Coleus is one of the most colorful plants in the garden. It has vibrant, multihued leaves in red, green, pink, white, purple, yellow, chartreuse, buff, salmon and purple.. Piddling little flowers spurt up in the latter stages of growth -- in Florida this is April and May -- and they should be dispatched quickly. This allows the plant to continue growing. Leaves from the large-leafed strains can be 3- to 6-inches long.
For the best leaf color and the strongest plants, set your coleus in partial shade. I plant the rose coleus pictured below in our front courtyard during the fall, winter and spring. Last winter, the two plants were so huge and beautiful that the neighbors thought they were pointsettias. Unfortunately, our December freeze ended that reign.
Coleus does well in borders or containers and grows comfortably in the house. It propagates easily from stem cuttings or you can throw seed out. The plant has a bushy habit and, if not crowded, forms lovely clumps of fascinating leaves.