Painted Nettle

1 entry found.
Painted Nettle
Common Name: Coleus, Painted Nettle
Botanical Name: Solenostemon scutellarioides (Coleus blumei) (so-len-o-STE-mon sku-te-lay-ri-OID-es)
Decorative Life: 2-4 plus weeks, months or even years depending on environment.
Post Harvest Care:
  • Keep plants pruned to encourage branched, non-leggy growth.
  • Leaf color intensity can change dramatically over time under low light interior conditions with green shades becoming more dominant. Therefore, supply adequate light to maintain interesting leaf color patterns.
Family Roots:
  • Member of the square-stem Lamiaceae or Labiatae (mint family).
  • Native to Asia, Africa, certain Pacific islands and Australia.
  • Some common relatives include lavender, sage, rosemary, thyme and salvia.
  • Species classed as a dicotyledon, leaves not parallel veined. More unique is that stems are square, regardless of the genus in this mint family.
  • Leaves triangular with scalloped margins up to 6 inches long.
  • Foliage often colored green, yellow, orange, red and/or purple.
  • Flowers are not fragrant.
Availability: Year-round as a potted plant.
Flower Color: Blue shades, red, cream but are grown more for their multi-colored foliage.
Storage Specifics: Chill sensitive, hold at 55F or above, but varies by cultivar. For example, both 'Red Rainbow' and 'Weimar Buckley' are chill sensitive while 'Harequin' was much less sensitive. Also, exposing plants to low light levels for 1-3 days before exposing them to chilling temperatures can actually reduce the severity of the chilling damage.
  • From the Greek "solen" (tube) and "stemon" (stamen), in reference to the stamens being united into the corolla (petal) tube. Family members are easily recognized by their square stems. Many family members are important for volatile oils used in the perfume industry. More commonly listed under Coleus blumei.
  • Stem cuttings easily root in moist sand or water.
  • Some favorite cultivars and their respective leaf colors include 'Wizard Scarlet' (red with green edges) and 'Wizard Rose' (fuchsia/green/cream). Will generally do well in light levels at least bright enough to read a newspaper in comfort but more light (up to filtered full sunlight) would be better.
  • Is sometimes classified as a flowering plant but more commonly grown mainly for its colorful foliage.
Recent Findings: Rajapakse et al. (1988) showed that under low light intensities generally encountered under interior conditions, the majority of the transpirational water loss was not through stomata but directly through the leaf surface. Hence, anti-transpirants that work by controlling stomata opening will not work with this species.