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17 Spectacular Coleus Varieties for Sun + Tips to Grow

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Did you know there are many stunning coleus varieties for sun? These newer coleus varieties thrive in both sun OR shade! Some varieties will get HUGE, and others remain smaller. There are even beautiful trailing varieties! Keep reading to learn more about about these sun loving varieties, along with my coleus tips, pictures of sun-loving coleus, and experiences from my own garden.

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Me and my ColorBlaze Golden Dreams coleus. A wonderful variety for sun or shade.

After growing ColorBlaze Golden Dreams, I’m totally hooked on the ColorBlaze coleus line from Proven Winners and I am growing more and more of them. Here is why I love this line of coleus, and I know you will too:

  • The ColorBlaze line was trialed at the University of Florida in both all day sun AND also shade before being introduced, so they will grow literally anywhere you put them in your garden.
  • They are VERY slow to go to flower. I didn’t get my first flower spike until late summer, so that greatly minimized any deadheading and maintenance, so that the plant can focus its energy on foliage growth. Read my article about deadheading coleus for more information.
  • All the varieties are freely branching, so you never have to pinch your plants back to encourage bushiness.

For tips on growing gorgeous and gigantic coleus in pots, check out the very end of this post for information on fertilizing, watering, etc.

COLEUS VARIETIES FOR SUN

1. ColorBlaze Golden Dreams

Height Range: 2 feet to 3 feet & 4 inches

Spread: 18 inches to 3 feet

coleus-colorblaze-golden-dreams-sun
I grew this Colorblaze Golden Dreams in full sun in my Ohio garden. I planted three small pots that were just a few inches tall in the beginning of the summer and it turned into this beast in just one season.

Golden Dreams is the first of the coleus varieties for sun that I’ve grown, and I’ve been obsessed ever since. I’ve grown these in full sun as well as partial shade.

One thing to remember about the color of coleus leaves is that it will vary depending on the light that you have them in.

Take a look at the comparison below. This is the same variety (Golden Dreams).

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Left: Golden Dreams grown in the shade. Right: Golden Dreams grown in the sun.

It looks like a different plant! There is much more chartreuse for those grown in the shade. In full sun, you’ll have a lot more red.

Another aspect of the ColorBlaze coleus line that I LOVE is that the plants will freely branch out on their own. In the photos above of Golden Dreams, I never trimmed any of those plants and I started off with small plants at the beginning of the season.

2. ColorBlaze Rediculous

Height Range: 2 feet to 3 feet & 4 inches

Spread: 18 inches to 3 feet

coleus-colorblaze-sun-rediculous
ColorBlaze Rediculous that I planted with Proven Accents Plum Dandy. This should get nice and full by the end of summer.

The stunning red foliage on this plant is a delight! In the photo above, I placed my pot in front of a purplish Japanese maple to compliment the color. This variety should get as large as the Golden Dreams variety.

By mid-summer, look how beautiful and full the plant got.

ColorBlaze Rediculous Coleus

3. ColorBlaze Chocolate Drop

Height Range: 14-20 inches

Spread: 18 inches to 2 feet

coleus-colorblaze-sun-chocolate-drop
ColorBlaze Chocolate Drop in the middle. I planted two sweet potato vines on either side. Left: Proven Accents Sweet Caroline Red Hawk. Right: Proven Accents Sweet Caroline Medusa Green.

This is a trailing variety with small chartreuse leaves that have a luscious chocolatey center. This is the first of two dwarf coleus varieties. It will take a little time before they start to trail, so you can use this as a “spiller” in your pots.

By mid-summer, look how big and gorgeous the plant is:

ColorBlaze Chocolate Drop Coleus

4. ColorBlaze Strawberry Drop

Height Range: 14-20 inches

Spread: 18 inches to 2 feet

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ColorBlaze Strawberry drop that I planted in this cobalt blue pot long with Cordyline ‘Red Star’ and Proven Accents Purple Queen (Tradescantia)

And just a couple months later, look how beautiful the plant got.

coleus-colorblaze-strawberry-drop

This is the second of the dwarf varieties, and is another trailing variety. Who can resist the dainty green and red leaves?

5. ColorBlaze Torchlight

Height Range: 2 feet to 3 feet & 4 inches

Spread: 18 inches to 3 feet

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ColorBlaze Torchlight Coleus

By mid-summer, the plant really grew dramatically.

ColorBlaze Torchlight Coleus

The tricolor foliage (fuschia, maroon and green) is just stunning! I can’t wait until this pot grows and gets huge.

6. ColorBlaze Wicked Witch

Height Range: 2 feet to 3 feet & 4 inches

Spread: 18 inches to 3 feet

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ColorBlaze Wicked Witch Coleus

By mid-summer, look how big and lush the plant got.

ColorBlaze Wicked Witch Coleus

This is a beautiful larger variety with purplish centers and yellowish edges on the foliage. The ruffled edges on the foliages adds a nice touch.

7. ColorBlaze El Brighto

Height Range: 2 feet to 3 feet & 4 inches

Spread: 18 inches to 3 feet

The foliage on this variety is red, yellow and orange and the leaves are a bit narrower than the varieties I previously showed.

8. ColorBlaze Dipt in Wine

Height Range: 2 feet to 3 feet & 4 inches

Spread: 20 inches to 2 feet

The wine and chartreuse colored foliage on this variety is stunning.

9. ColorBlaze Royale Apple Brandy

Height Range: 20 inches to 2 feet 6 inches

Spread: 12-16 inches

Apple Brandy is the variety right in the middle of the photo above with narrower burgundy and chartreuse foliage.

10. ColorBlaze Royale Alligator Tears

Height Range: 12-20 inches

Spread: 10-18 inches

The narrow, bicolor foliage is green and yellow in this variety.

11. ColorBlaze Newly Noir

Height Range: 2 feet to 3 feet & 4 inches

Spread: 18 inches to 3 feet

If you’re a fan on dark colored foliage, you will love Newly Noir. The deep purple to almost black foliage is so unique!

12. ColorBlaze Wicked Hot

Height Range: 2 feet to 3 feet & 4 inches

Spread: 18 inches to 3 feet

What is there not to love in this variety that has orange foliage and ruffled edges?

13. ColorBlaze Sedona Sunset

Height Range: 2 feet to 3 feet & 4 inches

Spread: 18 inches to 3 feet

A coppery orange color makes this coleus quite a standout!

14. ColorBlaze Royale Cherry Brandy

Height Range: 20 inches to 2 feet & 6 inches

Spread: 16 inches to 2 feet

Photo Credit: Proven Winners

This variety has lovely red foliage.

15. ColorBlaze Lime Time

Height Range: 2 feet to 3 feet & 4 inches

Spread: 18 inches to 2 feet & 6 inches

The shocking chartreuse foliage of this variety make it standout in any garden.

16. ColorBlaze Royale Pineapple Brandy

Height Range: 20 inches to 2 feet & 6 inches

Spread: 12-16 inches

This beautiful variety has chartreuse leaves with burgundy accents.

17. ColorBlaze Velveteen

Height Range: 2 feet to 3 feet & 4 inches

Spread: 12-16 inches

This stunning variety has fuchsia and burgundy foliage and is truly eye-catching! Velveteen is shown above in the pot on the left, on the right side of the pot.

To check for availability and pricing on the ColorBlaze coleus line, check out the Proven Winners ColorBlaze page.

GROWING COLEUS IN POTS OUTDOORS

Although you can grow coleus indoors, they truly shine outdoors and express their greatest potential, especially in pots where you can control the soil mix and moisture requirements better.

Here are some tips that I used to grow my Coleus plants in pots (though you can certainly plant them in the ground as well).

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My ColorBlaze ‘Golden Dreams’ coleus and me in our back garden.

LIGHT

All of the varieties on this page do well in full sun to full shade. If you live in a particularly hot and sunny location, your plants may benefit from a little shade.

Otherwise, feel free to place them in full sun to full shade. Be aware though that the coloration in the leaves won’t be as intense in the shade.

WATER

Keep your plants fairly moist and water abundantly, particularly in hot weather. As soon as the surface of the soil feels dry, I water.

You will know if your soil has dried out too much because the entire plant will quickly wilt. If you see this and your soil is bone dry, immediately give your plant a good, thorough watering and it will recover.

Please note that if you are growing your plants in sunny locations, they will dry out more quickly so you’ll have to be more attentive to them.

SOIL

For my outdoor pots, I simply use with Miracle Gro potting mix or ProMix. Lately I’ve been buying bales of ProMix since I do so many outdoor pots. Either one will work very well for your coleus.

FERTILIZER

At the time of planting, I make an application of Osmocote Plus. After a month, I make another application of Osmocote Plus.

Then after that, I like to water with Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer weekly. This will result in giant, gorgeous plants. And don’t worry, you will not get any fertilizer burn with this method.

TEMPERATURE

Coleus prefer warm to hot temperatures. I normally wait until temperatures are bare minimum 50°F before planting mine for the season. You will not be gaining much extra time if you plant them while temperatures are still cold.

Once temperatures heat up, they will quickly make up for lost time.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on coleus varieties for sun. They are no longer shade plants anymore, and these newer varieties can add a lot of spice to your garden. With brilliant color, fast growth and ease of care, what more can you ask for in a garden plant?

Lyn

Tuesday 28th of June 2022

These plants grow wild in my neck of the woods (Caribbean). This article has galvanised me to check out our other varieties, some of which are not listed in your article. I have always admired coleus, but never ventured to grow them.

Very interesting article: I will now pay attention to varieties, and start collecting!!! (For my own coleus garden.)

Thanks a lot for "sowing the seeds" of my interest (and I don't need to buy!!). I already have six small plants (I have yet to ID the varieties) - and my intention is to grow more, and see how many varieties I can grow.

Liz

Sunday 19th of June 2022

I just planted 3 together in one pot... I think I'm going to need a bigger pot.

Raffaele

Monday 20th of June 2022

It should be ok if the pot is big enough! You can always transplant to a larger pot later if your current one is too small.

Pat

Saturday 18th of June 2022

Gorgeous!! I planted coleus for the first time this year. Didn't know there were so many varieties.

Raffaele

Sunday 19th of June 2022

Oh you will love them! :-)