Name that plant!
April 24, 2007 11:07 AM   Subscribe

What is this houseplant?

It was purchased at Trader Joes in the CA Bay Area. It has bright green leafy leaves with violet/purple centers (and the purple wants to bleed out to the edges in even lines). The leaves are big and heavily textured with scallop-like edges. The centers of the leaves seem to be rotting some bit, don't know why.

1. What is this plant?
2. Is it poisonous to pets?
3. How can one take care of it?

Here is the link again.

posted by iamkimiam to Home & Garden (12 answers total)
sure looks like a to me. They are extremely varied in appearance as a result of horticultural breeding.
posted by mcstayinskool at 11:15 AM on April 24, 2007

whoops, let's try that again

sure looks like a COLEUS to me
posted by mcstayinskool at 11:15 AM on April 24, 2007

Yeah, it's a Coleus.
posted by contraption at 11:18 AM on April 24, 2007

It's a coleus. Pretty easy to start more plants by placing cuttings in water if you want more of them.

Pinch off the flower spikes to keep it compact ... it's grown more for the leaves, not the flowers.

It does well in shade outdoors. I have not personally tried to grow one indoors.

This site says that it is not poisonous.
posted by Ostara at 11:19 AM on April 24, 2007

Rex Begonia.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 11:38 AM on April 24, 2007

Rex Begonia is not listed here as poisonous. I think you are ok there.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 11:43 AM on April 24, 2007

Looks like a coleus to me, too. Rex begonia leaves are asymmetrical, these are symmetrical. And that combination of lime green and purple is pretty common for coleus. For growing indoors, it will need a fair amount of light (no dark corners). I'm not aware of them being poisonous.
posted by jonzino at 12:25 PM on April 24, 2007

Positutely a Coleus.
posted by sgobbare at 2:17 PM on April 24, 2007

posted by kuujjuarapik at 4:56 PM on April 24, 2007

Coleus. I've grown ones exactly like that from seed and from cuttings. As Ostara notes, they do well in shade, but you have to keep pinching them back or else they'll grow toward the light. A lot of people here (SE Texas) use them as annuals in sunny places, too, although that requires more watering to keep from wilting. I also grew them indoors in a bright window when I lived in North Dakota. They are one of the easier plants to take care of.
posted by Robert Angelo at 6:31 PM on April 24, 2007

Absolutely a coleus. I grow them outside in beds and pots. They look great grouped with flowers and alone. Robert Angelo has it, pinch the flower heads off, and they will get bushier and bushier. Coleus are great for color.
posted by LoriFLA at 6:55 PM on April 24, 2007

This link is cat specific. You're safe.
posted by moira at 8:43 PM on April 24, 2007

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