I just planted a bunch of coleus in a location that gets morning sun, then less light in the afternoon -- the sun goes over behind the house.
Then I read the FAQ and it said coleus is usually a shade plant?
Are my plants doomed?
I wouldn't say so. Last year I had my coleus planted in full sun and they did fine. Matter of fact, they were in a poor (read: hard-packed topsoil with little water retention even with mulch) area that got full sun from ~11am til 7pm. This was the 'cheapo' Rainbow mix, nothing 'special.'
I usually read that coleus is to be put in sun, though from my past experience, it can't take the California sun. I now put mine in part to full shade. Wait and see what happens; you can always move it if need be.
Before coleus was known as a shade plant. Now they have a lot that can take a lot of sun, depending on where you live. I buy mostly the darker varieties and most get sun from 7am until 1:30, a few get it until 3pm. They do just great. I have some in pots and some in the ground. I think most will do just fine getting all morning sun, even some afternoon sun, up in the northern part of the states. I water my garden ones once a week and I mulch them. I do my pots every other day or so, they dry out faster. I mulch my pots too. Remember to pinch them every so often so they branch out and get nice and full. You'll be surprised at how large the ones planted in gardens get.
Don't worry and enjoy!
Thanks to all who replied. I will wait and see. Moving is an option, too. :)
Varieties marketed as "sun coleus" should do well in half to full day sun in a temperate climate garden (NJ included). Traditional seed-grown varieties sold in garden centers are more suited to partial or dappled shade, and vegetatively-propagated types are highly variable with some doing well in sun and others experiencing color washout or less vigorous growth under such conditions.
Local microclimates (for instance, a planting bed by a blacktop driveway that retains heat) will also affect performance.
That location sounds perfect. It's what I do here in Cali. Some of the darker coleus will even take most of the day's sun. For me though, sun til about 2 pm works fine.
I used Black Dragon all over the place last year: in pots and in the ground. It did really well everywhere, so this year I thought I'd try more kinds. But the new ones look awful: bleached even though they don't get sun all day, just a few hours in the morning. I got a bunch of really velvety dark large leaved burgundy ones. They look the worst of all: laying down as if they were cooked!
I had some stained glass kinds last summer that I had in the garden and got sun from 8am to around 1:30pm. They did well. Thing is, they just seemed to take so long in getting large. All the others I had were really getting large. A few years ago I tried one with the word 'Lava' in it. Reddish colored leaves. But when they got larger, it looked so faded and those didn't get that much sun. Never bought that one again. They might do better where they get very little sun though.
Linnea56, Black Dragon is one of my favorites. Any where I put it, it looks great.
I grew Palisandra(very dark black purple) and Limelight (lime green w/some varigation) on the north side of my house last summer. They got morning sun but were shaded during the hottest part of the day. They did very well in that location. I did keep them well watered; if I didn't, they would wilt.
Since coleus is so easy to propagate, why don't you take some cuttings and try them in different areas. You'll be sure to succeed that way. You could even succeed in both cases.
I've always had luck with coleus on the west side of the house, afternoon sun. Give them more water than you would in shade, and pinch off the flowers when they come out. They sure have a way of telling you when they need water but they respond quickly, so if you see them droop, don't panic!