I love coleus. It is almost the perfect plant.
Now, it is thriving in a shady spot on my porch that I would consider full shade. I've taken a number of cuttings, for other containers I have, and it roots readily in water - takes only about a week. I gave cuttings to my son for his tiny garden. I'll be taking cuttings son to root and put back into the hanging basket I bought it in, and back to my desk at work it will go.
So, why should you grow coleus?
1. It comes in tens of color combinations - see what this garden blogger has done with hers. (Thank you, Cosmos and Cleome, for the inspiration to write this post.
2. Coleus is deer resistant and groundhogs (the bane of our home garden) don't seem to bother them, either.
3. Most varieties thrive in part shade to shade. Some newer coleus tolerate full sun.
4. They do well in containers. Some, like the one I have, are trailing plants.
5. Up to now anyway, I've never had problems with insect pests on coleus.
The only downside I know of -they aren't hardy in areas with frost. But, you can grow them indoors in winter from cuttings.
If flowers appear, snip them off immediately. The flowers are insignificant, and will drain energy from the plant.
Can you imagine using coleus in a garden mosaic? If you look at this gallery of photos, you can easily imagine coleus art. Maybe one day I will try that.
Do you have a favorite "go to" plant that is ideal for you?