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The plants look lovely. Yubiker, remove the flower spikes; don't permit them to bloom. If you permit them to bloom, they will get old looking too quickly and you will need to take cuttings to start new plants.
Marcia ,I really appreciate your advice. Yes, I do have problems in keeping these seed-grown coleus because new cuttings from some of them will grow flower spikes again and again. It seems not good to use the cuttings because they donít grow as well as their parents. Besides, most of them will not last over 1 year even though we donít have the problem of overwintering in Taiwan, except the trailing form can live as perennial. In order to keep the quality of foliage color, I need their seeds to breed new young plants.
As I mentioned before, we donít have so many versified cutting-grown coleus in Taiwan. That is why I need to place overseas orders to try these new plants.
Yubiker,some people don't understand that you need your seeds,because y'all don't have the plants we do.I say BRAVO to you because you raised such colorful plants from seeds.Your garden is just busting with beautiful colors.
Yes, I understand your questioning about why I need your plants since Iíve already got so many plants by seeds. The reason is that the cultivars in your market are much more varied than ours. I think it deserves to import new ones to make our collection more abundant. And I am going to introduce them (such as Under the sea Series,Mint Mocha, Merlinís Magic, etc) to my friends in Taiwan. I really hope that more and more people will like these new cultivars.
I donít know how many people living in sub-tropical zones like me have met the same problems, but it will be risky if you only rely on cuttings instead of collecting seeds. Most of the upright forms of Coleus do not grow as perennial even though they can keep growing until the next year comes. The real problem is that cuttings from these old mother plants tend to grow flower spikes more quickly and will become ugly, and finally they will die. In comparison to that situation, young plants bred from seeds may grow better and longer(I believe the period from the young plant growing until blooming is the most beautiful life circle for us to use). So it becomes my first choice, cutting will be used only when it is emergent for me to preserve some cultivars without seeds.
Yubiker, if you cut the spike before it emerges and blooms, your plants will grow stronger. You are more likely to bloom due to your full sun. In shade it is not so frequent. If you have a stronger plant, the cuttings themselves will be stronger and create sturdy roots. Don't take cuttings from spindly plants. Take cuttings from thicker stems.
Cathy166,please get it through your head that Yubiker needs the flower spikes in order to get her seeds.That is what she has been trying to tell you.That she has to use her flowers to get seeds.WAKE UP LADY AND READ YUBIKER'S THREAD!!!!!
Dear Cathy166, I can fully understand what you said about cutting, while the bad truth is that blooming is inevitable. Cutting the spike before it emerges and blooms can only hold for a while. Continuous pinching will make the original single stem branch and branch, and will make new leaves smaller, then more sub-branches bring more blooming and pinching as well. Considering about the problem that most of the upright form of coleus cannot grow to be perennial as the trailing forms do, I choose seeds to make new plants to ensure good quality of foliage.