The Growing Place
Indian Summer Coleus foliage
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 20 inches
Spacing: 12 inches
Hardiness Zone: (annual)
Indian Summer Coleus' attractive serrated pointy leaves emerge light green in spring, turning brown in color with distinctive dark red edges and tinges of green the rest of the year. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.
Indian Summer Coleus is an herbaceous annual with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.
This is a relatively low maintenance plant. The flowers of this plant may actually detract from its ornamental features, so they can be removed as they appear. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Indian Summer Coleus is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- Border Edging
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
- Hanging Baskets
Planting & Growing
Indian Summer Coleus will grow to be about 20 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 16 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 12 inches apart. Although it's not a true annual, this fast-growing plant can be expected to behave as an annual in our climate if left outdoors over the winter, usually needing replacement the following year. As such, gardeners should take into consideration that it will perform differently than it would in its native habitat.
This plant does best in partial shade to shade. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth, but will die in standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone over the growing season to conserve soil moisture. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by cuttings; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.
Indian Summer Coleus is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor containers and hanging baskets. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.