coleus is one of the largest in the market
reaching 32-inches tall and producing 8-inch
colorful burgundy leaves
Mariposa coleus stands so tall and picturesque next to
our blue-glazed Vietnamese-glazed containers. It was
everything I knew it could be, but now in retrospect it
seems like it was such a long journey.
see it was well over a decade ago that I first saw
Mariposa at the California Pack Trials. I remember it
vividly because it stood out like a giant compared to
all the others and yielded deep burgundy color that was
simply stunning. I thought surely it would soon be the
most sought after variety in the market.
some surely were in production it was other varieties
like Redhead and Big Red Judy that shot to the head of
the class. Indeed they have both been outstanding
which by the way means butterfly in Spanish, has
survived the industry’s marketing onslaught of new
varieties and has indeed made it to the East Coast. It
excelled in trials from Oregon to Georgia and has
demonstrated both its beauty and durability. It pushes
32 inches tall with huge 8-inch leaves that are
variegated with dark purple-burgundy in the center and
lighter burgundy as you move outward.
has had no problem with the hot sun and has been slow to
bloom, which is just perfect; after all, it is the
exotic foliage we want versus the blooms. We gave the
area good bed preparation with loose well-draining
organic matter. No doubt this paved the way for it to
survive torrential downpours and keep performing like a
you have tight, heavy clay, then work on improving your
soil condition too. Ideally, at least one-third of the
final soil mix should be some type of organic material.
accomplish this, spread 2 to 4 inches of organic matter
and about 2 pounds of fertilizer per 100 square feet. My
favorite fertilizer for coleus is a 12-6-6. Till this in
and you’ll be ready to plant. This pre-plant
fertilizer followed by light monthly applications will
keep the plants growing well until frost. Don’t forget
the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens we planted the
Mariposa not only in combination with the colorful
containers I mentioned above, but also Coral SunPatiens,
Wendy’s Wish salvia, Mystic Spires Blue salvia and
Blue Princess verbena. It is a very welcoming entrance
to our offices.
rich burgundy of Mariposa allows it to combine well with
a lot of other plants, including other coleus. Lime
green varieties make exceptional partners. One that I
would heartily recommend as a companion would be Wasabi.
Wasabi is equally tall though the leaves are smaller.
leaves are deeply serrated and I have never seen it
bloom. My next favorite lime green variety is Electric
Lime. It is a terrific lime green with bright yellow
veins throughout. It too is vigorous and is slow to
bloom. Both Wasabi and Electric Lime reward pinching by
developing a small bush-like habit.
summer is just getting started. Planting some Mariposa
coleus this weekend with your favorite flowers or in
some thrilling combinations with other coleus will give
you a bed that performs until cool weather arrives in
the fall. To me this is good value for your gardening