Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Coleus, Flame Nettle, Painted Nettle
Solenostemon scutellarioides 'Merlot'

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

2 members have or want this plant for trade.

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:
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Suitable for growing in containers

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

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By Bug_Girl
Thumbnail #1 of Solenostemon scutellarioides by Bug_Girl

By Bug_Girl
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By daylily970
Thumbnail #3 of Solenostemon scutellarioides by daylily970

By MotherNature4
Thumbnail #4 of Solenostemon scutellarioides by MotherNature4

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By Marilynbeth
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There are a total of 10 photos.
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4 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Marilynbeth 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.

Neutral Joan 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

Positive MotherNature4 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.

Positive phoenix52n 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.

Positive Bug_Girl 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.


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

San Francisco, California
Hebron, Kentucky
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Beaumont, Texas
Monroe, Washington

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