Coleus, Flame Nettle, Painted Nettle 'Kiwi Fern'

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: Kiwi Fern
Synonym:Coleus blumei
Synonym:Coleus scutellarioides
» View all varieties of Coleus



Tropicals and Tender Perennials


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)


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


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Late Fall/Early Winter



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

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:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual


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

Irvington, Alabama

Calistoga, California

Pittsburg, California

San Jose, California

San Leandro, California

Bartow, Florida

Deltona, Florida

Oldsmar, Florida

Olathe, Kansas

Latonia, Kentucky

Slidell, Louisiana

Dearborn Heights, Michigan

Southold, New York

Gold Hill, Oregon

Pottstown, Pennsylvania

Vieques, Puerto Rico

Fort Worth, Texas

Spicewood, Texas

Sugar Land, Texas

Springdale, Utah

Newport News, Virginia

Fircrest, Washington

Kalama, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 18, 2014, greenthumb8 from Leesburg, FL wrote:

I bought this plant at a local nursery and mixed it up with orange coleus and some salmon geraniums with variegated leaves (in a large pot). What a show stopper. This is a must have plant. I have grown it in Pottstown, PA, but am now living in Leesburg, Florida where I hope it will do just as well. Pinch off the flowers and it will stay bushy and beautiful.


On Mar 14, 2014, JenDion from Litchfield, NH (Zone 5b) wrote:

Slower growing than other varieties.


On Oct 8, 2007, plantmover from Hampton Roads, VA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Terrific grower. Receives about 5 hrs of morning sun and seems to love it. I can't get over how large these coleus grew, over 3' tall and almost as wide! And they weren't bothered a bit by the end-of-summer transplant.


On Sep 12, 2005, Scorpioangel from Gold Hill, OR (Zone 7a) wrote:

I found this plant at a local nursery and loved the shape of the leaves. Once home and potted into an outdoor pot, placed under large oak where it had bright dappled shade all day. Seemed to love it there. This coleus was not attacked by leaf-eaters the way 'Alabama Red' and 'Dark Star' was. Will overwinter this one in the house for next year.


On Jul 11, 2005, darylmitchell from Saskatoon, SK (Zone 3a) wrote:

My Kiwi Fern coleus is growing in a container on the north face of my house, where it is shaded all day but gets some reflected sunlight. It has been a slow grower but has maintained its attractive colouration. It bicoloured foliage is an interesting and attractive foil to brightly coloured flowers, such as mimulus or upright fuschia.


On Jun 15, 2004, Wingnut from Spicewood, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Believe it or not, I found one at HomeDepot. It's doing great in full shade here in Central Texas ~ grown half again as big in two months.


On May 22, 2004, Happenstance from Northern California, CA wrote:

This is one of the Stained Glassworks™ series from the Flower Fields Alliance.