Perhaps painted nettle or poor man’s croton, depending on where you’re located, but we simply know them as coleus plants (Coleus blumei). They have some of the most stunningly colored foliage—in combinations of Yellow, green, pink, red, maroon, etc. Coleus plants also have a wide variety of leaf sizes and overall shapes. This means that no matter what area you are looking to put coleus plants, you can find one that will be perfect. These coleus plants are great for adding color in the garden (or home), especially in those dark, drab-looking corners.
Gardening Coleus Plants
The Coleus plant is probably one of the easiest plants to grow and propagate. In fact, the coleus plants root so easily that you can even start cuttings in a glass of water. They can also be propagated by seed houseplant about eight to ten weeks prior to your last expected spring frost. Coleus plants can be added to beds and borders for interest or grown in containers. They require fertile, well-draining soil and usually perform best in areas with partial shade, though many varieties can also tolerate maximum sun. When growing coleus plants, keep in mind that these beauties can grow rapidly. Plant coleus close together as bedding plants or tuck them into baskets and containers for a rapid growing and spectacular addition.
Coleus Plant Care
Caring for coleus is simple. They need to be kept moisture. Container coleus plants also require more frequent watering than those grown in the garden. Although it’s not required, the coleus plants can be given a boost of half-strength liquid fertilizer during their active growth in spring and summer.
Their spiked coleus flowers usually appear in summer; however, these can be removed if desired. You can also pinch the shoots of young coleus plants to produce growth of bush.
Another factor in coleus care is overwintering, as these coleus plants, which are considered tender annuals, are highly susceptible to cold temperatures. Therefore, they must either be potted, dug up and brought indoors for overwintering or grown through cuttings to establish additional coleus plants.
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