Are Blue Coleus Plants Real?

When you catch wind of a rare and unique-looking plant, it’s always tempting to add one to your collection. The Blue Coleus is one of these mythical plants, made more exciting with what seems to be photographic evidence.

But despite what Google images might lead you to believe, Blue Coleus plants unfortunately are not a real thing. The pictures you’ll find online have been edited to appear blue. So, if you come across Blue Coleus plants or seeds for sale, don’t be tempted to buy them!

There are plenty of other Coleus varieties that have beautiful and vibrant colors. In fact, Coleus plants contain just about all the colors of the spectrum except a true blue.

What is a Coleus plant?

Coleus are flowering plants that are part of the mint family. Coleus plants are tender perennials, but because they won’t survive cold weather they are usually grown as annuals. Coleus are mostly grown as ornamental plants due to their varied and colorful foliage. They can be grown either indoors or outdoors.

Is Coleus a sun or shade plant?

coleus sun vs shade

Generally, Coleus plants like a warm and slightly shady spot to grow. Historically, Coleus preferred dappled shade, but they can be grown in a variety of soils in full sun to part shade. There are many different Coleus varieties now, with various tolerances. There will be one for your zone and requirements, so just have a look online to see which one is best for you.

Why aren’t there any Blue Coleus plants?

It’s just the way nature works, and more specifically, the way light works. Plants like blue light as it has the most energy in the visible spectrum. Therefore, plants absorb blue light and reflect other colors, which are the ones we see when looking at a plant.

Do any plants have blue leaves?

The most common plant pigment is chlorophyll, so most plants appear green because chlorophyll doesn’t absorb, but rather reflects, green light.

When plants do appear bluish it’s because of the way their cells are structured and how this affects the way light plays across their surface. Not all plants have a high level of chlorophyll. Some have other hormones that create shades of blues or reds, depending on the concentrations.

Are there any true-blue plants?

While some plants have blue flowers, truly blue foliage is extremely rare. This is because flowers aren’t responsible for a plant’s energy, so they are free to utilize pigmentation in a different way.

Also, as petals age, they lose their green chlorophyll pigment and other pigments increase, meaning other colors.

What colors do Coleus come in?

In any case, Coleus plants are generally purchased not because of their flowers but because of their gorgeous foliage that is often variegated and combines a wonderful array of colors.

Is there a purple Coleus?

These colors include various shades of purple and burgundy. Some of the purple Coleus varieties to look for are:

Crimson Ruffles: The leaves of the Crimson Ruffle are a deep crimson with purple veins and a green margin.

Black Prince: It has purple-black leaves with a hint of red.

Combat: This one has highly variegated leaves which are splashed with a range of colors, including reds, purples, greens and yellows.

Fishnet Stockings: These have burgundy veins on lime green leaves, giving it a stunning appearance.

Lord Falmouth: The leaves are green with a dark brown-purple center.

Black Dragon: It has leaves that are deep burgundy with purple-black edges.

Magma: It produces molten purple-red foliage embellished in green edges.

Why is my Coleus not colorful?

There are now Coleus varieties that have been bred to suit almost any environment. However, Coleus plants that are not tolerant of the sun will bleach and discolor in full sun.

Their appearance can also be changed by varying acidity in the soil. So, it’s worth checking what conditions and environment your particular Coleus variety is best suited to.

How do you keep a Coleus colorful?

If your Coleus isn’t living up to your colorful expectations, it might need a bit of TLC. Make sure to fertilize your Coleus plants in June, July and August. And it’s also important to keep your Coleus plants watered during the heat of summer.

Coleus plants are generally grown for their foliage and so flowers aren’t really needed. It’s worth pinching out flower spikes before they elongate as there’s no need to waste the plant’s energy on flowering or setting seed.

Instead, the leaves will benefit from the energy — hopefully in the form of beautiful colors!


Although it might be disappointing to find out that there is no such thing as the Blue Coleus plant, hopefully, this article has shown that there are many other varieties of Coleus to choose from to bring some color to your garden or home.

The Coleus has some striking varieties, and progress in creating new cultivars means that there will be an option for your environment. They also make a great houseplant and will add a splash of style to any room.