PLACEMENT & CULTIVATION
Coleus are native to tropical areas in Southeast Asia, including Java, and were collected and pressed between papers as herbarium specimens as early as 1830. They became favored in the 1870s as they appealed to the Victorian sentiment for rich patterns and colors in elaborate carpet beds of the era. Grow in containers and group with other shade lovers, such as begonia and fuchsia, to create instant gardens on the terrace. If planting in beds, make sure the soil is fertile and very well-drained. Many new coleus thrive in full sun, but if the leaves bleach, try moving pots to afternoon shade. Coleus can be transplanted slightly deeper than its previous depth in very well-drained soils, encouraging fresh growth of roots and stems. Pinch back when planting to develop a bushy form and increase your supply, as coleus cuttings root easily in water.
About 1-2" a week. Keep evenly moist, allowing soil to dry slightly between waterings. Avoid saturated soils. Containerized plants may need more frequent watering.
Tolerates most soil pH levels.
Mix a time-released fertilizer into growing media or ground prior to planting. A regular application of water-soluble fertilizer is beneficial.
Diseases & Pests:
No major problems. Aphids can be controlled with several sprays of insecticidal soap, which smothers the insects.