planting coleus en masse question

Glen Riddle Lima, PA

a question for you coleus lovers....

how far apart do you plant the coleus plants if they're planted en masse? I'm in Southeast PA, and last year my plants grew to 2 1/2- 3 feet without pruning (except for deadheading and sending cuttings for trade on DG). I'd like to try it this year...

trying to plan the garden in advance...

always so much easier said and thought than done, isn't it?



Raleigh, NC(Zone 7b)

Joy, there are two ways of looking at it:
Landscapers plant commercial beds about 12-14" oc (on center-from the center of one plant to the center of the plant next to it), which might seem a little bit close but they want these beds to fill out fast.
The other way is to space them out about 18"-22" as the plant will eventually fill out that far apart-esp if they have been cut back a lot and are full plants to start with.
Not sure when you can start planting your coleus outside-but I would guess somewhere in mid-May? That should be enough time for them to fill out if you have less plants and want to plant a bigger bed :) But if you have tons ( from cuttings) then plant closer-you can always go back and cut them back some if necessary

Glen Riddle Lima, PA

i'm planting out mid to late may, depending on the weather. hopefully i will have enough good starts to plant closer. i don't have tons, but you never know. they multiply as the season warms, and i try to never let a cutting go to waste. if not for my garden, then for someone elses!

we'll see what spring brings and which coleus varieties win my overwintering "survivor" contest.



Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

Jamming together makes a nice bed, I use 12" on center.

Thumbnail by DaleTheGardener
Glen Riddle Lima, PA

i was hoping you'd post too dale-

your pics are always so inspiring.

that pic is absolutely gorgeous!


Yukon, OK(Zone 7b)

Hi Joy! I'm excited for you! So far, what varieties do you plan to plant en masse?

As always dale......beautiful!!!!

Near Lake Erie, NW, PA(Zone 5a)

Thanks for starting this thread, The mass plantings of coleus is very inspiring. I plan to start some from seeds soon and take cuttings over the growing season. Should be the answer to those times when there is not much color in the garden, as my garden seems to come in waves.

Thanks for the picture, Dale

Glen Riddle Lima, PA

right now, it's whatever overwinters well.

i've been making successive cuttings as much as i can.

i was hoping to do pineapple queen and alabama sunset (separate beds), but the mother plants bit the dust while i was away.

right now, i'm thinking maybe different beds of:

dipt in wine
kiwi fern
olympic torch
wine country
red ruffles
rustic orange

thought of maybe making a pattern with different coleus...
but we'll see which ones thrive in the next few months.

i also wanted to see what the saber mix coleus look like after i grow them, maybe some of those...


Yukon, OK(Zone 7b)

Hi Joy, please post pics for us of your saber mix. I'm excited to see them.

I've been thinking (in my feeble little brain) how beautiful most of your choices will be. I think they are all great choices....except maybe Kiwi Fern...I'm having a difficult time with that vision.

Best of luck to you! I will look forward to seeing your gardens.

Glen Riddle Lima, PA

i will definitely post saber mix photos when they grow up:)

i think a kiwi fern border would look nice in the part shade bed on the side of my house. my kiwi fern was nicely mounded and not too large last summer there, and i think it would make a nice border with the mini hostas and ferns there. it's pretty understated.

that's what i hope, anyway...


Glen Riddle Lima, PA

here's the kiwi fern from last year...

Thumbnail by eskinola
Glen Riddle Lima, PA

i was hoping to do a bed with kiwi fern and pineapple queen together so they would complement one another, but my pineapple queen is not doing so hot...

Yukon, OK(Zone 7b)

Joy, that is really pretty. I had kiwi fern a couple of years ago and even thought the coloring was like yours (and I really like the color)....mine just didn't grow like that. It seemed all hap-hazard....almost ugly in growth. Certainly it wasn't mounding. That would be beautiful with pineappe queen.

LOL, I just found a pic of it. Maybe the morning glory had something to do with the reason I didn't care for it.

Thumbnail by Brinda
Glen Riddle Lima, PA

morning glory usually has something to do with surrounding plants growing haphazardly... it takes over and other plants grow where they can LOL!

i think mine stayed relatively petite and mounding also because it was in semi-shade... my coleus in the full sun beds were gargantuan for the most part. and none were kongs (i just can't get myself to like kong coleus. call me a coleus snob....:)


Yukon, OK(Zone 7b)

I wouldn't call you a coleus snob, Joy! LOL I don't care for the kongs either. They are way too fragile for me....and I have mostly 100% full blazing sun...ALL they can't survive here.

Taylor Creek, FL(Zone 10a)

Well the Kongs are absolutely gorgeous for about 14 minutes, and then they aren't.

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

Boy, sugar, you don't even give them 15 minutes of fame???? I think you were generous with 14, I would have allow about 3.


Glen Riddle Lima, PA

i give them 1 minute's time- looking at them at the farmer's stand while i load other coleus into my cart.

is that mean?



This message was edited Feb 3, 2007 11:33 AM

Yukon, OK(Zone 7b)

No Joy...that isn't mean at all! LOL I'm like you, I look at them....I may gently stoke a leaf and then I'm off to find the good coleus!

Rockford, IL

I did a mass planting of Rustic Orange. I purchased a 105 plug flat of rooted plugs. They were small and I just planted them right in the ground. They were a little slow at first but they are looking good now. I think I likely planted about 8 inches apart. Maybe I should have planted farther apart. They look good now and have filled in nicely.

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