I fell in love with Coleus plants a few years ago when I noticed my flower pots were not doing well on my front porch. As I entered the doors of the Nursery I went in search of something beautiful that did not require a great deal of sunshine. Coleus was my answer.
I love Coleus because of its texture, its full shape and its dark vibrant colors. After I killed a few coleus plants I learned a few tips and tricks to making them grow successfully.
First: They need shade. The sun will burn the leaves and you end up with brown dry foliage.
Second: They need water. Last year after I had my 4th baby I forgot to water my plants, A LOT! Often times they were only watered 3 or 4 times a week, which in the dry heat of Southern Utah is just not enough for Coleus. Remember to keep the soil moist all the time, especially where the air is dry.
Third: Coleus like warmth! If you plant in the early spring be sure to bring your coleus inside on those sporadic cold days.
Fourth: Coleus will produce tall spindly purple flowers. If you want the foliage to stay vibrant snip off the flowers so the plant will focus on producing beautiful leaves.
When fall arrives you can bring your coleus inside and place it in a room with bright light and it will continue to look good for months to come!
Having a North facing front porch definitely has its drawbacks but luckily I have a lot of options with a large variety of Coleus!