Tomtom, what a lovely surprise to see you posting! The pictures you have shared with us in the past are in my archives of FAVORITES! Of course we are all Coleus lovers here, and your tree shaped Coleus is a real treat. As usual, the request is for MORE pictures!
Carrie - The life of a bonsai is not always spent in perfect form. The plant must be allowed to grow freely to gain strength, and then be pruned back. Roots must also be pruned so the plant can remain in a small container. After the pruning, the plant needs a period of recovery. Vigorous bonsai, like Coleus, are probably at their best two or three times per year. Other bonsai may only be in peak form once per year or even every other year, and then only for a few weeks. I have many plants in a large growing area in the basement under lights that are in various stages of development as bonsai - maybe 75 or so. Though most are tropical or sub-tropical trees and shrubs, think there are 4 Coleus in the mix right now. I often give these away to get people interested in bonsai.
Happy - I think the plant in the picture is being over-wintered for the 3rd or 4th year.
Tomtom - I read your post on another forum (papercrete) with great interest. I wish I understood the process more fully. It would be a very interesting subject/project for a bonsai club workshop. I'll continue to follow it. Thank you for posting it.
Thank you so much for housing my pictures in your archives. I attempted to shape
four coleuses like a tree this summer.
Only two were successful. They needed constant care.
Take a look at the other one,will do?
Yes ,Susan, splendid idea to use it a Chrismas tree! You've only got to place it in the room earlier.
Thank you, Sidney. Just have a try, I insist.
Al.Nobody else has ever thought of growing coleus as BONSAI !!
I'm sure I'll try.
I'm also grateful to you for having a look at my Papercrete containers.
Carrie, I'd say it was no easy job since it was my first trial.
You know coleus grows so fast and gets out style easily.
It was pleasant and worth doing it, though.
Al, thanks for your answer - I truly had no idea! My goodness! Here I was puzzling over bonsai and wondering why they cost so much, because the bonsai sites I've looked at have had a very welcoming [to beginners] approach. "Sure you can do it, ANYONE can do it, you can do it with dandelions, you can do it with ANY plant!" I truly appreciate the information. Everything makes much more sense now.
What follows are the step-by-step pictures of making tree-shaped coleus.
I'll be happy if they're of some use.
1DPlant young coleus.
2DTops of the unwanted shoots are nipped off. Place a prop the length of your propective tree coleus in the pot.Every time shoots overgrow, nip them off and grow the plant according to your image.
Just wanted to bump up this one and add that I think the instructions here are good too. About the same as Tomtom's. Ihttp://www.gardengatemagazine.com/extras/51coleusstandarda.php
I have ordered 2 Japanese Giants to do standards out of. I'm also planting a sphere with coleus after tomtom's inspiration.
TomTom, your creativity, photos, and instructions are inspiring! I hope to make the containers per your instructions and perhaps use them for coleus art as you and Al have done. Al, the bonsai is striking. Thank you, both. Laura
I have been told I have a very tiny, cute, button nose. Thank you very much. hehe.
Try looking on page 129 under "Tallest Plants" in the 2007 edition of Guinness World Book of Records; Nancy Lee Spilove
on page 85 in the book by our own Ray Rogers called, "Coleus: Rainbow Foliage for Containers and Gardens." That has the whole story.
It's really true and it was a fun event in my life. I beat out the last record which was 4' something. Heck, that's a normal size for my beauties.
OK! I had a rather boring coleus that just got bigger and bigger, shoulder height before I "lost" it because I had to move. It was a really huge plant, as I hadn't pinched or pruned at all. But it was a bland green with bland brownish blotches. So sorry it didn't have interesting colors, shape or design!
I bought from Hazzards for the first time this year... not that I need instructions for the coleus but I had to look up sowing directions for some others that I bought... they instead have bible quotes on the packs.. but seem very nice
plantsforpeg: I think it's difficult to find really unusual coleus from seed. Most of the outstanding varieties are from cuttings. One of the characteristics of "outstanding" in my book is that the coleus do NOT flower readily, blooming very late in the season if at all, which makes them excellent in the garden, but lousy for getting seed! Of the over thirty varieties I planted from cuttings last year (Gephart's and Rosy Dawn cuttings), only two had any bloom by September, and they were only a few spikes on each plant. Seed is cheaper, but if you can overwinter cuttings from plants, they are certainly worth the effort!
Great work here TomTom... the projects and applications you've posted over the years have always been insprational... and a joy for all...
over in containers there was concern for you.. so we were happily directed here to find you ...
we all share the sadness... of the great human physcal and emotional suffering ...
A friends son.. working there.. recently returned from his safe and unaffected area of Japan... for a vist of a few days with his mother here.. he said he and the local folks there... had an almost guilty feeling being so passed over by the immediate disaster... where so many were so compleately distroyed.. I'm sure everyone would have taken a bit of the pain if it would have lessened the impact of those so heavily burdened.. All the best...