Gardeners want lots of show for not much dough. That's why they should plant coleus. It costs little, grows quickly, and has the gaudiest foliage imaginable. It's equally happy in the ground or in a pot. And from the time it's planted until a hard freeze in fall, it supplies eye-popping color
A tropical plant usually treated as an annual, coleus owes its appeal to phenomenal genetic variability. There is hardly a leaf color, shape, size, or growth habit that coleus hasn't mastered. Red, orange, yellow, or pink leaves. Huge, scalloped, frilly, or tiny leaves. A plant that creeps, a plant that stands tall, coleus does it all.
Tacky No More
As popular as coleus is now, not long ago people considered it tacky. Hot, cheery, assertive colors were out; cool, tranquil, shy pastels were in. But then folks discovered an unsettling equation: Pink + lavender + white + nothing else = one boring garden. According to Pam Baggett of Singing Springs Nursery in Cedar Grove, North Carolina, Southerners picked up on this quicker than others.