaves#colorful leaves#interiorscape#pink leaves#fall interest#interesting leaves#hanging baskets#flower garden#deer damage#deer resistant#burgundy leaves#burgundy#fantz
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Plectranthus
    Species:
    scutellarioides
    Family:
    Lamiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southeast Asia and Malaysia; Asia and tropical Africa
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    This plant is seldom damaged by deer.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 6 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Houseplant
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Mounding
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
    Fruit Description:
    Nutlet
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Raceme
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Lipped
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are small, blue-violet, in slender, terminal clusters, and irregularly shaped. Blue-white two lipped nettle-like flowers appear in racemes, early summer to fall but are not showy and can distract from the leaves. The flowers are insignificant. The calyx of the flower is persistent and resembles a saucer hence the Latin name "scutella."
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Orange
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Variegated
    White
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are ovate to oblong toothed and frequently feature a mixture of colors and patterns including red, burgundy, and pink. This plant is grown for its multi-colored foliage. This plant has opposite, simple leaves on 4-angled stems. They are often blotched with various colors and patterns.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Square
    Stem Description:
    Stems can be semi-succulent and light green, making them stand out from the leaves. This plant has 4-angled stems.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Houseplants
    Patio
    Landscape Theme:
    Formal English Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Heavy Shade
    Problems:
    Contact Dermatitis
    Poisonous to Humans
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    SKIN IRRITATION MINOR OR LASTING ONLY FOR A FEW MINUTES. Allergic dermatitis with red rash after repeated and frequent contact.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Diterpene coleonol, coleon O
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Leaves