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Coleus, Rainbow Mixed Colors

Short Description

Outstanding mixture;the best and brightest colors of medium-sized leaf varieties.

Full Description

Coleus is grown for its brilliant, glowing foliage rather than flowers. This is an outstanding mixture formulated to provide the best and brightest colors of medium-sized leaf varieties. Spectacular for beds and borders.
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Item#: 33217A
Order: 1 Pkt. (360 seeds)
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Product properties

Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.

Full Shade, Part Sun

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

15-20 inches

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

10-14 inches

Ornamental Use Ways in which the product may be used in the garden for ornamental effect.

Borders, Container

Life Cycle This refers to whether a plant is an annual, biennial or perennial. Annuals complete their life cycles in one year; biennials produce foliage the first year and bloom and go to seed the second year; perennials can live for more than two years.


Sow Method This refers to whether the seed should be sown early indoors and the seedlings transplanted outside later, or if the seed should be sown directly in the garden at the recommended planting time.

Indoor Sow

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Annuals Tour #1
Take a garden tour and see favorite annual plants in a garden setting. In this video- Zinnia, Angelonia, Marigold, Petunia, Celosia and Vinca.
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Coleus may be grown from seed sown early indoors and transplanted outside after frost, or from potted plants.

Sowing Seed Indoors:

  • Sow indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost using a seed starting kit.
  • Sow sees shallowly lightly covered with fine seed starting soil.
  • Keep the soil moist at 65-85 degrees. Coleus can benefit with bottom heat.
  • Seedlings emerge in 12-21 days
  • As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
  • Thin to one seedling per cell when they have two sets of leaves.
  • Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • Transplant hardened-off seedlings to the garden after the frost.
  • Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning.  This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.

Planting Potted Plants in the Garden:

  • Select a location in full to part shade with good rich well-drained organic soil protected from wind.
  • Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
  • Most plants respond well to soils amended with organic matter. Compost is a wonderful form of organic matter with a good balance of nutrients and an ideal pH level, it can be added to your planting area at any time. If compost is not available, top dress the soil after planting with 1-2 inches of organic mulch, which will begin to breakdown into compost. After the growing season, a soil test will indicate what soil amendments are needed for the following season.
  • Plants should stand 12 inches apart in the garden.
  • Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball.
  • Set level with the surrounding soil. Fill with soil to the top of the root ball. Press soil down firmly with your hand leaving a slight depression around the plant to hold water.
  • Water thoroughly, so that a puddle forms in the saucer you have created. This settles the plants in, drives out air pockets and results in good root-to-soil contact.
  • Use the plant tag as a location marker.
  • Water thoroughly, so that a puddle forms in the saucer you have created. This settles the plants in, drives out air pockets and results in good root-to-soil contact.
  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating. 
  • Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For annuals an organic mulch of shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time. Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.
  • Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
  • Until plants become established, some protection from extreme winds and direct, hot sunlight may be necessary. Good air movement is also important.
  • After new growth appears, a light fertilizer may be applied. Keep granular fertilizers away from the plant crown and foliage to avoid burn injury. Use low rates of a slow release fertilizer such as Flower-tone, as higher rates may encourage root rots.
  • Pinch flower stalks off before they bloom as they can detract from the foliage display.
  • Pinch stem tips just above a leaf pair to keep plants maintain their compact, bushy habit.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
  • Remove plants after they are killed by frost in fall to avoid disease issues the following year.
  • Coleus also makes a fine house plant. Bring smaller plants indoors before the last frost.
  • Coleus plants are extremely easy to grow from cuttings. Choose a vigorous-looking stem tip, and cut off a 3-4 inch piece just below a leaf joint. Pull off the bottom set of leaves and place the cuttings in a glass of water, with its leaves resting on the edge of the glass and the stem in the water. Roots should appear in a week or two. Allow several roots to grow before transplanting. Check water daily to make sure stem is underwater, and replace it with fresh water every couple of days.
  • Coleus is great for window boxes, pots, hanging baskets, and patio containers in partially shaded areas. Established plants are ideal for children to grow.
Full Shade, Part Sun
15-20 inches
10-14 inches
Ornamental Use
Borders, Container
Life Cycle
Sow Method
Indoor Sow
Bloom Duration
Coleus, Rainbow Mixed Colors is rated 5.0 out of 5 by 3.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great results Lots of seed in packet. Many sprouted and have grown well. Much variety among the plants. I am very satisfied. Will add lots of fall color to my greenhouse.
Date published: 2016-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow! Seeds sprouted in 4 days! Put seeds for this mix into a Jiffy gray with peat disks and almost every one sprouted, less than 4 days. It's now about 6 weeks later and they're going gangbusters, so I expect to have plenty of healthy, gorgeous plants.
Date published: 2010-03-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from best year ever When they say 15 to 20 inches they mean that if you put it in the ground and forget it with care I got it to 3 1/2 ft!!!!!!!!!!!! In the shade. It was my best year ever. Most of them became 2 ft to 3ft but the one I used as a centerpiece in my impatient bed got so big it light starved a few impatiens plants. Now I must add I prize my impatiens bed and stuff a good 2 inches of grass clippings in-between the plants every 2 to 3 weeks witch included the coleus plant. So the impatiens get to be 3 ft. My best year ever.
Date published: 2007-12-03
  • 2016-10-21T06:30CST
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