Information About Under The Sea Coleus Collection

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By Nikki Phipps
(Author of The Bulb-o-licious Garden)

Well, if you’ve read many of my articles or books, then you know I am someone with a curious interest in unusual things – especially in the garden. That being said, when I came across Under the Sea coleus plants, I was quite taken aback. This was indeed something I wanted not only to grow but to share its unusual beauty with others.

Growing Coleus Under the Sea Plants

Coleus is just one of a number of plants in the garden I love to grow. Not only are they easy to care for, but they are simply breathtaking foliage plants with so many color variations and forms that you just can’t go wrong in whichever you choose. And then there’s the Under the Sea™ coleus plants.

Under the Sea coleus plants (Solestomeon scutellarioides) hail from Canada, where they were bred by students at Saskatchewan University. So what sets this collection apart from all other coleus varieties? It’s the “wild shapes and colors” found in the various cultivars that make them so alluring. Well, that and the fact that they are not your typical shade lover as most coleus are – these can actually tolerate sun too!

Typically growing similar to other types of coleus, you can plant Under the Sea coleus seeds in containers and other areas of the garden, shade or sun. Keep the soil somewhat moist and ensure that it’s well draining. You can also pinch the tips to create a bushy look, though most of the Under the Sea types are more compact naturally anyway (topping out at around 15 to 18 inches high and a foot or so wide), so this may not even be an issue.

Under the Sea Coleus Collection

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Here are some of the most popular plants in this series (I am sure there are lots more):

  • Lime Shrimp – this one is noted for its deeply lobed lime-green leaves, which are also edged in dark purple.
  • Gold Anemone – the leaves of this one have numerous golden to chartreuse leaflets with streaks of yellow to gold and brown edges.
  • Bone Fish – slightly narrower than others in the series, its pink to light red leaflets are long and slender with finely-cut lobes edged in bright gold to pale green.
  • Hermit Crab – this type is edged in lime green and its leaves are bright pink, and shaped like a crustacean or possible crab.
  • Langostino – this is considered the largest in the collection with orange-red leaves and secondary leaflets which are edged in bright gold.
  • Red Coral – probably the smallest, or most compact, of the series, this plant has red leaves that are edged in green and black.
  • Molten Coral – another compact variety, this one has foliage of reddish-orange with bright green tips.
  • Sea Scallop – this type has attractive chartreuse leaves that are more rounded in nature with purple edging and overtones.

So if you’re anything like me with a love for all things outside the norm, consider growing one (if not all) of the coleus Under the Sea plants in your garden. They are readily available through many nurseries, garden centers or mail-order seed suppliers.

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