Tamar Yamamoto

Written by Tamar Yamamoto

Modified & Updated: 31 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith

Source: Thespruce.com

Coleus, scientifically known as Plectranthus scutellarioides, is a fascinating plant that has captivated gardeners and plant enthusiasts alike. With its vibrant and eye-catching foliage, it brings a splash of color to any garden or indoor space. But did you know that there is more to Coleus than meets the eye?

In this article, we will uncover 10 unbelievable facts about Coleus that will surely amaze you. From its unique ability to change leaf colors to its medicinal uses, Coleus has a lot to offer. So, buckle up and get ready to dive into the world of this extraordinary plant!

Key Takeaways:

  • Coleus is a vibrant and adaptable plant with over 600 varieties, making it a stunning addition to any garden or indoor space. Its leaves can change color, and it attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, adding an extra touch of enchantment to your outdoor space.
  • Coleus is not only beautiful but also easy to grow, drought-tolerant, and has medicinal properties. It can be propagated from cuttings, making it a great choice for beginner gardeners and plant enthusiasts.
Table of Contents

Coleus is a Spectacle of Colors

One of the most remarkable characteristics of coleus is its stunning array of colors. From vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow to mesmerizing patterns of pink, green, and purple, these plants are a true spectacle for the eyes. With their variegated leaves, coleus plants add a vibrant and lively touch to any garden or indoor space.

Coleus Comes in Countless Varieties

Did you know that there are over 600 different species of coleus? Each variety boasts its unique combination of colors and patterns, making it an endless source of inspiration for gardeners and plant enthusiasts. Whether you prefer a more subtle or bold display, there’s a coleus variety out there that suits your taste.

Coleus Can Thrive in Different Environments

One of the incredible things about coleus is its adaptability. These versatile plants can thrive in various environments, including full sun, partial sun, or shade. It makes them perfect for both indoor and outdoor settings, allowing you to enjoy their beauty wherever you choose to place them.

Coleus is Easy to Grow

If you’re a beginner gardener or someone who wants low-maintenance plants, coleus is your best friend. These resilient plants are relatively easy to grow, requiring minimal care and attention. With the right amount of water, well-draining soil, and occasional fertilization, you can enjoy the vibrant foliage of coleus plants effortlessly.

Coleus Leaves Can Change Color

Here’s a mind-boggling fact about coleus: their leaves can change color! While the main colors of the leaves are determined by genetics, factors such as light intensity and temperature can cause the colors to intensify or fade. This phenomenon adds an element of surprise and intrigue to these already captivating plants.

Coleus Has Medicinal Properties

Beyond its aesthetic appeal, coleus has also been used for its medicinal properties. The plant contains compounds that are believed to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial effects. While research is still ongoing, coleus has shown potential in traditional medicine and herbal remedies.

Coleus Attracts Butterflies and Hummingbirds

If you enjoy the presence of fluttering butterflies and vibrant hummingbirds in your garden, coleus is a must-have plant. The nectar-rich flowers of certain coleus varieties attract these beautiful creatures, adding an extra touch of enchantment to your outdoor space.

Coleus Can be Propagated from Cuttings

Good news for all the plant propagators out there! Coleus can be easily propagated from cuttings. Simply take a stem cutting, place it in water or moist soil, and watch as it roots and develops into a new plant. This makes coleus an excellent choice for expanding your plant collection or sharing with friends and family.

Coleus is Drought-Tolerant

In regions where water conservation is crucial, coleus proves to be a resilient and drought-tolerant option. Once established, these plants can withstand periods of dryness, making them an eco-friendly choice for water-conscious gardeners.

Coleus Adds a Tropical Vibe

Dreaming of tropical paradise? Look no further than coleus. With their vibrant colors and lush foliage, coleus plants instantly infuse any space with a tropical vibe. Whether you’re decorating your indoor oasis or creating a tropical-themed garden, coleus will transport you to your very own island getaway.

There you have it! 10 unbelievable facts about coleus that will leave you in awe of this extraordinary plant. Whether you’re captivated by its stunning colors, amazed by its adaptability, or intrigued by its medicinal potential, coleus is undoubtedly a star in the botanical world.


In conclusion, Coleus is an incredible plant with a rich history and remarkable attributes. Its vibrant colors, unique leaf shapes, and ease of care make it a popular choice for both indoor and outdoor gardens. From its ability to repel mosquitoes to its use in traditional medicine, Coleus has proven to be more than just a decorative plant. Its adaptability and versatility make it a must-have for any plant enthusiast or gardener.


Q: How much sun does Coleus need?

A: Coleus plants thrive in bright, indirect light. They prefer a few hours of morning or evening sun, but direct and intense sunlight should be avoided.

Q: Can Coleus plants be grown indoors?

A: Yes, Coleus can be grown indoors. They make excellent houseplants and can thrive in a variety of indoor conditions. Just ensure they receive enough light and maintain consistent moisture levels.

Q: Do Coleus plants need a lot of water?

A: Coleus plants prefer consistently moist soil but can be prone to root rot if overwatered. It is best to allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings.

Q: Are Coleus plants toxic to pets?

A: Coleus plants are generally considered non-toxic to pets, although it’s always best to keep an eye on your furry friends to prevent any chewing or ingestion of plant material.

Q: How often should I fertilize my Coleus?

A: It is recommended to fertilize Coleus plants every 4-6 weeks during the growing season with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer. Be sure to follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging for proper dosage.

Q: Can I propagate Coleus plants?

A: Yes, Coleus plants can be easily propagated from stem cuttings. Simply take a cutting with at least two leaf nodes, remove the lower leaves, and place it in water or well-draining soil until roots form.

Q: Can I grow Coleus from seeds?

A: Yes, Coleus can be grown from seeds. Sow the seeds in well-draining soil and keep them consistently moist until germination occurs. It may take 1-2 weeks for the seeds to sprout.

Q: Can I plant Coleus directly in the ground?

A: Yes, Coleus can be planted directly in the ground in areas with mild climates. Ensure that the soil is well-draining, and provide adequate water and light to help them establish and thrive.

Q: How tall can Coleus plants grow?

A: The height of Coleus plants can vary depending on the variety and growing conditions. On average, they can grow between 1-3 feet tall.

Q: Can I prune my Coleus plants?

A: Yes, pruning Coleus plants can help promote bushier growth and prevent them from becoming leggy. Regularly pinching back the tips of the stems will encourage branching and a fuller appearance.

Coleus captivates with its vibrant colors, but there's more to discover in the world of gardening. Proper plant care starts with understanding soil pH, and our guide to the best soil pH meters will help you create optimal growing conditions. Fall in love with autumn's colorful foliage as you explore October's fun facts, and don't miss the opportunity to learn about Fatsia Japonica, a stunning ornamental plant that adds a touch of elegance to any garden. Keep your green thumb thriving with these informative articles.

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