Dark Colored Coleus Plant Care Guide

Difficulty Level: Low Key
Low Key

What is the Dark Colored Coleus?

Dark Colored Coleus (Coleus scutellarioides) are a set of annual Coleus varieties that have deep purple and red colored leaves and stems that often look black in coloration due to the saturation of color. Coleus are members of the Mint family much like many household herbs such as Perilla, Sage, Mint, and Basil, which Coleus has a visual resemblance to. Native to Southeast Asia and Australia Coleus is widely cultivated and has countless cultivars and hybrids that each display different brightly colored leaf patterns. Light colored Coleus have primarily green leaves which are highlighted with bright red, magenta and purple patterns. Dark Colored Coleus are distinct in that the leaves are almost entirely a deep purple or maroon in color.

Dark Colored Coleus are easy to cultivate and make an excellent plant for both indoor and outdoor growing. Coleus are most commonly grown as an annual landscaping plant but they are also well adapted to being grown indoors.

Light CareLight Care

Dark Colored Coleus thrive best with bright indirect light. With Dark Colored Coleus this is especially important as sunlight aids in them developing their deep rich coloration. When exposed to full sun conditions the dark coloration of the leaves can fade. This is a good indicator that the lighting is too strong. Dark Colored Coleus also responds well to locations with ample light throughout the day and may languish in locations with light for only a few hours of the day as a short photoperiod simulates winter conditions.

Water CareWater Care

Dark Colored Coleus require rich moist soils and dislike having their roots dry. Water with small amounts of water frequently and avoid making the soil soggy as it waterlogged soil can also rot the roots. Watering twice a week throughout the growing season is ideal and Coleus generally do not need to be deeply soaked as long as the soil remains moist.

Food GuideFood Guide

Dark Colored Coleus greatly benefits from being fertilized. When grown outdoors Dark colored Coleus can be fertilized weekly. Avoid getting fertilizer on the leaves, as it can leave white powdery marks when it dries. Fertilize potted plants more gently as a buildup of fertilizer can cause damage to the roots.

Staff Holy Grail Tip:

Coleus come in a broad spectrum of bright colors and Dark Colored Coleus are distinct among them due to their dramatic inky maroon and purple leaves. Because of the intensity of their color, Dark Colored Coleus should stand out as ornamentals in the landscape especially when planted in gardens where most of the plants have green leaves. The dramatic deep purple of a Dark Colored Coleus is not limited to the garden, Dark Colored Coleus also make a great indoor plant that stands out.