(03/16/20) BATON ROUGE, La. — The LSU AgCenter has named FlameThrower coleus as a Louisiana Super Plant for spring 2020.
“FlameThrower coleus series can be spotted by its uniquely-shaped thin and ruffled foliage, which stands out in any landscape,” said AgCenter horticulturist Jeb Fields, who oversees the Super Plants program.
“Add that to bold long-lasting colors, and you have one of the hottest plants this summer,” he said. “These compact coleus are great for any Louisiana landscape.”
FlameThrower coleus joins Henna coleus as the second coleus in the Louisiana Super Plants program.
Like most coleus, FlameThrower is a low-maintenance landscape plant. It thrives in full sun but can handle some light shade and does best in well-drained soils.
But this series is extra special because it is one of the last to flower in the landscape, Fields said. “This is important because unlike most plants, coleus is grown for its foliage, and flowers traditionally aren’t wanted,” he said.
FlameThrower coleus is currently available in seven spicy varieties, including Salsa Roja, Serrano, Habanero, Chili Pepper, Chipotle, Spiced Curry and Salsa Verde. More varieties are being evaluated, and the developers continue to add to the series.
FlameThrower coleus should be planted approximately 18 inches apart in the landscape, but they also make wonderful additions to large planters and containers, Fields said.
The Louisiana Super Plants program is an educational campaign of the LSU AgCenter that identifies superior plant material for Louisiana landscapes, Fields said. These plants have undergone rigorous trials at multiple AgCenter locations across the state as well as being vetted and approved by the Louisiana horticulture and landscape industry.
In discussions with many wholesale and retail growers, it is evident that consumers tend to choose Louisiana Super Plants and especially gravitate towards the newer inclusions. “In fact, we have been informed by some retail nurseries that they can’t keep new Louisiana Super Plants in stock,” Fields said.
FlameThrower coleus comes in a variety of spicy colors. Photo by Ashley Edwards/LSU AgCenter
FlameThrower coleus features ruffled edges. Photo by Ashley Edwards/LSU AgCenter
FlameThrower coleus are evaluated in planting beds at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station. Photo by Ashley Edwards/LSU AgCenter
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture