That's where a close relative of coleus comes in: Plectranthus. Where coleus shines, Plectranthus forms a solid foundation on which to build.
But Swedish Ivy is just the tip of the iceberg as far as Plectranthus is concerned. There are more than 350 species in the genus. Although most of those aren't available to home gardeners, I was impressed to find a wide variety of cultivars when plant shopping earlier this year. There's such a difference between cultivars, I'd be hard pressed to group them as the same genus without the plant tags.
|Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender'|
|Plectranthus 'Silver Shield'|
|Plectranthus 'Lemon Twist'|
I'm not sure that anyone will ever see a Plectranthus from across my garden and exclaim, "Wow! What is that plant?" They may never be the highlights of my garden, but these unassuming cousins of coleus have found a permanent place in my gardening palette.