Add Color with Coleus

Vivid coleus brings color to your leafy greens!

Garden Manager Steven Schwager is a coleus fan; he says, “There are places around the grounds that get a few hours of intense sun as well as a few hours of shade. There aren’t a lot of plants that do well in those conditions, but Coleus fit the bill, and there are a lot to choose from these days.

You may well have taken note of the eye-catching triangular leaves of the coleus plants growing in containers near the main office of Marin Art and Garden Center. With their dark purplish centers and brilliant green edges, Plectranthus scutellarioides can give any flowers a run for their money as far as stunning color combinations go.

Coleus is a relative of mint, and is also related to Swedish Ivy, so you know it comes from a hardy family. Recently, nurseries have been introducing varieties featuring a wild range of patterns: streaks, splashes, blotches, speckles, margins and veins, with color variations to match. Varieties with darker or more intense leaf color can tolerate more sun, and while plants with lighter leaf colors can scorch with too much direct light, all coleus do best when they have a mix of sun and shade.

If you’re shopping for coleus, you’ll also have your pick of leaf textures, which can be large or small, twisted, elongated, scalloped, lobed, finger-like, or “duck’s foot.” Plants can be upright or rounded—although pinching back leaves can direct growth—or trailing, well suited to hanging baskets. Plants can grow from seed or cuttings, and once rooted, should be kept well-watered in soil with good drainage. The plants at Marin Art and Garden Center are thriving in large pots where they’re massed for maximum impact.

So don’t let flowers have all the fun, plant some coleus and bring a little glam to your garden.

More to explore

IRS Guidelines for Gifts from Donor Advised Funds to Support MAGC Events

Thank you for your interest in giving to the Marin Art & Garden Center events from your Donor Advised Fund (DAF) or Family Foundation.

We sincerely appreciate your generosity and support!

To ensure your gift follows the current IRS guidelines for DAF/Family Foundation support of an event, we would like to share the below guidelines with you.

  • Raffle tickets, tickets to galas and other special events, auction items, and benefits conferred in connection with a DAF/foundation grant are not permitted.
    • IRS has specifically ruled that fair market value associated with fundraising events cannot be separated, a practice known as “bifurcation.”
      • For example, with Edible Garden, if the price of the ticket is $200 and the FMV fair market value (non-tax-deductible amount) is designated to be $50, the donor must pay from sources other than her DAF/foundation for the full value of the ticket ($200) and not just for the non-tax-deductible amount ($50).
    • We recommend you confer with your financial advisor to confirm if any of these examples of how donors may still use their DAF to support an event would work for you:
      • A donor could sponsor the event, and not attend, and pay fully out of the DAF/foundation.
      • A donor could sponsor the event using DAF/foundation funds and attend by purchasing an individual ticket through non-DAF/foundation funds.
      • A donor could sponsor the event, join the event as a guest of another donor/table guest, and pay fully out of the DAF/foundation.
      • A donor could sponsor the event and host the afforded number of people at their chosen level as long as they pay for the seats at the lowest ticket price ($200 for Edible Garden) outside of their DAF.
        • As an example, a $1,500 sponsor that covers 2 guests, could pay for their sponsorship with $400 from a different source of funds, and then give an additional gift of $1,100 out of their DAF.


Please email Tod Thorpe, Director of Development at to discuss your gift to Marin Art and Garden Center