Monday, March 15, 2010


Coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) is one plant species that is very common in tropical gardens because of its very colorful foliage. Its leaves come in colors of either green, pink, yellow, dark purple, maroon, or red, to name a few. The variegated kind typically offers sharp contrast between the colors. Aside from the variety of colors it offers, it's very easy to propagate and also a fast grower.

A bed of coleus in the garden nursery.

Back home, Coleus is locally referred to as "Mayana". I see this a lot in small backyard gardens growing in pots or on the ground, indoors or outdoors. Even though it's a dime a dozen, somehow I failed to notice its aesthetic value. But I was younger then and gardening was never really a part of my future plans.

The same bed of Coleus just a couple of months ago.

Later in my life, I moved to another country where Coleus is treated as an annual plant because it cannot survive in a cold environment. During the summer season, it's usually used in plant arrangements, mostly in botanical gardens. That is when I rediscovered its innate beauty. It's like I just saw this plant for the first time. And when I envisioned 'the' future garden I just knew its time to get reacquainted with Coleus.

Now we are aggressively propagating Coleus in the farm. It will be used as a ground cover in some areas of the garden paths alone or in combination with other plant species, as an accent or a companion plant.