Photo courtesy of Ball

Coleus scutellarioides 'Black Dragon'

Painted Nettle

Coleus Black Dragon is a great choice if you are in need of a shade border or looking to add texture to your shade gardens and planters. A good companion plant to go with begonias, new guineas, Bounce Impatiens or most other shade loving choices. Black Dragon shows off deep rose-red, tongue-shaped, serrated leaves with black-purple edges.

Height: 12-14 Inches

Spread: 10-12 Inches

USDA Zone: Zones 10-11

Growing Tips for Homeowners:

Coleus is a relatively easy plant to grow. Black Dragon is capable of handling some sun, but it is best planted in a shady location. Soil should stay moist but not wet. Coleus is not cold tolerant at all, so wait until after any danger of frost has past before planting outside. Remove any flower spikes that emerge as they will divert some of the plants energy that you will want fully focused on the plants colorful foliage. Common insects to watch out for include aphids, mealy bugs and white flies, while diseases include alternaria, botrytis and verticillium. 

Characteristics & Attributes:


  • Heat Tolerant
  • Shade Tolerant
  • Great Foliage
  • Compact

Critter Resistance:

  • Deer Resistant

Design Use:

  • Container
  • Filler
  • Window Boxes
  • Border
  • Versatile
  • Shade Gardens
  • Interior Design
  • Mass Planting
  • Ground Cover
  • Edging
  • Texture


  • Part Sun / Part Shade
  • Full Shade

Foliage Color:

  • Variegated
  • Black / Purple
  • Red


  • Upright Mounding

Season of Interest (Flowering):

  • Spring
  • Summer

Season of Interest (Foliage):

  • Summer
  • Spring

Soil Moisture:

  • Well Drained
  • Moist


  • Compact