SURVEY-Are Kongs really worth it?

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

Just taking a survey here, ladies and gentlemen.......Just for my own amusement and amazement....or maybe yours too.

The vote is going to be about:

Are Kongs really worth the extra money and the additional babysitting? i.e. Will you grow them next year?

Inquisitive minds want to know..... and also those of us who have lost theirs....LOL


Yukon, OK(Zone 7b)

Well Hap, I can better answer this at the end of my growing season, which will be around the end of Octoboer. But right now, I'm thinking that I won't have them again. They are way too fussy for me so far. And I have had 2 huge Mosiac Kongs that have broken off. Not because of wind or rain, I'm thinking just from it's own weight. So, if they can't carry their own weight (so to speak) then I probably won't have them anymore.

I have to say that they are very pretty. And I really love the 'grandiousness' of them. But I have too much full sun and not much shade. We will have to see how they do. I'm interested in how everyone else is feeling on the subject too!

Freedom, PA(Zone 6a)

Right now I'm not sure weather I like them or not. LOL!! The ones in the ground are ugly, not growing and seem to attract slugs. I have gone through 3 boxes of slug bait so far, to much rain. But the ones in the pots are growing great and look beautiful, but there not big enough to fall over or break. I was hoping they would do better in warmer weather, but since Hap is in Florida I don't know what to think. I guess I'll have a better idea come summers end.


Shelton, WA(Zone 8a)

what are kongs?

Yukon, OK(Zone 7b)

Here is a thread with a good pic of a Kong. They have huge leaves.

Hillsboro, OH(Zone 6a)

My opinion is not in yet. LOL I bought two large ones, grew a bunch from seed and got two smaller ones from a friend. None of them are growing by leaps or bounds but it has been cool here with intermittent storms. I think when it warms up and they get going, I might like them.

Oh, on the slug thing, use egg shells. They are much cheaper and last quite awhile.

Gulfport, MS(Zone 8a)

Right now, i'd have to say yes i will grow them again next year. But of course that is subject to change.

I have to that i immediately put in a very shady area that are doing fantastic. The colors are rich and they look "alive". As long as nothing distrubs them they are fine.
Another one i have in an area that gets a bit too much morning sun and its pretty washed out looking.

I have 2 that are in pots in the back yard that seem to lose branches everytime i even think about moving them. They seem to be so brittle. The upside to that is i have a few baby kongs rooting now.

Modi'in, Israel

I don't know if the ones I have are Kongs or not (not written in any of the descriptions). But I do think a few of them might be. I like that they grow much faster than my other Coleus (which are all wimping along at a snails pace for growth). and the really large leaves are gorgeousr. The only problem I've had with my suspected Kongs is that the stray cat who adopted us tripped over one and broke off a large stem as he was running away from a rather mean stray cat who likes to beat up any cat he encounters. Guess that isn't really something I can blame the plant for ;-)

Ahhhh, one other thing. Dunno if this is due to the Coleus or just bad luck. But one of my Kong-maybes 'developed' lots of holes in some of the leaves. This happened overnight. I guess I need to put some snail/slug pellets out there in that bed????


Thumbnail by salvia_lover
Portland, OR(Zone 8b)

I'm not sure if I like them or not as this is my first year growing them. They haven't really put on much growth yet so I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong or not. What kind of fert do you use for these guys? Do they prefer strict shade or like some morning sun? As far as them breaking under their own weight, do Kongs need to be staked?

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

A lotta questions, aren't there.......

Julie, I don't think that you have slugs, mine just grown thin and ratty looking after they get big....It's like they outgrow themselves.

Em, I have one that is about to fall out of the pot, but has not broke as yet...I think I will stake it before it does.....

I have that baby, the possum rescue, rooted and am going to try another garden with more shade...I await that one to make my final vote.

Personally, I vote no....

Hillsboro, OH(Zone 6a)

Julie, that does look like a Kong Mosaic. The easiest way to tell the difference is that the Kongs have leaves the size of hosta leaves. Even the smaller ones have leaves about the size of a saucer.

Niceville, FL(Zone 8b)

I have two growing. And you are right, they are a bit fussier. They are doing alright but I am mainly growing them for the novelty. The leaves rarely lay right , so it is difficult to actually see the size without straightening out the leaves. I probably wont grow them again, but I can at least say that I have grown them. Next year, they will be replaced with something as equally dramatic but less fussy.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

For me the jury is still out but leaning towards acquittal (for Kongs, not the Whacko).

If they get so huge that they overpower the look of the named Hosta Garden or if the lose their tops (hasn't yet happened), or if the slugs enjoy them a bit too much then maybe I won't.

Right now, this very moment, I'd say YES, but time will tell. Can we all vote again in October?

Fort Pierce, FL(Zone 10a)

I don't think I have true Kongs. They have BIG leaves, but not as large as the pictures of the Kongs. I have two pots and they are lovely, but I think if they were inn a bed with other plants they would overwhelm them.

If the Kongs come back next year, I may try to plant them along the fence and let them have the show to themselves.

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

Absolutely, I think that we should. Have to be fair to all the plants. But is ain't lookin' good right now....

Rylaff, you are right. The leaves curl so that you see the faded underside instead of the pretty side... Not a good thing...

BTW, wno started that Kongs anyway?


This message was edited Jun 4, 2005 9:40 AM

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Hap - good question about who started the Kongs. So I did a search and found a few sites and then one with a contact name. I emailed and asked him who, when, where and was it a hybrid of two plants. I doubt it but we can wait for his response. The site did say to feed with 12-6-6 and keep it in the shade or the leaves would curl.

Lincoln, NE(Zone 5b)

Unless mine shape up over the next few weeks, I won't be buying them next year or taking cuttings this fall, but it's too early to say yet. This green one I'd only had a few days when this photo was taken. Still looks good, but I do have it somewhat protected.


This message was edited Jun 4, 2005 10:20 AM

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(Linda) Winfield, KS(Zone 6a)

This is the first year for me and Kongs. So far so good. But I will come back and leave a new thread at the end of fall.


Coshocton, OH(Zone 6a)

i only had my kongs for couple of weeks. have them planted in big pots, they get a little sun in morning and evening. so far they are doing great. belinda

Modi'in, Israel

Well this is why I like the Kongs. Look at the size difference between these Coleus. They wre all bought the same day and they were all exactly the same size that day too.

Thumbnail by salvia_lover
(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Finally planted mine and it's surrounded with the Golden Moneywort
(?Euphorbia aurea?) and it looks quite happy out of the wind and it will get morning sun. I still have my fingers crossed!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Those three coleus are so lovely. The dark rust reminds me of Sedona - would look great in terracotta! The Kong is the Kong and I only get concerned about how HUGE it will get. One site said each leaf is the size of your face - that's not so dainty and petite. Love the one with the raspberry center, too.

Do you ever get concerned about Kong being too big?

Pinellas Park, FL(Zone 9b)

I bought Kong Mosiac at Walmart a couple of weeks ago and so far I am happy with it but it is still in the same pot. Has anyone tried treating it like a tomato and burying it deeper or adding dirt as it grows to get a large root support stem?

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)


I think that is where I got in trouble with one of mine....I planted it just a tiny bit too deep for it rotted out at the base.. see it in another thread...The first two side branches were JUST touching the soil and away it went... Now it might have been my soil or water...who knows...I used Mirable Grow Potting Soil...

I am in the process of rooting the good part that was left.


Pinellas Park, FL(Zone 9b)

Do the Kong root different than the common varieties. I know if you take a cutting from a common variety and put it in water, any and all nodes that are submerged will usually form roots.
The side shoots on mine aren't large enough yet but maybe I will experiment when they are.

Ewing, KY(Zone 6a)

To be honest I have not been to impressed. After wanting them so bad last year. They seem to be to picky for me. I have not given up on them yet so I reserve my right to change my mind later in the season. lol

Modi'in, Israel

Pirl thank you :-). I've got too much sun anywhere I could put a pot, so all of my Coleus go in the ground. But I agree, the rust one would be very pretty in terrracotta....with a glazed green rim perhaps :-).


(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Yes, Julie, yes! And a matching green coleus and another one of the same terracotta with green and then..................................

Modi'in, Israel and I would not be a very good pair in the garden center....far too much money would be spent :-D

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

So where do you see the problem?

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

I'm opening a garden center near you.....hehe....

(Linda) Winfield, KS(Zone 6a)

Mine are in full shade is that going to be a problem?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Julie - I forgot - you need to get a nice big boulder from Sedona to accent the plant!

Chariton, IA(Zone 5b)

I've had Kongs for two years now and have planted them in the ground and in pots. They do better for me in pots, but I think I'll stick with sun coleus and just regular coleus for next year. Wind is hard on Kongs and we have lots of wind here.

Modi'in, Israel

Pirl, Hap, ROTFL

And about the boulder, if you want to haul it over here, I'll gladly adopt it ;-)


Taylor Creek, FL(Zone 10a)

2pugs, shade is fine. They are fragile in wind and thursty, and need deadhearing daily. I'll reserve opinion until this summer is over.

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

sugarweed.....there you are.....have you been hiding under a Kong leaf????? LOL

I finally got to Molly's today and got your lovely presents....Love'em all......I sent pictures of your babies when I get them planted.....and if it doens't stop raining here, THEY will have babies before I get them in the ground.....Everything is soaked here. Don't know when it's going to stop.... I'm doing the back-stroke as it is...........LOLOLO

Thanks again kiddo......

Nancy Lee

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

So you couldn't have asked when we were there in January????????????

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

Asked what, pirl??????

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

For a boulder from Sedona to match her coleus!

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