Of the less ex-pensive foliage houseplants there are none that can compare with the Variegated Dead Nettles when it comes tocolouring. From a single packet of sown in the in the spring come plants with colours and colour combinations of an almost infinite variety, including purple, red, bronze, yellow and white. Although seed-grown plants are not as good as named varieties that have been raised from (taken at any time when they are available provided there is a warm greenhouse or propagating case available for starting them off in) you can, nevertheless, get some very fine plants if the best colours are selected for growing on in larger . Pinch out the growing points regularly to promote bushy side growth. are generally greedy in respect of , but need for feeding can be reduced by plants on into larger -it would be quite possible to have spring sown growing in 18cm/7in pots by the autumn. Use a loam-based mixture when potting and be sure to select only the best coloured plants, as there is no point in lavishing extra care on some of the more cabbage-like plants that one may find among the seedlings. All coleus do best in good light and reasonable warmth with a little tender care thrown in for good measure. Although seldom grown on for a second year, good forms can be overwintered for to be taken from them in spring.