Coleus for sun

(Question)

I was all prepared to put lots of coleus in my garden then discovered it’s a shade plant.  I get full afternoon sun.  Will it do well at all?  I ended up buying one plant to see how it will do, but if you think it will be ok in the sun, I’ll buy more.  Thanks for your help.

(Answer)

The Toronto Master Gardeners Guide on annuals for shade (see link below) certainly has coleus (Solenostemon scutellairoides) on their list.  The guide notes, that plants recommended for shaded areas perform best in a ‘part shade or light shade’.

In part shade conditions, plants receive direct sunlight for part of the day and shade for the rest.

In light shade, plants are receiving shade for most or all of the day, although some sunlight does filter down to ground level, such as under a birch tree.

Sounds like you may have part shade conditions which will expand your choices.

The number of coleus cultivars has exploded in recent years and you may be able to find a coleus that will thrive in all light conditions from full shade to full sun.  You’ll just need to be careful to select the right cultivar for your conditions.

I’ve copied a link below on coleus that can be grown in the sun.  There are cultivars from the Sunlover series, the Solar series, the Ducksfoot series as well as individual cultivars.

If you decide your conditions are part shade, you will also have even more to choose from.  Just be sure to check the plant label for the particular cultivar’s light requirements.  Maybe this year try a couple of plants and if it goes well, then next year you could try some more.

http://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/index.php/factsheet/toronto-master-gardeners-guide-to-annuals-for-shade/

http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/garden/coleus