Coleus (Coleus) - a perennial herbaceous plant belonging to the family Labiaceae. The genus has about 150 species and originates from the tropics of Asia and Africa.
Coleus, depending on the species, can reach a height of 30-80 cm. The main advantage of the plant is its varied and fancifully colored leaves. They are located opposite on a ribbed, lignified with age, most often erect stem. The leaf plate may have a heart-shaped or oval shape with a pointed tip and a serrated or wavy edge, velvety leaves to the touch.
The color of the leaves is the most diverse: there are all shades of light green, green, yellow, copper, bronze, red, purple, purple. Moreover, the leaves are rarely painted in one color, more often they have a border, are covered with spots or specks, stripes, dashes, have a striped pattern, marble pattern - and all this with the most incredible combination of colors.
Coleus flowers are blue or lilac, small, collected in spikelets are of no interest.
Most often, two types of coleus and one hybrid are grown in indoor floriculture.
- Coleus Renalt is an ampelous plant whose shoots can reach 50 cm. Leaves with a wavy edge, wide-hearted, with veins of various colors.
- Coleus Blume - is a shrub with a lignified stem, reaching a height of 80 cm. It is this species that gave birth to numerous varieties and has a lot of hybrids with the most fantastic colors.
- Coleus Hybrid can reach a height of 1 m, serrate leaves, slightly elongated, burgundy or green, depending on the lighting.
The most popular varieties
When it comes to coleus, it’s impossible not to imagine at least a few popular varieties.
- Black dragon - serrated leaflets of violet-black color with red veins;
- Wizard Jade - white leaves with a wide border of green;
- Wizard Golden - leaves are light green
- Wizard Evening Dawn - red-orange leaves with a green border;
- Wizard Mosaic - leaves with a marble pattern in green and maroon;
- Palissandra - with maroon leaves;
- Variety series Fantasy - leaves are twisted and almost divided in half;
- Royal Scott - a mixture of green, black, red and cream colors;
- Weasley Flame - leaves, similar to oak, peach-pink;
- Weasley Teipestri - leaves similar to geranium leaves, painted in green and burgundy colors.
Coleus is one of the easiest plants to care for.
Temperature and lighting in summer, the plant will feel most comfortable at 18-25 degrees, in winter, the main thing is that it does not fall below 12.
The more varied the color of the leaves, the more bright the plant requires. With a lack of lighting, the paint will fade, and in the shade the leaves will turn green, leaving only a hint that they used to be colorful. In the summer at noon, the flower needs to be covered.
In summer, the coleus can be taken out to the balcony or to the street and even planted in the ground.
Humidity and watering - It is desirable to water the plant with warm water. In summer - abundantly, the earthen lump should be constantly wet. In winter, watering is reduced. If it happens that you dried the plant and the leaves hung, try putting a pot of plants in a bucket of water - maybe the coleus will come to life.
Humidity should be increased, but it is impossible for water to fall on the leaves in cold weather - this will cause them to rot, or in bright sunshine - a burn may occur. Better spray the air next to the flower. In winter, Coleus is sprayed sporadically.
Fertilizers and fertilizing - Coleus grows quickly and needs frequent fertilizers. In spring and summer, he is given weekly organic or mineral supplements. In autumn they are reduced to two times a month, and in winter - to one.
Soil and transplant Coleus is suitable for slightly acidic or neutral soil, it must be transplanted once every 2-3 years by transshipment in a larger pot. The plant grows and grows quickly, easily propagates. It is best to renew the coleus every year by rooting the cuttings.
Flowering and pruning - Coleus blooms in spring and summer with nondescript flowers, which deplete it very much. It is better to pick off the buds as soon as they appear. If you grow a plant in a perennial culture, cut it very shortly each spring, leaving only 10 cm of branches. In order for the bush to have a more beautiful shape, regularly pinch the tops of the shoots.
In spring and summer, apical coleus cuttings can be rooted directly in the ground, sand or perlite. Cuttings are cut 10-15 cm long, making a lower cut under the internode, tear off the bottom sheet, dried for 20-30 minutes to form kalyusa and planted in the ground. They cover the landing with a transparent film or a glass jar and are kept in a warm, slightly shaded place with high humidity. When the plant grows, the shelter is removed, and after 2 weeks a young coleus is planted in a pot.
It is even easier to propagate by placing branches in water. When the roots appear, coleuses are planted in pots.
Seeds are sown in light soil, pre-crimped and well moistened, right on the surface. Then sprinkle with a thin layer of earth or sand and cover with glass. Crops are kept at high temperature and humidity. When two pairs of leaves appear, they are dived into separate pots.
Pests and diseases
Coleus is a fairly hardy plant, but can be affected by aphids, whiteflies, mealybugs and spider mites. Treat the plant with an insecticide.
- The lower part of the stem rots - poor drainage, overflow.
- The brown tips of the leaves are dry air, dry soil.
- Leaves fall - a draft or a sharp drop in temperature.
- Light spots on the leaves - a sunburn.
- The color of the leaves fade - lack of lighting.
- Slow growth - lack of nutrition.
- Only the lower leaves fall in winter - a natural process.