I believe my new addiction is Coleus. It's been roses, clematis and several other things over the years. I've grown coleus on occassion over the years. I'm just getting the coleus fever!
I would love to see the best pictures, in your own opinions, of what your best container or garden bed has been. My garden style isn't to have lots of pots clustered in one area. I would prefer to see 1 to 3 pots together at most. Not all have to be coleus. Or coleus in your garden & it's companions or full beds of just coleus in ground.
I have a few areas in mind for coleus as my yard goes from full sun to mostly sun. I want to see what wonderful designs are out there but don't want random pots clustered since that's not the design I'm going for - not that it's a bad style, just not for my areas.
I have a half circle that has 3 Crape Myrtles and is against a wooden deck. Last year I had white impatients in this circle and it was lovely but looking for a coleus plan. My deck pots currently are millionbells, geraniums, etc in yellows and fushia. I'm looking for any color but that is a what I have in 2 huge pots on each side of the deck.
I have this corner that is sunny in the Morning till 11 am, and the coleus likes it very much. To the left of the second photo I have my favorite this year the Electric lime coleus, just started to pinch them hoping I can root some and prolong the plant till front. Etelka
Electric Lime willl take to cuttings very well.Go for it.
shitzumom: those are from "The Christmas Tree Shopp" Its similar to "Tuesday Morning" I bought them last year and they wintered well. I had 2 grey 16 inch plastic planters I dropped in and didnt need to fill the talls wit sooooo much potting soil.
It's only fair, ge, since I've made notes on YOUR planters. ;) I want Carrot Cake next year! LOL
Kathy: Unfortunately, I live on a sandbar, so all my gardening is done in containers, and my FL heat/humidity/summer monsoons are tough on flowers; so I switched over to foliage plants. I also LOVE how coleus, SPV, creeping jenny and others are easy to propogate into new plantlings...saves me a bit of $$$.
Kathy, I had asked ge1836 on the "Container Gardening" thread the name of one of the coleus she used - she told me the name was "Carrot Cake". Very pretty variety and ge has great combos!
I love Persian Shield it almost glows in the sunlight. Found out this year you can root them like coleus - takes forever in water, so tried rooting hormone in potting soil & the process was much faster.
My containers look like they are full out bursting. I cant believe its been only 4 days since the last album but another one will come as soon as its light.Potted astilbes are blooming.
Fuschias are not blooming.I probably wont use them next year.Jury is out until I see what the end of July brings.
The alocasias are doing well.I couldnt believe those teeny plants would amount to anything but by July they should make a nice appearance.
I am a total newbie to Coleus (as some of you probably already know), so all I've got so far are these babies, Defiance, and they're in their own containers, but next year, Look Out!! < =D (it's so nice to learn from all of you guys here!!)
I do have a combo planter with a Blood Leaf in it, with some Verbena and Lobelia, but it's not filled out yet, so I'll save that for later. ;)
Next year I will plant more of the orange shade Coleus, I did not get the name. I planted it in the ground, but all the Coleus around it are in pots. By the door I have some red Coleus with yellow rim, it goes nice with the Caledium Florida Cardinal and some Salvia Lady in red. Etelka
I agree, Etelka, it seems like "more Coleus" is always in order, huh? =) What you've shown us here though are absolutely gorgeous!! The plants are beautifully healthy-looking, and they are great together!
I, too, am going to have more Coleus next year, I believe it's a "must".
Ge, I always drool when I see your pics, thank you so much for keeping up with sharing them! I learn a LOT from you, just by looking at what you have, thank you!! =)
Select a healthy, non-flowering stem that is about 4 inches long and has at least three leaf nodes-the swollen spot where the leaf adjoins the stem. Use a knife to remove the stem. Make the cut right below a node. Remove any leaves from the bottom inch of the cutting.
Cuttings grow best in light, fluffy soil. To make a nice, lightweight growing medium, mix together perlite and soilless potting mix in a 1:1 ratio. Pre-moisten this soil by adding water until the mix is damp, but not soggy. Fill a plastic pot with the mix, leaving at least a ˝ inch of space between the top of the soil and the rim of the tray.
---when I've received cuttings before they were rooted in water first. I don't know how they would ship in this heat without roots. If you do take cuttings, even this fall, just stick the cuttings in water and keep the water fresh until you see roots. Then wrap them in a damp paper towel placed in a baggie (not the entire plant just the roots).
If anyone else has suggestions for rooting/shipping let us know. I will gladly send you postage and/or something for trade. But this is an easy way to keep coleus growing inside when the plant grows older and not so pretty. They can be houseplants in a sunny window for some people.
Thank you shitzumom, it was very helpfull. I have rooted coleus but I never mailed it to anybody. Right now I have some already rooted, some trailing coleus and some others that have nice sets of roots. I can root some of the ones that you wanted and will take a few weeks, by that time the weather should break, I hope. Etelka
The "Plant Trading" forum has stickies showing the best way to mail cuttings and plants. Very informative. Maybe I'll give it shot this fall if anyone is interested in any of my coleus. A little too warm now, LOL.
Once when I mailed some cuttings, I put them in a little light weight soil, wrapped plastic around the soil part, then put the whole thing, soil end first down a paper towel tube. I did several and packed the tubes laying down in a box. It was cool weather when I shipped it though. They arrived in good shape. It might not be good to ship in hot weather.
A few weeks ago, (before this heat wave), onewish1 sent me a neat package. It was like a little six pack seedling tray, then she taped over the soil and it was standing up in a neat box that was labeled 'live plants'. It arrived in really great shape. That was the best packaging I've ever seen! Thanks again onewish1, the cuttings are doing great!
Packaging cuttings is an art.I like the way Rosydawn send their plants in tubes.Plants are grown in plugs that are wrapped in teeny plasticbag with label.Poked into the tube and boxed in a flatrate box and shipped. Mine always come in good shape.
I tries a few new ones this year and Autumn is a winner,as is Norris.I seem drawn to the dark colors.
I cant believe its only been 4 days since I posted pix but everything looked so great last evening.
Eteka, that one in the pic you shared, to the left of the orange one, that really looks like a "Defiance" to me. Ooooh, I love those!!!!
I brought a few more Coleus home yesterday... had to save them from the rubbish bin, you know. Got a couple Dipt in Wine, one more Blood Leaf (if I remember correctly), and a couple Perilla (Magilla purple). Wheeeeee, I've been wanting those things since they first came in!!! I hear they are pretty cold-hardy, but I'll have them in pots anyway, and will bring them inside over the winter. Oh, and I'll be sure to give their pots POT FEET (was thinking of you yesterday, Ge1836, when we placed the order for the pot feet, I am soooooo excited!!!) < =D The order should be in on Wednesday, so I'll be bringing a bunch of 'em home then. YIPPEEE!!!!!! =D I did a little happy-dance when the order was placed, LOL!!
Anyway, anyone here have any experience with the Magilla Purple Perilla? I plan to pot them up today, got any suggestions for the growing medium? I was thinking I'd use my usual compost/peat/perlite combo.
I use Miracle Gro potting mix. I grown mine in my front landscape beds. But all of my beds are made by large boulders and have many bags of potting mix added in with regular soil over the last 10 years. Costco has the Miracle Gro potting mix with moisture control 62 quarts for $9.99 this season. I bought 20 and am down to 4. I noticed today they only a few dozen left. I need my brother to get back from his cruise so he and his truck can help me pick up some more.
I have a very large lidless garbage can full of Rosy Dawn packing material. I use it to send cuttings and plants. My third car garage area is my garden center. Right now that area is a disaster. But I will get it cleaned up before all of my zone pushing plants have to be moved inside this winter.
I tried for two years holding over coleus cuttings and failed miserably. I just decided to order them from Rosy Dawn. We do not get many here. They have filtered sun because of the street-scape trees but they seem to love our heat. 114 today, 4% humidity and they did not miss a beat. But they are watered with automatic irrigation. All my pots and hanging baskets are also watered automatically or that would be all I did.
Afternoon everyone, I have been watching you post all your beautiful coleus. I had a bunch a few years ago, but they did not survive the winter, so I just bought a few from a coop on cubits, and they are taking off. I have them in an old webber grill.
taters, there was an episode of "Survivor" several seasons agoe where one of the clues to the hidden idol was buried beneath an almost 7 foot tall coleus bush! The 'coleus finder'site used to have a link to pics of coleus plants growing wild in Indonesia...a whole colony of them. Nice use for an old grill!
Sometimes I wonder about who puts the tags into the pots. I bought one of the coleus plants that was from "Stained Glass," and the insert stated no name. I finally figured it out today: it is called Brooklyn Horror or Witch Doctor. I really like the plant, and thought it might be "Anemone" from the under the sea series, but here is no question that I must get a few mislabeled plants.
It is hard to get a worker that cares. I always compliment a worker when it is obvious they have product knowledge. And when a young man is a gentleman, I tell him to be sure to tell his mother I said she did a good job. I always get a big smile on that one. Sharon
I love Perilla Magilla, but be aware that it can be invasive. It is a perennial and drops seeds. My one plant that took up about 3 sq ft took up about 30 sq ft the next spring. I don't care because it's an open area out by the stream. Later that year the gound hog ate it all! It's back again this year though but not as much (too dry probably). Will post pics later.
There's always the customer problem for nurseries who do carry the right name on the right plant. A person will pull out three tags from three pots to show a friend and then put them back in any pot. I prefer plant names that are stapled on the pots but generally only find them on gallon sized plants or larger than that.
Most of our plants at work come with a permanent label on the pots (all sizes), (listing the botanical name and the common name and price), *and* the tag that goes into the soil too. I'd say 95% of 'em come that way. Makes it so much easier for when you just can't remember what the heck that thing was called again. ;)
Coleuslover, they are!? I thought they were annuals in my neck o' the woods. For me, they'll be staying in containers, so hopefully that will help with... "containment". (groan!)
Ge, my goodness!!!!! They're all so lovely, it's impossible to pick favourites!!!!! Oh, and
I'll get that pic of the pot toes to you as soon as I remember. =)
I'm glad so many of you posted pictures of your coleus containers for me. There are some beautiful combo's. Some of my coleus are healthy but slow growing. They have been fed but seem to be at a stand still.
I see so many beautiful coleus here and have never tried them from seed - are they easy or not worth the effort. Plus I don't want the usual mix that is generally sold. Other than Rosy Dawns where is the best place to order for next year?
Please continue to show me your coleus combos - in pots or beds.
Kathy, I grew some Rainbow Mix from seed earlier this year and was disappointed. VERY slow growing and the seed pkg yielded almost all the same variety (maroon with wide green edge - see back scraggly BloomMaster planter).
I'm also growing "Chocolate Mint" from seed as I like that variety & couldn't find it as a plant this year. Also slow growing, after 3 mos. it's only baby plants as shown in the front two 6" planters. At least they'll be large enough by winter to take cuttings for next year (hopefully). ;)
Gebhart Greenhouse, http://www.gebhartgreenhouse.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=161&osCsid=41d7061941ef005f1ff4376b2f93fc4d
Gemini Gardens, (Badseed,aka Chele), http://www.facebook.com/GeminiGarden
That's two more I really like to buy from.
Tobee really likes Glasshouse Works, but they were the pits when I ordered from them several years ago.
These are a few suggestions.
Here in the South they also have what I call "pop-up" nurseries. Someone rents a vacant corner at a busy intersection and puts up a tent to protect shade plants. I can usually get 1' plants for less than $4. each. Here that happens in April.
These are just some suggestions.
When I traveled a lot I would check several nurseries.
Hope this helps.
I miss going to "Baker's Acre's" !
Yes, Speediebean, those PURPLE perilla's do self sow and come back next year. (Does that qualify for them being a perennail?). I live in colder climate than you (NJ), and mine came back and spread. I have the frilly purple ones, which I like. I'll try to post a picture now. I couldn't before as it would just time out. Middle left is the dark purple Perilla.
This is my new 'jack of diamonds'. On these really hot days (all over 90), it's suffering a little in the sun. It gets sun from 9am to 2pm here. Next year I'm going to plant in less sun. (Upper right corner is 'careless love').
I think it's time to buy a new camers so I can do justice to my coleus! I think it's prettier than in this photo. I just can't seem to capture the real beauty with my old olympus. Time to buy that Nikon 5100 ! The magenta one in this container is 'flamingo'. Green one is 'pele' and the maroon/green one is 'saturn'. It gets about 2 hours of real early morn sun then the rest of the day it is in shade.
On the left is 'bonfire'. I like this one as it's quite red (getting sun 11am -2pm) but it sure is a slow grower. Maroon one is 'autumn' and the green one is 'pele' (which grows very fast!). 'pele' is in deep shade that never gets any direct sun here. I like it here because it brightens up a dark spot.
Speedie what is the name of the bright red coleus in photos you posted July 10? Bright red,gorgeous.
Funny story about perilla magilla, saw it in office of a prospective client last November, receptionist had a dozen paper cups with rooted cuttings on her windowsill. When I complimented she gave me one and all eight of my plants at office, in pots and in the garden are from cuttings of that little plant. I didntknow it was perennial, I'll watch the one I have in garden.
Also there is another kind of perilla, beefsteak plant maybe it's called? Slight cinnamon scent, used in Asian cooking and found it growing in my lawn, probably from a bird. Got an ID from our local science center that has 18th century farm demonstration and it was growing wild by the chicken coops. Asked one of the reenactors wearing old timey clothes and she called over the plant guy from the science center. He called it perilla or shiso, a very different plant than magilla. And I know the shiso is either perennial or reseeds because it came back. It's in a very dry area where it can't invade too much, and no rambling roots like mint so I don't think it could get too invasive, you can just pull it up if it seeds where u don't want it.
scbuttercup, I think the 'perilla magilla' is the one with green, white, magenta. This one is an annual (in colder climates). It's the dark purple one that comes back the following year (self sows). This one of mine had more white than usual. Most have more magenta. It depends on light, temp, and soil.
The 'pele' is actually quite different from 'electric lime'. Just more proof of how badly I need that new Nikon camera. haha 'pele' has a thinner, frillier leaf and is sprinkled with maroon. I think less maroon when in deep shade. 'electric lime' is a heavier leaf that is not frilly (more slightly scalloped). and has no colors other than the green and yellow. It's interesting that a coleus I purchased as 'dappled apple' turned into 'electric lime' the next year. And my daughters 'butter cream' is getting sports that look like 'dappled apple'. Such interesting plants ! Here's another picture of 'pele' (OOPS, WRONG PICTURE!). I wish the pictures showed up bigger when we preview. I forgot what this coleus is, but it's not 'pele'.
ok found the right picture. This one is 'pele', or so it said, or was - haha. Interesting how these coleus not only change dramatically but how they sometimes get mis labeled by nurseries. One I bought was labeled 'giant fantasy', and it's not at all like the one RD has as that name. The 'giant fantasy' I bought is also very tiny and slow growing.
I love bonfire. That is beautiful. I need to search that one out. There are few coleus to choose from in my area. If you ever find one potted for sale at a nursery just me know I would love to get one. Jack of Diamonds is very nice too!
'sedona' is incredible in it's variation, due to temp, sun and soil. All from one original plant, I have made cuttings that have turned into plants that are quite red, beauitful bronze, and one that has a LOT of yellow. I planted cuttings in the same place this year and they took on the same qualities. I took a cutting from the one with so much yellow and planted it over by the red one and it's turning red. Nice, fun plant! My daughter said she didn't like sedona very well because it's hard to survive over the winter and her's never takes on a good color, always looking dull bronze. That is very interesting because she has fantastic soil that has been conditioned by her mother in law for 50 years. My soil is not that great.
The darker red one at top of pic on right is 'red head'.
Oh WOW Coleuslover, Sedona is GORGEOUS!!! Darn, I could KICK myself now; we had them at work and I didn't get any!!!! < ='( OK, heading right now to my "gardening wish list" and adding Sedona to it for next year.
I would love to try any you may have rooted. I have things to trade but not on my trade list. That hasn't been updated in years. Let me know what you're looking for...if you have some to spare.
Sedona is BEAUTIFUL ! What a great combo. Would be a great combo for our Virginia Tech football fans.
Are you guys finding these coleus locally or by ordering? Maybe my area is to 'out of the way' to have nice local coleus.
Do you overwinter them by root cuttings or try to bring in the entire plants?
I have been pleased with my purchases from Rosy Dawn and from Color Farm. I also pick up plants from various nurseries I visit in NJ and PA. Most have come from friends and our local garden club plant sale. I take cuttings and winter them over in my basement under shop lights. For some of the slow growing ones, I'll bring in the entire plant if it's small. Bug control is a must, and I was pleased with results of using Bayer tree and shrub protect and feed. I put one small dose (about 1/4 tsp) in each 2 in potted plant, about a week after it was potted and I didn't have any bug problems this year. I had about 400 plants this year.
The one in the picture is 'saturn'. It is getting sun from about 10-2. This one looks nicer than the one I have on the porch in the shade.
Two of the three coleus varieties that I have growing are from plants purchased last year in a six pack collection, have to see if I can find the tag. They are so easy to overwinter thru cuttings that they almost feel like perennials. I "picked up" three lovely tall coleus with bright pink leaf centers yesterday to add to my collection. It was in the landscaping in our subdivision's common area, very unusual color that I haven't seen around here. Will post pix when I'm not using iPad.
Very nice ge1836! I don't have any of those in your colection. Is that apocolypse, or something like that, on the right? That is beautiful. Wow, it's tough wanting to collect all the different kinds. haha
I planted several around the base of my tree in front. It's not the best place to grow things, as the tree takes up all the water, but I like to have something there. It is quite shady on three sides, with the left side in picture, getting the most sun.
Very nice coleus planting.
I have experimented with lots of coleus and have a few that do well for me here.I ordered Applemint this year and was disapointed.It cant take much sun and doesnt really grow into a s big a plant as I expected.
Here's some more around the front walk. The one in front is 'city light', then 'tilt a whirl', 'tabasco', 'elbrighto', tho admittedly it doesn't look like the one on RD site where I bought it, then 'big red judy'
The brighter red plant to the right of the latern is not a coleus, and had no label. It is like a succulent. This message was edited Jul 23, 2012 9:28 AM
I really appreciate the photos, please keep them coming. Surprises me to see varieties in their "natural habitat" look so attractive, while their glossy catalog photos didn't catch my attention. Also appreciate the comments as to "does better in sun", etc.
And vice versa - as Jo Ann mentioned, I have a few disappointments in my order this year, while others that were iffy became my favorites. Love the surprises of coleus!
denise I feel the same about what I 'thought' I liked has disappointed me while others really have turned out nicely. I am having trouble with my millionbells looking terrible. Not sure what's wrong. I have some around different coleus and it's really not turning out to well for the millionbells.
I'm going to try RD next spring. Thanks to everyone who posts and will continue to post. Love the varieties and like denise - love the sun/shade comments.
shihtzumom, I assume you mean the vivid green one under the tree? The one to the right or a little in back of the green one ('electric lime'), is 'dipt in wine'. A real hardy one that does well sun or shade, propagates well, winters over well. A winner in my opinion.
There was another question about the white plant in back in the picture of the walkway. Well at the top of the photo, the white plant is a white impatiens. The green/white to the right of the coleus and next to the porch is vinca (periwinkle).
In this picture is 'hot embers' with 'kona red' in front.
Inbetween thunderstorms, had to take some pics - I know you're tired of my Dipt in Wine, Golda and Black Heart SPV, but this sucker is waist high now! I just love it! Will plant this in containers out front next year as it puts on a show.
#2 is a few disappointments - clockwise from front, Alabama Sunset (I like), White Fingers (seems to turn all green in sun), Beckwith's Gem (likewise, in sun it's all green) and a Dipt in Wine thrown in from a cutting.
#3 Two cheap NOIDS (red & orange) with Cousin Itt Marguerite SPV.
#4 Random containers - who can spot our "pet" anole, Lounge Lizard Larry? LOL
this is a link to the beefsteak plant that was mentioned earlier in the thread, well that is my question, is this what you all are talking about? I have one of the purple ones and it grows like a weed, takes quite a bit of sun and seeds prolifically although they pull out nicely so I don't consider it a weed, but a blessing! This link shows the plant in different colors, like lime or reddish. I didn't know it came in all those colors? Is it a type of coleus or something else? I grow some coleus and they seed sometimes but they are too slow to get going so I usually just buy some.
I am in a hot dry climate now, very hot and windy. If I provide shade and block the wind and water every other day, can I get coleus to live here ok?
Give it a try! They are tough plants. Daves garden has regional forums, maybe you can dind the arizona one and ask those folksnif theybpve tried it? Coleus are inexpensive so I'd try it for yourself. Perilla may be more tolerant of dry, I know my perilla grow under the eaves so they don't get much water and I always forget to water them, they still look great.
Denis: I see nothing wrong with your second planter.Its not a failure just because it didnt meet your original vision.
Pretend you cant see what you wanted and be happy with what is there.
It has great plants in good colors.
denise, your coleus are just beautiful. I love your Alabama Sunset in that arrangement. Your orange one looks like 'rustic orange' and is so beautiful with that green sweet potatoe vine.
Very nice arrangements!
Thanks everyone. Just wanted to keep this thread a movin', I'm ready for more of YOUR pictures. :)
And for those who spotted Larry, send me your address & I'll email one of the small baby anoles for which I'm sure Larry is responsible (just joking!!) Sorry, I just love those little critters. Larry will go missing for a few days, then show up sunning himself on the lounge chair...
Taters55 - I LOVE SPV, but a drawback is that bugs love them too & eat the leaves. But Larry helps take care of that in my screened lanai. They're crazy easy to root. I used to do water rooting, until one day I just poked a hole in a pot and stuck a branch in - kept it well watered & it took off. I even had some come back the following year after a mild winter. (They do like their water & tend to take over a container, but I think they're worth it.) By the end of summer all my pots have a SPV trailing down, 'cos I have such a hard time throwing out the pieces I've hacked off. ;)
Coleuslover123, I think you're right about the Rustic Orange, it just wasn't labeled as such, so I call it "orange". ;)
GE, it's not so much a failure as a minor disappointment. I've even moved it into the shade & White Fingers & Beckwith's don't do it for me. I think one of your containers has Beckwith's (?) and it's gorgeous next to mine.
Here's another old pick of Marguerite SPV with Sunpatiens. Started out as a stringy 4" pot of SPV.
Cumulus, I am so impressed! Impressed with your greenhouse and surrounding outdoor plants, impressed with the number and amount of work it takes to maintain and impressed at how neat and orderly you keep it! Thank you for the youtube treat.
I'd love to have a greenhouse like that with heaters for the winter.
I hope you don't lose everything in the winter. I don't know how cold Belgian winters are.
Thanks for the positive reactions :)
I must admit that I got some assistance from my father (trimming the hedges and mowing the lawn around the greenhouse) but all the other work is from my own hands with love for this great hobby.
A friend from Sweden (who some of you may also know) also deserves some words of thanks since she provides all the Coleus cuttings. As you might know, there are only 4 different Coleus available in Belgium and most internet stores and even ebay sellers don't want to send their cuttings or plants overseas. So you have to stick with the 4 Belgian Coleus which are low quality seed strains which flower readily. And what makes things worse is that these 4 Coleus are exactly the same as when I started with plants and flowers in september 1993 . Even with expensive lighting and heating systems in my dedicated greenhouse I still loose one thirth of the cultivars I have each winter.
The day she stops with Coleus in Sweden is also the day that my Coleus hobby ends but luckily there are still other plants in the garden which are exciting to grow as you can see on this movie
In a last desperate try to get more Coleus in Belgium I spend several years on programming an online plant trading platform (floraswapper.com) , but it doesn't attract many Coleus growers so I'll have to accept that the future of my Coleus hobby will be decided in Sweden ;)
Thank you so much for sharing a video of your beautiful coleus garden! I'm so impressed, it looks so stunning!!! And yes - as long as I'm able to keep MY coleus collection alive (and it's growing in numbers every year, ... now appr. 700 different!!!!!) I will of course continue to send you cuttings. FYI: I will receive a lot of new cuttings from Norway this week, I have a friend there who is also a coleus enthusiast. She has a huge collection also, and is collecting/sowing seeds every spring in order to breed new, exciting types. I'm so much looking forward to this package from her, I can hardly wait :)))))
Those orange stones are expanded clay pebbles. They absorb water and nutrients and replace soil completely. All my coleus plants are grown on hydroponics which makes them grow faster so I can enjoy them earlier in our short growing seasons in Belgium.
Denisemb: I'm afraid I'm not so clever with the camera... One day, I will try to improve :))
Collecting coleus is just a fun hobby, I don't sell them. Here's a pic taken at one of the corners of the greenhouse, April 2012. Sadly, there are always a bunch that don't make it through winter, even if I try my best to overwinter them. I've been collecting coleus for c:a 20 years now, but still haven't found any *secure" way to overwinter, there are always appr 2-5% losses during the cold months. We have long, cold winters in Sweden, and many rainy, chilly summer days - that's probably why it's so difficult for me to make them happy. To my great luck, I have good friends that provide me with new ones... and I also used to buy some from US and England, thou not every spring - since I have so many. During summer they are outside in the garden, performing quite well - depending on the weather we have here, of course. This season, the weather has been quite rainy and windy so far, and my coleus are now struggling, -- they are not so tall and bushy as they normally are at this time in summer. Well well weelll... I think it's supposed to be like this - if it was an easy task I would probably have lost interest in this hobby a long time ago :))
I used to grow them NY state and then some in Fl. Now I am in NJ and my DD has this in front of the garage.
Linda as mentioned above, the sweet potato vine is all eaten up, the coleus are getting it too. (this is the only planter that survived the deer so far)
the planter is about 5' across. We had quite a bit of rain this week so the planta are bolting.
Here in Belgium winters are usually mild and the days are a little longer than overthere in Sweden. But last years they are getting much colder here and summers are also much more cold and rainier than 5 years agoo. So I try to be creative in both heating and lighting as you can see here:
GE1836, your containers are stunningly in their prime. Now you can sit back & enjoy your hard work (except when it comes time to water). ;)
Think we've talked before about the different colorations depending on light. I've been complainin' about my Beckwith's Gem and White Fingers being all green, so moved them into a morning sun/afternoon shade area. Happy to report they're both "coloring up" to their potential. Unfortunately, the Alabama Sunset in the same container looked prettier in sun, so I've learned not to plant them in that combo next time. :)
Oh Ge, your grammar is perfectly spot on, I'm just really really gonna miss drooling over your photos until next Spring. ;) That's ok though, I'll just look back through the ones you've shared over the Winter while I plan for my own benches, and 'borrow' ideas from you for my plans. If you don't mind, that is. =)
What I seem to have the most trouble with, and have learned from you, is what combos look and work really well together. Thanks to this thread, I have found that I'm totally in love with Coleus and plan to make them the Key plantings on my benches next year, along with Hostas and Setcretia. I've got several large enough containers to do combo plantings on the lower level of the area, but I had yet to get a 'feel' for what might work well together... now I think I've got a better grasp of, not only what I can/should put together, but also what else is out there, and what to encourage Boss Lady to order for next Spring. I'd never had any idea there was such a thing as 'creeping' type Coleus before reading in here and ogling your photos.
Always so much to learn, and it's always so much fun, so I just wanted to thank you for what you've (inadvertently) taught me so far. =)
Do you mind if I send you D-mails with questions over-winter, while I work on my plans for next season?
I dont mind answering questions.
I have discovered that coleus never seem to have a "down" time. They originate in TaiWan where its really hot and steamy.
When annuals planted in containers stop blooming duering July and on to August,the coleus are just coming into their prime.
If you remember to pairDark and light colored plants and vary the leaf character (ie) smooth edged and cut edged it will help too. I always try to find a common color from one plant to another in the planter.
Aaaah, I'd never thought of combining the different leaf characters like that, very cool tip!
I really need to get out back to share what my current babies have been up to; I've got some nice ones that are thriving well (in this humid heat), though no combos... yet. The wheels are turning already, however. Wondering what new baby I can get to pair up with a Fishnet Stockings I've got... maybe a Violet Tricolor. Man, this is gonna be FUN!!
Thanks, I will definitely be asking questions while I draw up plans and shopping lists this Winter. =)
Okey dokey, I can do that too... already been web-surfing a bit for Coleus sites to get new ideas.
I 'liberated' a few cuttings of Fishnet Stockings from plants at work several weeks back, and am surprised at how well they are doing. Went out and got a couple shots of them, but had to take them from the deck since it's wet and rainy out this morning. Let's see how they came out... well, the pics are horribly unclear and grainy, not to mention dark, but you can at least see how big they are after about 5 weeks or so. They are the 3 in a row on the bottom shelf. That's a Defiance on the shelf above it, a cutting from my original "mother plant", taken at the same time. I've learned that Coleus seem to really like it back there, very bright shade, so that's gonna be my Coleus Home.
How funny, I was just perusing that very same site and bookmarked it. WOW, what a selection!! I'm not sure what all varieties are available at work from our growers, but if I can't find what I want, then I will be shopping at RosyDawn, thanks!
I have finally stopped canning for a couple days and I planted your rooted cuttings with fresh, new soil. I've taken cuttings of most of the ones I'm going to send you.
What I want to know from anyone who has done this before - how do you overwinter them? I mean do you find cuttings in water will do best for a spring planting or should I root them and pot them up for a sunny window until spring? I have a south west facing windows in 2 rooms and I really don't want to do plant lights if I can get by without them.
I pot up cuttings outside in summer and bring them in during October. They remain on our unheated indoor porch with five big windows (southwest exposure) and a glass door all winter. I water them rarely - once every 10 days to two weeks! That seems to be the key for my success. More water leads to more problems.
By February to March you can take cuttings from them and by mid-May they're outside for another summer.
You can use the mother plants for containers and cuttings to start the next round of winter houseplants that will become container plants for the following year.
i used to bring them in used them as houseplants. They did get pale and what not. Took cuttings in April/May and then grew them into container plants. My DD received "ralph" as she called the coleus, not sure which is was, as a shower thank you. She had ralph for more than 10 years. This in upstate NY.
So do you take cuttings from the growing coleus that has grown outside all summer and get them rooted and going before bringing in during Oct? Or do you bring in the mother plant in October? I just want to get this right. I'm surprised the cold temps of the unheated NY temps do not freeze the coleus. Will the temp drop to freezing in that room (I know the sun will provide heat of sorts but not when the wind is 10 degrees). This is my first year of "coleus fever" so I'm a newbie.
If I remember correctly, I tried to root larger coleus cuttings several times over the years without success. I felt the larger mother cuttings (pencil size or larger) wouldn't root in water and just rotted but haven't experienced trouble with smaller stem cuttings.
I take cuttings from the mother plants (that were rooted the previous summer) for the following summer and just repeat the process. I eliminate any I'm not thrilled with or that didn't perform well.
The porch is an indoor, unheated porch. It has an unused, always locked door to the outside and two doors to bedrooms so it gets heat from the bedrooms and remains around 60 all night. I've tested with a thermometer.
Thanks, Denise. I only take pictures of it when it's clean! During the winter it's filled with plants but I have been deleting for the last few years so it has been more tolerable. On sunny winter days, because of the angle of the sun, it often gets to 95 degrees in there and it's actually uncomfortably hot. We close the doors to the porch by 4 PM.
Thank you guys for letting me eavesdrop on your conversation about over-wintering, this will be my first year doing so and I think I've got it figured out now... except for the "WHERE in the house am I gonna put 'em!?" part. ;) I've got a few "Mother" plants, and a handful-and-a-half of cuttings that are now nearly as big as the Mother plant. Everyone gets to come inside for the winter. When I'm ready for more plants, then in March I'll take some new cuttings, pot them and let them root, then in Mid-May, everyone will head back outside again. Easy peezy lemon squeezy. =) Thank you Pirl, for the very easy-to-understand instructions! < =D
Shihtzumom, I think, if I read it correctly, Helenthequeen's DD, who had Ralph for more than 10 years, lives in upstate NY. Did I read that correctly? Now, to do that in upstate NY is a REAL feat, and I'd like to meet her!! =)
One thing to remember is that coleus root all along the stem, not just at the nodes. So, if you have a short cutting it can still root. Try your best to leave a maximum of two leaves at the top. Remember that the cutting you took once had the life support of an entire root system. Leaving more than two leaves just makes the cutting struggle more - yes, it looks nicer for the cutting to have a lot of leaves but it's harder on the cutting to make new roots.
Don't use the brown stems. Just use green stems for cuttings (photo #2).
You can cut a mother plant right down to stubs and it will still grow new leaves. (photo #3)
Denise, do you get advance warning of a monsoon like a hurricane, or is an unforeseen disaster? I think the winds are the worst for damage. I have found Dipt in Wine doe root pretty readily, and it is such a pretty plant.
With a few rooted cuttings in one pot, coleus does lend itself to early beauty even before it fills out.
Denise, ACK!!! That is a gorgeous planter, I can see why it's your favourite! Maybe a haircut now will help them get even bushier and fuller (trying to see the cloud's silver lining here).
I agree with Cathy, Dipt in Wine are a really lovely variety, and very easy to root. Cuttings have even lived and thrived for me!! LOL! I will "pass" on your very generous offer though, thank you, I can get them quite easily from work.
Have you got them cut back now? Are they filling back out nicely again already? I'd bet they are! =)
Cathy, this time of year we have thunderstorms every day, a downpour (my monsoon exaggeration) for 15 minutes and then it lightens up. Usually the screenhouse breaks up the rain. I really should have given it a haircut before now, ala speediebeans suggestion. Guess my "vanity" was wanting to see how big it would grow! ;) No biggie, that variety IS easy to root and I have several ready to take its place.
A few years ago a wind/rain storm of very short duration changed the look of the coleus in this pot...not for the better. It did survive but I never again used that container for coleuses - too many bad memories.
Aaaaaw man Pirl, that is sad! Mother Nature can be very cruel sometimes, huh? I'm sorry you've now got negative associations with that planter. =( Hopefully you've got something "funner" in it now, something more sturdy that will end up giving you a happier association. =)
Beautiful color pirl
Everyday when I walk the garden I am drawn to this coleus.It was a new offering on RD this spring so I used it.I am not sorry I did, while the camera doesnt show the deep velvety eggplant color that is magnetizing ,it does show the lovely edge detail.
Norris #2 in a planter with trailing strawberry
Norris #3 same combo
That is beautiful Jo Ann. I belive that will be on my RD order too. I hope to order for the first time this Spring. Hard to believe fall is upon us as our night temps are starting to drop some. If you have cuttings I would love to trade for some.
Oh my goodness Jo Ann, that Norris is spectacularly gorgeous, the colour is so rich and the edges so frilly and pretty!! I love the combo together too, so wonderfully complimentary!! Question: RD? Reader's Digest? < =/
Pirl, oh that Begonia bloom is beautiful!!!!!! Sounds like a great combo you put together in that planter, that should definitely give you much happier memories and associations with it now!
Thanks. I bought it, and others, at a weak moment in winter. Now I'm glad I did! I planted this one in a torch lamp, in the garden, that I bought for $2.50 at a garage sale. The begonia was much more expensive than the lamp!
Love the pictures of the red coleus! And last year for the first time I overwintered some coleus, it was a learning experience. Best to use a longish stem with at least one node and only bout two leaves. Rooting in soil seems to work better than water because eventually you have to transfer to water and the roots don't always make a good transition. Kept my two plants in a pot in Sunny window in my office. The color was not as intense indoors but LOTS of growth. In spring I had plenty of material, cuttings from those two plants filled my planters! I really am looking for a good red for my collection and just spotted one in my neighbors yard. I'm going to go talk to her about taking a couple pinches to overwinter, then come spring I'll supply her with young plants. Then the cycle continues!
AND I would like to enter a item where I made a big mistake as a newbie winter coleus raiser.
I was ambitious and was going to raise coleus from cuttings.
I had 30 parent plants and bought "seed starter" tray assemblies and began the process in September,settling into a comfy for the next 9 months.
More than half way thru I realized the cells were too small.They were presenting me with lanky tall plants.
Thats what happens when the roots dont develop in larger pots.I also had saved many yogurt containers and plastic cups. The difference in plants rooted in both situations was amazing.
We're all capable of making such mistakes, Jo Ann, but at least you learned from it and that's the purpose of the errors we may make in life.
The four inch plastic pots do well for me for cuttings. They retain the moisture better than clay and they are lighter.
For five or six cuttings of the same plant, or for a future container outdoors, a 6" pot works well. These pots (photo #1) work very well in the porch plant stand with a Maxwell House coffee lid used as a saucer for each one. Labels are critical as "I'll remember" just doesn't work for me: the colors change too much in the winter even in the brightest sun.
Wow! I remember those days, Jo Ann, when we were both insane with the cuttings!
This is just a small portion of what I ended up potting up and bringing inside for the winter. I made matches of those I felt would make good containers for the following year but look at photo #2 to see how tall they became by March 31st.
It all became too much work, too much watering, for both of us. It's proof that less is more.
It took 4 years for the insanity to end.
I order what I want now.
Cuttings didnt save that much and it didnt allow me to choose new introductions.
When you consider ,by mid June I can take cuttings from the new combos and plant them in the containers on the deck,why order more than one needs.
I would never have found Norris.
(JUST a note to all coleus lovers here) I regret I can not send cuttings and stuff.Its just too hard to garden- period at 76.
I hope everyone understands if I dont get into trading and sending anything.I should post this on all the forums where I go.
Since our frost day is not till end of Oct or November, can I take cuttings just before that since I don't have those nice big windows you ladies have. Last year when I planted in Sept. by March they all died, it is true that I roored them in water. This year I will plant them in small pots with dirt and hope they do better. Etelka
I cant help but think you will see a difference.Potting mix has a slow release fert that water doesnt.
I have taken cuttings early and planted them in pots to be left outside until frost.This gives them a headstart on roots.
The coleus wont like any night temps below 50* so I keep an eye on the weatherman and bring things in when the nights get cooler weather there is frost or not.
Jo Ann and Pirl, I'm now finding your advice is more valuable that any cuttings. I'm afraid of becoming a CCL (not crazy cat lady, but crazy coleus lady!) LOL. But I'm going to try and keep things manageable. I'm not fond of the cell packs, haven't had luck with those. I prefer things in their own pots, so am saving any containers that are suitable in my attempts to overwinter - if I run out there's always the plastic cups at the $ store.
One thing I would find helpful is if people would share their experiences/favorites of certain varieties. I.E., Jo Ann & I are both less than impressed with White Fingers, and she's turned me onto Sedona and Carrot Cake (maybe Norris, too). I've already started my wish list with RD.
I'll start - you already know I'll never be without Dipt in Wine (crazy easy to root), Golda and Alabama Sunset. Had success in the past with Rustic Orange, Chocolate Mint, Solar Shadow, Aurora Black Cherry (a small variety) and Trailing Red.
I bombed out with Beckwith's Gem this year (while Jo Ann's looks great!) and I'm so-so on Sultana.
I'm particularly interested if anyone has grown Allison, Lord Voldemort or Holy Guacamole. Thanks.
I'm sure Jo Ann had Lord Voldermort. A few years ago Jo Ann introduced me to Lancelot Mocha Velvet but I didn't like it at all. Then I was trying to match a caladium to a coleus and found it was the ideal match so now I'll use it, and take cuttings, forever. I'll add a shot of it.
Some of my favorite coleuses for you to check out: Sun Jade, Lemon Sunsation, Electric Lime, Gay's Delight, and Felix and Chantilly. The last two are my favorites.
Love Dipt in Wine and Beckwith's Gem did very well for me in shade.
Here are some pictures I took on January 30, this year. We only had one near freezing weather this year and it was in early January when I was in Jacksonville keeping my "Homestead" tax reduction.
I took 500 cuttings in Sept and by the end of January had given away over 100 to the Snow birds. I also had 8 of these planters filled with coleus and one with herbs.
The first picture has some Caesar on the right with the ruffled yellow edge and on the lower left some unusual "tilt a whirl" I got from Karen in KC. The second is a long view of planters. The third I think is Sedona. The forth is a better view from the deck to my all electric pontoon with the canopy of solar panels. And the last is my greeting signs. The welcome sign has a metal cut out from a trip west that shows a horse, a cowboy kneeling at a cross called "Talking to the boss".
When I was still laid up recovering from a broken back and the 'Snow Birds' were leaving I d-mailed a lady who lives in Jupiter and ask her if she would go pluck up every plant she could love and take them home with her. She was terrific. Loaded her van until it couldn't hold any more. I can go shop her yard when I get back in a few months.
My motor home and boat are parked on Taylor Creek at the very top of Lake Okeechobee.
The wonderful northerners watered my plants every day for me, but didn't know to pinch them back.
I stepped off of a porch at 3AM on February 15th and went 9' to the ground. It really woke me up! LOL!!!
One of my favorites is 'red head'. It seems to do well in shade or in some sun. Grows fast, gets big, but will be bushy if you cut it back once in awhile. Real nice color. Easy to propagate, hardy.
That's 'sedona' to the left of it. This batch is unusually yellow. Must be the soil. I moved it to another spot with about equal sun, and it turned real maroon (like the other 'sedona' I had over there.)