It is a flowering plant belonging to the mint family, Lamiaceae. It is native to Southeast Asia and Australia. It comes in various different leaf shapes and colour combinations so you'll definitely find one compatible with your preferences and garden requirement.
The plant is easy to care for and can be grown indoors in containers or baskets. With proper watering and pruning the plant will thrive wherever you plant it.
Although quite a few varieties of the plant can bear full sun, most of them prefer partial shade. Foliage color is often brighter when grown in shade.
Different varieties of coleus have a wide variety of foliage color and leaf shapes. The plant flowers in summer too but it's better to prune them to keep it bushy after all the coleus plant is grown for its foliage and not flowers. Flowering process eats up plants' energy.
Water when the soil starts to feel dry. Keep the soil moderately moist and never let it dry out completely. The plant is not very drought tolerant. Also be cautious never to over-water as that may lead to slouchy soil and make the plant prone to fungal diseases.
Loose, rich soil which drains well is preferable. Add a lot of organic matter like compost, humus or manure to make the soil rich. A layer of mulch will help retain soil moisture and maintain even temperatures. You can also use Farmyard Manure while planting coleus.
The average height of the plant is about 24-30 inches.
Feed the plant with a liquid fertilizer every other week as the season progresses for better blooms. Use a balanced N-P-K (10:10:10) fertilizer and compost for healthy roots, colourful blooms and faster growth. You can use organic fertilizers or neem oil to provide nutrients to the plant as well as deter insects. Potted plants require more feeding than those grown in the garden.
Common pests which affect Coleus are mealybugs, whiteflies, aphids, spider mites, slugs and snails etc. Get rid of them as soon as you see them. You can use rubbing alcohol for the same. Follow up with organic insecticides if the problem persists. Common diseases are root rot and mildew. Root rot usually occurs when the plant sits in wet conditions for too long so make sure that doesn't happen. Use appropriate fungicides.
They are vibrantly coloured and will brighten the dark, drab corners of your garden. You can prune them or shape them into any design. They are a perfect addition of colour to indoors too. Sometimes they are used for weight control.