When my interest in horticulture was developing a number of years ago, one of the projects I undertook was growing a coleus plant into an herbaceous ‘tree’. At that time, coleus was often used as a houseplant. The instructions were to take a single plant, pinch the young leaves off the top part of the plant and strip the leaves from the bottom part of the plant. Over time the base of the plant developed a slight woody stem and the upper part became the crown of the ‘tree’. It was great fun!
Of course now you see coleus used most often in gardens, landscapes and containers. It’s one of the few shade annuals around which provide a solution to many shady garden situations. More recently we’ve come to enjoy a number of new coleus varieties that’ll also tolerate partial to fun sun. That’s a great advancement in the horticultural world!