Coleus (60 photos): types and features of care
Coleus is an ideal home flower in which amazing stamina is combined with unusual beauty. He is valued not for flowers, but for the original multi-colored leaves with patterns on the plates. If you do not like the lushly flowering flowerpots and all the tricks of caring for them - coleus will become your faithful friend and ally!
The colloquial name of the coleus, which he received for the expressive shape of the leaves - kropivka. In the apartment, the flower grows like an unpretentious perennial, but in the garden it will not survive the winter. And all because in nature it lives in Africa and Asia - regions with a hot climate and lack of frost.
Coleus was specially brought to Europe and immediately engaged in its selection. The first wild-growing species amazed the sailors so much that they brought them straight from Java. So since the nineteenth century, the popularity of the flower in the world has grown rapidly.
Coleus leaves can be the most unexpected colors: orange, red, burgundy. Most often they combine several shades at once: for example, grass-green with purple. Together with the unusual shape of the plates, it looks very impressive and exotic!
Although this doesn’t worry the gardeners too much, Coleus has flowers. Simply, they are small, faded and inconspicuous, whitish or blue. They are not particularly attractive, so it is better to remove the buds in the bud, otherwise they will pull almost all the nutrients onto themselves. Because of this, during flowering, the leaves of the coleus become smaller and fade.
There are about one and a half hundred species of coleus, and almost all of them are with decorative leaves. Beautifully blooming varieties are rarely found, but with us they are almost not common. Two main species are grown in culture - the Coleus Blume and Vershaffelt.
It is a perennial herbaceous species with oblong ovate leaves. Its plates are lowered and painted in all shades of green, pink, red and burgundy. A characteristic feature - textured tetrahedral stems. Popular varieties and hybrids are yellow-green Butterfly, luxurious scarlet Volcano, spectacular multi-colored Saber and delicate light green Golden Bedder.
In fact, the Verschaffelt Coleus is almost no different from Blume. Unless it is larger, with large leaf plates and an expressive velvety surface. The most common combination of colors is the notorious duo of green and purple.
Different varieties of hybrid coleus are very different from each other, but some features remain. They necessarily grow opposite leaves with an uneven edge: wavy, curly, jagged or dissected. The stems are always square and elongated erect.
These are varieties with thin shoots that fall from hanging baskets and pots. The same coleuses are excellent for landscaping fences of terraces and balconies. Among them there are very tiny hybrids up to 30 cm with multi-colored hanging leaves.
Coleus is not only very beautiful, but also grows rapidly at home. It is also useful because the leaves contain natural volatile products that cleanse and refresh the air.
Coleus loves heat, so he feels best at temperatures from 20 degrees. He will not survive the wintering in open ground, so that in the garden it is grown as an annual. In an apartment, coleus feels good at temperatures from 16 degrees. Be sure to make sure that even in cold weather it does not fall below 12 degrees.
To make the coleus really bright and unusual, it needs as much light as possible. Varieties with white, yellow or red leaves can even tolerate direct rays, unlike green and violet. If you have a south side or east windows - choose them.
For watering, be sure to defend the water at least a day in a warm place, so that it is slightly warmer than air temperature. In summer, make sure that only the topsoil dries out, and in winter, reduce the frequency. But do not let the coma dry out completely, otherwise the leaves will react almost instantly and become painful.
Coleus loves spraying, because it grows in a hot, humid climate. Even in winter it is better that the humidity in the room is slightly increased - for example, as in a kitchen or a bathroom. For spraying use the same warm soft water as for irrigation.
Soil and fertilizer
Coleus is completely unpretentious to the type of soil, so any nutrient mixture is suitable. Use mineral or organic supplements at the beginning of your active growth period. Add a weakly concentrated solution once a week, and in winter - once a month and in an even half concentration.
Coleus propagates equally well in seeds and cuttings, because it grows rapidly. At the end of winter, evenly spread the seeds in a flat box and do not sprinkle on top. Make long distances because they have very high germination.
Spray the soil with a spray gun, set the temperature to 20 degrees and find a place brighter. Seedlings will sprout quickly, so do not put off the pick in a long box. If they no longer fit in containers, they may begin to fade. So that from the first months the coleus is well bushy, pinch it immediately after transshipment in a separate pot.
Coleus cuttings are transplanted in spring and summer due to the fact that the flower is very heat-loving. To do this, the branches are cut at the end of winter and transferred to nutritious flower soil. If you put them in water, hurry to transplant the cuttings immediately after the appearance of the roots.
Pest and Disease Control
If the leaves of indoor coleus began to sharply lose color, most likely they lack the sun. But there is a converse problem: unexpected white spots can be burns. This more often happens with young vulnerable plants that are not yet accustomed to the daily routine.
Brown spots appear due to a lack of moisture in the air, so do not forget about preventive spraying. Unexpected leaf fall is a sure indicator of a lack of nutrition. And if the flower begins to stretch too far up, he needs preventive nipping and additional lighting.
Decorative coleus leaves are not very attractive to pests. But sometimes a spider mite, whitefly or aphid appears, so periodically inspect the plants. The affected flower should be urgently isolated from healthy ones and treated with insecticides.
Coleus - photo
Going through all the varieties and shades of coleus at a time is simply impossible. But we tried and prepared a photo selection to show you its versatility!