The most recent issue of Northern Gardener includes a column about some of the great, recently developed coleus that you will find in garden centers. Coleus are ideal annuals for those who like foliage more than bloom. They come in a huge range of colors and sizes and the patterns they offer look especially striking in containers.
Our Plant to Pick columnist, Debbie Lonnee, recommended seven of her favorite, new coleus. But that was not enough for one of our readers, who said that all of the recommendations get very large and might not be appropriate for every setting. He offered a few suggestions of his own, and we are happy to pass them on to all the coleus fans among our readers:
‘Inky Fingers’ not new, but incredibly vigorous and very colorful in bright light (colors you don’t see in greenhouse or partial shade). Its great virtue is that the leaves are small and pruning can be done anytime as the smaller leaves let the new growth almost immediately catch up with the older leaves. PLANT THIS VARIETY! Tonkadale had it last year.
‘Golden Dreams’ and ‘Burgundy Dreams’ a few years old and yes bigger but yowsa! These are strikingly veined and patterned, and unlike ‘Fishnet Stockings’ the patterns are stable. Big leaves and plants, but at least somewhat bunchy.
‘Oxford Street’ new to me last year, bright and shiny as a new penny; red with a neat and ample gold border. This one stays small and very bunchy, great for smaller pots.
‘Hipsters Zooey’ new to me last year, very small in stature and leaf size, with an eye-catching, veined pattern. A ‘duckfotted” variety like ‘Inky Fingers’.
Thanks to our reader, Tom H., for the suggestions. We love hearing from readers, especially when the topic is new plants to try.
What are some of your favorite coleus varieties?