Synonyms: Coleus blumei, Solenostemon scutellarioides and many others
This group is still best known as coleus due to its previous classified in the genus Coleus, but the species from which these plants were derived is now officially named Plectranthus scutellarioides after a period as Solenostemon scutellarioides.
These soft-wooded perennials/sub-shrubs are grown for their variously coloured foliage. They're very useful for providing quick, easy, and prolonged colour in formal and informal gardens, tropical and traditional.
Common strains are available in punnets from garden centres. Fancier types can be purchased as individual plants.
Coleus are among those old-fashioned plants which have been rediscovered and given a "makeover" in recent decades, with many named cultivars now available in the United States and some gradually making it to Australian marketplace. Many of these have improved characteristics compared to the common types of older gardens.
Some of the newer types have been bred to tolerate more sun than the shade/semishade conditions they more typically prefer. Nevertheless they're soft, fast-growing plants that will need decent amounts of water (much like a leafy vegetable).
If you don't have a suitable spot in the garden, try them in containers. They're great for filling out mixed containers with colourful annual flowers.
A punnet will only cost a few dollars. They're so fast-growing, large amounts of garden can be filled up quickly and at very little cost. They're also one of the easiest and fastest garden plants to propagate from cuttings.
Where to buy Coleus in Qld
Colourful coleus is available from most garden centres. Look in the seedling section for mixed coleus in punnets. Many also stock larger plants for instant colour.
Packets of mixed coleus seed are also available in some seed ranges, and is a cheap way to build up your stock of plants with a variety of colours.
Named cultivars are sometimes available as plants. More superior new selections are likely to make their way onto the Australian market in the years to come, so keep an eye out.
Any nursery that regularly offers named varieties of coleus for sale in Qld (including mail order and online suppliers) may like to consider advertising on this page (More information about advertising).