annual

Tell Tale Heart Coleus

Solenostemon scutellarioides 'Tell Tale Heart'

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Tell Tale Heart Coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides 'Tell Tale Heart') at Culver's Garden Center

Tell Tale Heart Coleus foliage

Tell Tale Heart Coleus foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  16 inches

Spacing:  18 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  (annual)

Description:

This variety produces velvety leaves that are bright lime green with dark burgundy centers and veins; leaf color is dependent on amount of sunshine; great for hanging baskets, containers and mixed borders

Ornamental Features

Tell Tale Heart Coleus' attractive serrated heart-shaped leaves remain burgundy in color with distinctive lime green edges throughout the year. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Tell Tale Heart Coleus is an herbaceous annual with a trailing habit of growth, eventually spilling over the edges of hanging baskets and containers. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant. The flowers of this plant may actually detract from its ornamental features, so they can be removed as they appear. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Tell Tale Heart Coleus is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting
  • Hanging Baskets

Planting & Growing

Tell Tale Heart Coleus will grow to be about 16 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 18 inches apart. Although it's not a true annual, this fast-growing plant can be expected to behave as an annual in our climate if left outdoors over the winter, usually needing replacement the following year. As such, gardeners should take into consideration that it will perform differently than it would in its native habitat.

This plant performs well in both full sun and full shade. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth, but will die in standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone over the growing season to conserve soil moisture. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by cuttings; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Tell Tale Heart Coleus is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor containers and hanging baskets. Because of its trailing habit of growth, it is ideally suited for use as a 'spiller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the edges where it can spill gracefully over the pot. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Edging  Garden  Container  Basket 
Applications
Foliage Color 
Ornamental Features