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Growing Coleus; Coleus Plant Care
The beauty of a blooming flower is incomparable. However, there are plants that have exquisite foliage in a variety of colors and design — more than compensating for their nondescript flowers. Coleus is one such plant. Its leaves come in eye-catching colors: burnished copper, purple, crimson, maroon, pink, yellow, white and myriad shades of green. Some varieties are variegated and come in combinations of these colors. Coleus leaves have jagged or scalloped edges. It has tiny inconspicuous flowers of non-descript color. Coleus is a herbaceous annual having a succulent stem and has medicinal uses too.
You can grow coleus from either seeds or cuttings. The best time to plant it is in the moist summer months. Nevertheless, coleus is hardy plants that can be grown in any season, except winter. Coleus plants prefer a tropical or subtropical climate and a well-drained medium fertile soil.
Coleus thrive well indoor in a pot as well as outdoors in garden beds. While crowing coleus in pots, take care that it gets plenty of sunlight. Coleus thrives extremely well in the summers. Ensure that it receives lots of watering and morning sun. Although it loves the sun, if the plant receives too much harsh sunlight, the glorious colors of the leaves will fade.
Pinch off the top shoot of the coleus plant when it is 6 inches high. Also, nip off the small bluish flowers when they appear. This allows the plant to become thick and bushy. In the winters, when the leaves lose their color and the plant become lank, keep the coleus in the shade till the next season. In spring, use the cuttings to propagate new plants. Mealy bug, aphids and whitefly are some of the common bugs that infest coleus plants.
Coleus can be used in borders, containers, indoors and in the greenhouse. Its brightly colored foliage looks great in cut arrangements too.
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