Frequent Questions

Do you have a printed catalog?  Will you send me one?
Our catalog is online only. 

Do you sell Coleus seeds?
No, we do not sell coleus seeds.

Do you offer wholesale pricing?
No, we do not sell wholesale. Rosy Dawn Gardens is a retail business. We serve home gardeners and plant collectors that want a large selection of reasonably priced coleus from which to choose.

Do you ship overseas?
We do not ship outside of the U.S.

How many Coleus plants do I get for the price?
Our plants are individually priced. We do not sell wholesale or offer quantity discounts.  

If I order a lot of plants can I get a price break?
We do not offer price breaks for large orders. Our low, one-price shipping & handling charge is a built-in price break for large orders. 

Will you ship United Parcel Service (UPS)?
We find US Priority Mail to be the most economical way to ship from this area, and we have based our prices accordingly.

When will my order be shipped?
We ship on Saturday, Monday or Tuesday of each week of the shipping season, with exceptions for postal holidays.   
Please request a shipping date on your order. We will try to meet your chosen date, but your requested shipping date may have to be delayed until your plants are mature enough to ship. If no date is specified on your order form, we will send your order after the frost free date for your zone. You will be notified by email when your order ships. Orders may be placed though the first week of June. Beginning the second week of June, all Coleus in the catalog will be listed as out-of-stock until ordering begins for the next spring on December 1. We are sorry that we cannot ship into the summer months. Shipping in the heat of summer is too stressful for the Coleus.

Please order early, as we are happy to hold your plants until your requested ship date or until weather permits shipping. Please consider vacations, etc. when requesting your ship date. If you cannot be home when your plants arrive please arrange for someone to watch for your plants or instruct the mail carrier as to a safe place to place the box until you arrive. You might also request that the post office keep the package for you to pick-up.

Our shipping season begins the last week of March, weather permitting. We reserve the right to use our discretion when deciding if it is safe to ship Coleus, and we consider the weather both at departure and arrival when making this determination. It is absolutely crucial for the survival of cold-sensitive Coleus to wait until the weather is safe. We will delay shipping when weather could threaten the safety of your plants at any point during the shipping process. Please keep in mind that our greenhouse operation is in Michigan, so no matter how warm it is where you live, in March and sometimes beyond we are often under several inches of snow and experiencing freezing temperatures.

What size pots do you use?
We grow our plants in a growing mix contained in a root permeable, degradable fabric sleeve. Most of our coleus are equivalent in size to a plant grown in a 3"- 4" nursery pot. Premium varieties may be shipped in specified pots. 

Can I take cuttings from your coleus?
Most of the coleus we sell are not patented and you are are free to take cuttings from those. We do buy some patented coleus from companies such as Proven Winners and Ball, and those patented varieties may not be propagated. Please email us if you want to know if a particular variety is patented.

How big are the plants that you sell?
Most plants that we ship are single or multi-stemmed and between three and nine inches in height, depending on the cultivar. Coleus cultivars vary widely in height, leaf shape, and habit. Some Coleus are small and grow very slowly, sometimes taking months to grow just a few inches in height. Others root rapidly and bolt out of the gate with vigorous growth. We try to indicate in the catalog descriptions when a plant is small or slow-growing, so please read carefully before ordering. Our Coleus may be pruned before shipping to encourage branching and to keep their size manageable for shipping. We recommend that you plant your Coleus into soil immediately upon arrival. Please refer to our Coleus Care page for additional growing instructions.

Please note: Our business is in Michigan and spring comes much later for us than for customers in the southern states. We grow and ship husky starter plants ready to pot up and grow on. They are not full grown plants! Plants ordered for shipping in March and early April will naturally be smaller than those ordered for shipment in late April and May. Coloration also improves with time and the warmer, longer days of late spring and summer.

Which Coleus will take full sun?
A lot of companies have been promoting “Sun Coleus” and, in fact, many varieties are somewhat sun-tolerant. Please remember that "sun-loving coleus" is a marketing gimmick and that "full sun" is a relative, as well as misleading, term. Coleus are jungle plants from Southeast Asia, and can only be grown in full sun with proper preparation and the selection of the most sun-tolerant varieties. For instance, full sun in Michigan, where we live, is different than full sun in Florida or Texas or Arizona. Some Coleus will survive in full sun but constant exposure to strong sunlight can alter the coloring and size of the plant and greatly increase the need for water. The best location for the truest color in Coleus, in our opinion, is a spot that receives some sun (preferably morning sun) but is protected from the harshest sun of the middle and/or late day. Of course, many people do not have an ideal exposure available in which to grow Coleus, so experimentation is certainly in order since many of our customers have achieved success in full sun with certain varieties. Coleus that do not do well in sun may show "bleaching" of leaves or they might become "greened out" by the excess coloring produced by the plant to protect itself from the sun. See our Selection Guide page for more information on the varieties of Coleus that can tolerate sun. (Please note that the Selection Guide is not changed when items sell out. Some Coleus mentioned may not be available.)

Success with coleus, especially in the sun, depends on proper preparation and hardening off of plants before putting them in a full sun situation. When you receive your coleus, they should be planted in a pot and allowed to gradually get used to the new climate. After potting your Coleus, place them outdoors everyday for 3-4 hours in full or partial shade in a wind-sheltered location. Gradually increase the time outdoors every day, and by the end of the first week you should be able to gradually begin to acclimate them to their permanent location for another week. This preparation is especially important if you are planting your coleus in the ground because they need to develop a sufficient root system to support them during hot, dry days in full sun. Planting your newly arrived coleus in the ground without hardening off and developing a bigger root system will risk the life of your coleus. Please refer to our Coleus Care page for additional growing instructions. The most important thing to remember when growing Coleus in full sun is that they need a well-developed root system, proper acclimation, good soil preparation, and consistent watering to look their best.

Why do some Coleus that look the same have different names?
In the absence of a Coleus Society or registry for hybridizers, many Coleus cultivars have been claimed, renamed, and even patented by nurseries or companies that had nothing to do with developing that cultivar. Coleus are also very generous with producing "sports," which are mutations that can be propagated and sold as a new variety. The same sport may occur spontaneously at different nurseries and each might claim it as a new introduction and give it their own name. This causes a lot of confusion for Coleus enthusiasts! We try to list the common alias for each variety in the description.

Coleus is the common name for Plectranthus scutellaroides. Technically the names Solenostemon scutellarioides, Coleus blumei, or Coleus hybridus no longer exist, but are still in common use.  Most of our plants labeled with the common name "Coleus" fall into the former Coleus blumei category, although some of the the trailing varieties were formerly labeled C. pumilus or C. rehneltianus.

Are your Coleus organic? We use a pest management program that provides the best results possible using organic methods supplemented with a minimum amount of the safest chemicals we can find.

Do you sell Black Dragon, Wizard, Versa, Rainbow, Fairway, Kong, Carefree, Giant Exhibition, Palisandra, or other seed-grown Coleus?
We sell only cutting-grown Coleus varieties, which enables us to offer a much larger selection of Coleus that are generally more sun-tolerant and less likely to bloom. Seed-grown Coleus are usually purchased in flats or pots from a local nursery.

I am looking for the Scaredy Cat, Dogs Be Gone, or Pee (Piss) Off Coleus. Do you sell Coleus canina?
Yes, we sell the plant commonly sold as “Coleus canina.” While being touted as a hybrid Coleus out of Germany, it is actually a Plectranthus, and it grows wild in Africa and India. It has gotten a lot of publicity lately for its ability to repel cats, dogs, rabbits, fox, and other critters looking to urinate on or otherwise desecrate your garden. We are happy to sell you “Coleus canina”, but please keep in mind that as far as we know there has not been a scientific study to gauge the effectiveness of “Coleus canina” as an animal repellant. We make no claims or guarantees as to whether it will repel pests in your garden.

Plants are sized like our other Coleus. Please refer to the “How big are the plants that you sell” FAQ for more information.
Please note: If you have had success (or failure) with using this plant as a repellent please email us at rosydawngardens@comcast.net and share your story.