Coleus ‘Wizard Coral Sunrise’

Wizard-Coral-Sunrise00Coleus is a designer’s crop, which is why we carry over (45) different cultivars even in the height of the summer. It’s one of the color tools we have to work with in shaded areas. Previously, we took a look at two simple Coleus, ‘Chocolate Mint’ and ‘Wasabi’, and combined them in a simple garden recipe.

This week, we are going with something more complex in the Coleus line: ‘Wizard Coral Sunrise’. Coleus is known for some 60s psychedelic leaf designs and this is one of them.


If you are not comfortable with design, then planting a large mass of ‘Wizard Coral Sunrise’ is the easiest path to a good-looking Coleus bed. You are painting when you work with this variety, creating a kaleidoscopic tie-dye pattern in the garden. Just crank up the Zappa, drop some in, and let the plants do their thing, man.

That’s it—pretty fun, pretty retro. Work this pop art into designs of different shapes. Grow it in walk-by gardens and near entrances because passers by will stop to marvel at the intricate patterns on the leaves. It’s great in larger containers because it’s a fairly large and beefy plant to work with; however, we still consider this a medium-sized Coleus because it’s not as big as any of the Kong series.


Now, ‘Wizard Coral Sunrise’ still has a few surprises in store—it’s one of those Coleus color-changers. Not all Coleus do it, but this one does. The amount of sun the plant receives will change the intensity of the colors it displays—almost to the point where it will look completely different in two separate gardens.

You’ll be surprised again when you discover you can work this Coleus into the sun—mostly. It can take quite a bit of daylight, so long as you avoid the beating noontime rays. Morning and afternoon sun is no problem, and it tolerates heat and humidity well.


If you’ve ever wanted to walk on the wild side of Coleus, this is the way to do it. Mass plantings, unusual spaces—feel the love. Once you learn how to work the crazy colors this one offers, the other varieties are a cinch to master.

Mixing ‘Wizard Coral Sunrise’ with something else is a bit of a challenge. Off-hand, we would pair it with simple Coleus like the ‘Chocolate Mint’ or ‘Wasabi’ that we mentioned earlier. Plant them in rings or stripes, perhaps—but if you can make plaids and polka dots look great together, you probably have the vision to make this plant work on a whole new level. And we admire you for it.


Seriously, this is just a fun plant. It’s light, it’s lively, it’s energetic. It’s groovy. If you have a client that kind of matches that description, turn them onto this Coleus.