I am pleasantly surprised to see the coleus plants parading their best colours today. It must have been the manure that I generously applied before I left for Bintulu two weeks ago that did the magic. Coleus ( Solenostemon scutellariodes ) are known here as 'Ati- Ati ' derived from the Malay root word 'Hati- Hati' meaning hearts. I plant them for their gorgeously bright multi- coloured foliage. In our tropical evergreen environment where the green wash is an everyday occurrence, splashes of colours can be obtained by planting the coleus plants. Being herbaceous perennials ( i.e. they don't have woody stems above the ground) they are rather short-lived,maybe surviving for 1-3 years at the most. However they grow very fast and thus useful for 'instant' garden results. It is important to prune them head back after every flowering season for renewed growth and fresh new foliage thus creating showy masses of colours in the garden daily.
Collection of Coleus Plant Cultivars at my Kuching Garden presently: