Plectranthus scutellarioides

Painted Nettle, Plectranthus

About This Plant

Sun or shade; annual. Grown for vivid foliage, generally in shades of pink, purple, green and maroon. The small purple blooms are not showy. Coleus are most useful for quickly livening up a shady area with summer color. Many can handle some sun, but in south-central Texas they perform much better with indirect light or shade, which deepens their color. Although planted as a warm-season annual, coleus can easily rot if over-watered. They grow quickly to 2 feet or more, and benefit from having their growing tips periodically pinched back, to avoid becoming too leggy. Suggested spacing is 16-20 inches, considering their eventual size. The name “coleus” is used to refer to many cultivars and hybrids of this species and others.

Origins: Asia; Australia; Africa


A warm season annual. Water to establish. Expect multiple summer groomings (pinching back the growing tips) to prevent plants becoming leggy. Coleus will linger until autumn but won’t survive freezing weather.

A summer annual providing colorful foliage in bright shade.

Min. Height: 18'

Max Height: 24 inches'

Min. Width: 12'

Max Width: 18 inches'

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