Coleus is a shrub of the family Iasnatkovye (Labretaceous), the popular name is "the croton of the poor." These plants are a bit like leaves, but croton is more expensive and moody. Its natural species resemble nettles, hence another name - "nettles". Coleus is found in the tropics of Asia and Africa. The flower has high vitality, it is unpretentious and beautiful due to the bright leaves of a wide range.
Breeders have bred many varieties with decorative painting of leaf plates. Thanks to them, the plant is widely used in landscape design, combine it with plain colors. Coleus decorates not only flower beds, it appears attractively in a flower pot, especially ampelous varieties in hanging baskets, a cache-pot. At home it grows as a perennial; in regions with a temperate climate, a flower is grown on the street as an annual.
Growing and Care Requirement
The shoots at the coleus are tetrahedral, straight, strong, at the base, after six months, they become wooden. The leaves are heart-shaped, oval, oblong with a fluff, serrated at the edges, located opposite, found in some varieties up to 15 cm long. They are red, beige, purple, emerald, yellow, wine, green.
Spiky flowers are blue, but small and inconspicuous, but exude a pleasant aroma. Height is from 20 to 60 cm, even an inexperienced gardener can grow it, he looks beautiful on the site and in the room on the south, west, east windowsill. In summer, a houseplant is taken out onto the street, a balcony, a loggia.
The main features of growing:
|Landing||Seeds are sown in March. Seedlings in May-June in open ground.|
|Lighting||Bright until noon, then slight shading. In a room, the flowerpot is sometimes rotated for uniform growth.|
|Temperature||In the summer + 18 ... +25 ° С, in the winter + 10 ... + 12 ° С.|
|The soil||Neutral, fertilized. For indoor pots: leaf, turf, earth, humus, peat, sand, (4: 4: 2: 1: 1).|
|Watering||Abundant as it dries. Use soft, settled water.|
|Humidity||The plant prefers high humidity of 40-60%, leaves and air are sprayed or a tray with wet expanded clay is placed next to it.|
|Top dressing||In summer, once a week, in winter less often, once a month. Organic and mineral fertilizers are applied in turn.|
|Transfer||Once every 3-4 years in the spring, after pruning the shoots.|
|Bloom||The buds form at the top of the shoot and look like panicles of purple or lilac color. After flowering, the arrow is cut off.|
|Pruning and pinching||Pinch the entire growing season, cut off at the beginning of active growth, in the spring. Leave 2-3 buds on the shoot.|
Coleus planting in open ground
When buying ready-made seedlings, they pay attention to the color of the leaf plates, the elasticity of the stem or take seeds and grow seedlings on their own. The sowing month is selected depending on the region - March, April or May. Coleus Black Dragon
Now English and Dutch seeds are popular, such varieties with variegated foliage. Assembled on their own do not convey all the decorative properties. Pour into prepared containers: leafy, soddy ground, peat, sand (1: 1: 1: 1) or buy in a flower shop. The seed is not buried, a thin layer of sand is placed on top, sprayed. Cover, set the temperature + 20 ... +24 ° C.
Seeds germinate after 14 days. Lighting is preferably diffused. The first pick is needed after 4 weeks, when two real sheets appear. The second - after five weeks in separate containers of approximately 400 ml. Then the seedlings are planted in a permanent place in a pot or in a flower bed when a wave of frost passes.
They select a sunny area, protected from the wind, so that at noon it is a little shaded and the leaf plates do not burn out and do not fall.
In open ground, the coleus prefers light, water-permeable with nitrogen, nutrients. On a heavy substrate, the flower will undergo root rot, you need to add sand, peat. Varieties of plants with red and light leaves love direct sunlight, but with green - no. Therefore, they are placed where the diffused shadow.
A handful of peat or compost is added to the dug holes. Landing is allowed in the heated soil by transshipment. Time depends on the climate: May, early June, when the temperature is + 10 ... +15 ° С. Seedlings are buried in the pits along with a lump of earth and watered abundantly. The distance between the seedlings can withstand 25-30 cm.
For the prevention of fungal diseases, it is recommended to shed the wells with a solution of fungicides (Fitosporin-M, Trichodermin).
Coleus care in the garden
Coleus care consists in abundant watering (especially in heat and drought) with piped, settled or rain water in the evening or in the morning. The soil should not dry out. When watering, make sure that moisture does not get on the shoots and leaves. Periodically loosen the earth and weed weed.
Two weeks later, fertilizers are applied for flowers, halving the dosage indicated in the instructions. In the phase of active growth, every seven days they are fed with a nitrophos, then with a solution of wood ash. Then they use mineral and organic top dressing. This gives decorative leaves, and slows down flowering.
Formed inflorescences are removed so that the bush does not waste nutrients on their development. Pinch when the flower reaches 10-12 cm and trim it 2-3 times per season. At a height of 4-5 cm, the buds are removed from above and the side shoots, then the flower will take the form of a ball. Too tall and heavy bushes are reinforced with supports.
Coleus (indoor and outdoor) does not tolerate a sharp drop in temperature, in the cold summer its growth slows down.
Coleus propagation by cuttings
For propagation by cuttings, healthy shoots are cut to 10-15 cm without inflorescences and buds. The lower leaf plates are removed. They are placed in clean water (preferably in dark glass), which is periodically changed. Root formation is sometimes stimulated by Heteroauxin, Kornevin. Keep the container with cuttings in place without direct sunlight at a temperature of +18 ... +20 ° С. When the roots hatch, they plant it in the ground.
In the second embodiment, the cuttings are deepened in wet vermiculite. Sometimes they put them in a bag, cover with a plastic bottle. After a week and a half, roots of 1-2 cm are formed, the shoots are planted in small glasses. Sometimes covered with a film. Coleus grows up and is placed in open ground or in a pot with drainage. First fertilizer is applied after 2-3 weeks.
Coleus diseases and pests
In young flowers with a deficit of light and without pinching, the lower shoots are exposed. Leaves lose color in bright conditions. Fall off if there is little moisture. Due to a lack of light, the bushes are pulled out.
Of the pests, the plant attacks a spider mite. Yellow dots appear on the leaves, which merge into a large spot. Processing with a garlic solution or Apollo, Acarin preparations helps.
Aphids - green insects drink leaf juice, they turn yellow, shrink, then black dots appear. For the fight apply infusions of garlic, onions, chemicals: Akarin, Fitoverm.
If a whitefly has attacked, you can see flying insects when touched. The plant has a sticky coating. At the first stage, they are sprayed with a solution of laundry soap with water, an infusion of citrus peels, in advanced cases, Aktara, Tanrek, Aktellik.
Mealybug - when these insects appear, the coleus is in a white waxy coating. Helps tobacco tincture, alcohol solution of calendula or Confidor, Mospilan.
Mr. Summer Resident informs: Coleus in winter
Perennial varieties from flower beds are transplanted into a pot. They are placed near the south or southwest windows or on the balcony, loggia. Old plants are dug up, cuttings cut and propagated. They contain coleus as a home flower, they feed once a month. In the fall, watering is reduced.
Temperature in the winter is enough + 8 ... +15 ° С. If it is too cloudy, fill up with phytolamps. In March, make anti-aging pruning - shorten the shoots, remove old leaves. At the onset of heat and air temperature + 10 ° C again planted on the site.