Coleus, Flame Nettle, Painted Nettle 'Merlot'

Solenostemon scutellarioides

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Solenostemon (sol-en-oh-STEM-on) (Info)
Species: scutellarioides (skew-tell-ar-ee-OH-ih-deez) (Info)
Cultivar: Merlot
Synonym:Coleus blumei
Synonym:Coleus scutellarioides
» View all varieties of Coleus



Tropicals and Tender Perennials


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade



Bloom Color:

Light Blue


Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Foliage Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers

This plant is suitable for growing indoors


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

San Francisco, California

Hebron, Kentucky

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Beaumont, Texas

Monroe, Washington

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 5, 2007, Marilynbeth from Hebron, KY wrote:

I love this one. Blends well with other colors of Coleus as I have shown in my photo.


On Feb 8, 2007, Joan from Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:

Merlot is a heat and sun loving variety that has won the following awards:
2006 - Best of Breed - North Carolina State
2006 - Leader of the Pack Early Season - North Carolina State
2005 - Top Pick - Dallas Arboretum


On Apr 22, 2006, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Another "black" cultivar that has tiny chartreuse makings on the scalloped margins. The stems are also contrasting in chartreuse. Very striking. A rather tall grower.


On Mar 14, 2004, phoenix52n wrote:

I bought my first Coleus plant because if its color. It has been with me now for 3-1/2 years. I have about 5 others that I grew from cuttings from the original plant.

I take a cutting (including a joint), put it in some water on the south window sill (filtered, but direct sunlight), and within a few days it starts to root. It seems perfectly happy living in the water, but I put it in some soil when the roots get going so I can move a new cutting to the window.

They make excellent gifts and are most gorgeous. Once grown, I move them to a less bright location. They tend to lose their deep/rich coloring when exposed to too much light.


On Jun 14, 2003, Bug_Girl from San Francisco, CA wrote:

I find Coleus to be difficult to grow. Merlot was barely hanging on in the begginning, but I did see some improvement. It does have some holes in the leaves from small insects. They need mostly shade. The tag on Merlot said, it could take more sun then others varieties of coleus, but this is untrue. It really can not take sun after 11 am. If you seem them appear wilted, that could be from too much sun and heat. Apply water at once and later transplant to a shader location.