Ever thought of growing coleus, the colorful, butterfly-attracting plant, in a unique form? Let's embark on a journey to grow coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides) as an elegant standard tree, a striking departure from its common presentation.

Transforming Coleus into a Tree

Selecting the right coleus variety is crucial for your topiary. With a plethora of patterns and colors, coleus scutellarioides offers endless possibilities. Whether you start from seeds or cuttings, aim for a variety that can reach three to five feet, perfect for a tree form.

Choosing Your Coleus

Begin with a small plant in a 4-inch pot, ensuring it has a straight central stem. As it grows, upgrade to a larger pot to accommodate the expanding roots. Stake your coleus when it hits 10-12 inches in height to support its climb upwards, using a bamboo stake and twist ties for gentle guidance.

Potting and Staking for Growth

Green Curved Line

Focus on the central leader, guiding its growth with stakes and ensuring it grows straight. Pinch off side branches early to encourage a tall stem, and once your coleus reaches the desired height, top the central leader to promote a lush, leafy head.

Shaping Your Coleus Tree

Achieve a stunning standard by maintaining two-thirds of the stem bare and one-third as a full, leafy head. Regularly prune side branches, keeping them to three nodes long to foster dense, secondary growth. Remember, early efforts may look sparse, but with diligent pruning, your coleus tree will flourish into an exquisite focal point.

Pruning for Perfection

How To Grow Coleus As A Tree: Step By Step