Is the Dark Colored Coleus toxic?
Yes, Dark Colored Coleus leaves contain a compound called coleonol which is a diterpene that can cause an upset stomach and can cause skin irritation in some people. Most ornamental Coleus are mildly toxic but there are select varieties grown specifically for human consumption, brightly colored and Dark Colored Coleus are not these varieties. When eaten by pets Coleus can cause vomiting and diarrhea. It is best to keep pets that are prone to eating houseplants away from Coleus.
What’s the ideal temperature?
Coleus prefer tropical temperature ranges. Because of their annual growth habit Coleus should be planted after the expectation of the last frost of the year. The warmer the weather outside the better the growth will be and the less likely that the plant will suffer burns from cold nighttime temperatures. When grown indoors most indoor temperature ranges should be fine for Coleus, with warmer temperatures being preferred. Even if relatively high temperatures are maintained Coleus often languish in fall as the days shorten and naturally die at the end of the season.
What’s the ideal humidity level?
Coleus enjoy high humidity and benefit from air that is more humid than typical indoor levels. High humidity levels can be maintained by having other indoor plants nearby and keeping the soil moist at all times to aid in keeping the local humidity high. Misting may be beneficial as well and can help prevent the leaf edges from curling. When grown outdoors it is recommended to plant them in areas landscaped with other foliage that can help sustain a high local humidity.
Does it purify the air?
Coleus are an effective plant to improve indoor air quality. Growing Coleus indoors comes with additional challenges but the richly colored foliage is rewarding both visually and can make a positive difference to the air of an indoor space. It is recommended that you keep leaves clean and prevent dust from collecting on their surfaces. A damp cloth can be used to clean dusty leaves which will help maximize the health of the plant.