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purpleinopp

Ho-hum, boring coleus year

Not many stores to look in here and I've only seen red & yellow coleus types this year, and 1 place had a wizard I already have, which is RED and green with a little white. Why in the world would the one Mom'N'Pop place order 12 different coleus that are all the same colors - and are the same plants they have at WM and Ace Hardware? Yawn!

I don't think there's ever been a year I didn't buy ANY coleus but unless a place I've already visited gets new ones, I won't be! Hope y'all are seeing some more interesting ones than I am.

I know, it's not really a true annual but that's how most of them are sold...

Comments (41)

  • dowlinggram
    9 years ago

    All the stores--mom & pop, grocery and most department stores get their plants from big growers that truck them in. Perhaps that was the ones that were the most prolific germinators or the ones they had the most seed for. These stores don't order specific varieties. They just order coleus. If you want variety go to a greenhouse that grows it's own plants

    You are right coleus is a tender perennial sold as an annual

  • calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9
    9 years ago

    Coleus are easy to grow from seed, and an amazing selection is available. I am still using seed from 2009 and getting good germination rates. I bought 6 varieties from Hazzards for the 2009 season. Al

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  • docmom_gw
    9 years ago

    Have you ever looked at Rosy Dawn Gardens? They have a wonderful selection of coleus plants. I've never ordered from them before, but they have a good reputation. So, I ordered 10 for me and let my two kids pick 5 each. My plan is to see which plants do well in our microclimate/sun and then focus on those varieties for next year. I tried growing from seed under lights this winter, but I'm not attentive enough to keep the light and moisture controlled adequately. Check out their website. They have great pictures of all their varieties.

    Martha

  • Tiffany, purpleinopp Z8b Opp, AL
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    I know I could order plants in the mail, it's just not something I do or want to get into. I was curious about what people are seeing in the stores...?

    All the stores--mom & pop, grocery and most department stores get their plants from big growers that truck them in. Fortunately, not all. I used to frequent many stores around central OH that had awesome selections every year for decades. In particular, I miss Bakers Acres!!

  • rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7
    9 years ago

    Purple, have you thought about starting some of your own from seed?

  • Tiffany, purpleinopp Z8b Opp, AL
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    I have had this thought, and bought some seeds, the standard wizards that are always available. Love them dearly!

    Besides Bakers Acres and Glasshouse Works, what are some other famous coleus growers? Living near those before, I guess I got spoiled. The only thing like that I've found around here is a palm tree farm.

  • goblugal
    9 years ago

    How about these?

    Here is a link that might be useful: Under The Sea

  • rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7
    9 years ago

    Purple, few people are aware that Ohio has an incredible nursery and greenhouse industry. I'm not at all surprised that you were 'spoiled', but you'll not find much of that in Alabama.

    Hey, globlugal....those Under The Sea coleus are absolutely amazing. I think I'm hooked. And that pun was purely accidental!

  • Tiffany, purpleinopp Z8b Opp, AL
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Oooh, yes, Under the Sea! I'd like to hook one, too. Glad folks are out there making stunning new coleus! The pretty colors on that page are what I've been missing.

  • rosiew
    9 years ago

    Rats. Fell in love with the Under the Seas coleus, but they're showing no available sellers here in the Atlanta area, or at least within 50 miles.

  • danita
    9 years ago

    Rosiew,

    If you are anywhere near Athens sometime, Cofers Home & Garden Showplace had a rack of "Hort Couture" plants including at least a couple of the "Under the Sea" Coleus about 2 weeks ago. They were pretty pricey for an annual though. I seem to remember they were over $7 for a 4 inch pot.

    Danita

  • gamountains
    9 years ago

    Wow that Coleus looks prehistoric! Wild thing for sure! Almost looks scary.

    Hi Danita. I met your at the Ga roundup with Daves Garden two years ago

  • docmom_gw
    9 years ago

    I'm expecting my deleivery from Rosey Dawn any day now. I'll have to take pictures over the summer as they settle in to their respective locations. I also found a retailer for Under the Sea less than 10 miles from me. I wish I could invite you all shopping. Happy gardening.

    Martha

  • marquest
    9 years ago

    Hi purple I have found a few nothing spetacular. But at least there are a few. I cannot wait until that big leaf dark red thing they keep bringing out every year grows out of favor.

    Sedona, Inky Fingers are two that I remember the names. I picked up a six pack at Lowes last week that have a couple of different colors.
    {{gwi:6535}}
    {{gwi:6538}}
    {{gwi:6540}}
    {{gwi:6541}}

  • Tiffany, purpleinopp Z8b Opp, AL
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Oh those are pretty! So glad you found some you like! I have one very similar to the bottom pic that I've been taking cuttings of since last spring. Depending on how much sun, different parts of the yard, the colors are very variable and looks like different plants.

    Inky fingers was the first Coleus I managed to keep alive over a winter. Another one I remember the name of is "the line" which has a yellow leaf with a purple stripe down the middle. The longer I garden, the more I appreciate yellow leaves for POPs of color that go well with pink & purple.

    I feel the same way about the red ones, just prefer pink & purple. All over my yard are Coleus (from cuttings of the same 4 or 5 original plants) and Caladiums, and not much else besides cute little pink Oxalis yet, but I get a lot of compliments on all of the colors. It's nice when something so easy & inexpensive can bring such joy!

  • marquest
    9 years ago

    Purple your gardens sound beautiful. I prefer foliage color to flowers because Flowers are fleeting but the color foliage is always dependable. I get lots of compliments on my patio and I have very few flowers it is mostly color foliage.

    Inky fingers is my favorite I always look for that one. I purchased a plant that I thought was going to be short now I do not know what to do with it. I will put it in the gardens somewhere.

    Have you ever had this......Summer Poinsetta?

    {{gwi:6542}}

  • Tiffany, purpleinopp Z8b Opp, AL
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    That's very pretty! I would definitely buy that if I saw it. And I totally agree, I'll take Coleus over flowers almost every time! Now, if someone would breed some kind of scent into them...

  • mmqchdygg
    9 years ago

    I totally recommend Rosy Dawn Gardens. I've ordered from them previously and had a FABULOUS experience. They take good care of their plants, and they came very well packed. I have a pic somewhere...I'm in New Hampshire, and ordered them in June one year. After that, I trimmed them in Oct and overwintered indoors for 3 years. It's time to order another set. They are GREAT massed even in a small space, and look like tapestry:

    {{gwi:6544}}

  • mmqchdygg
    9 years ago

    ...but yes, I have noticed that local offerings aren't too thrilling.

  • mmqchdygg
    9 years ago

    This is a pic from the following year (Summer 2008), after I had overwintered them and planted out:

    {{gwi:6546}}

    and "The coleus cuttings" taken fall of '08:

    {{gwi:6550}}

  • marquest
    9 years ago

    mmqchdygg, I just have not been able to make myself pay the high price Rosy Dawn Gardens charge plus shipping because I cannot keep them alive through the winter.

    If I am buying annuals they have to be cheaper. There is one vendor I think is selling them for 3.00, that I have purchased from but I found enough local this year.

  • denisemb
    9 years ago

    I've had better luck than usual this year at the big box stores - even named varieties such as Dipt in Wine, Sultana and Henna. Scored two overgrown Dipt in Wine for $3 each at Lowe's clearance rack. Yahoo!

    Have ordered from Rosy Dawn twice & they do have nice stock. Hoping I can overwinter this year (we had a sudden freeze a couple years back that wiped out that year's order). I'm still learning how to garden in N. Central FL ;)

  • Tiffany, purpleinopp Z8b Opp, AL
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    mmq, love your collection!!! Thanks for sharing the pics.

    denise, I'm curious if you found styrofoam bits in the soil of your Coleus from L's?

  • denisemb
    9 years ago

    purpleinopp - I never noticed, when I see tiny white bits I think it's perlite. Geesh, now they're loading plants with styrofoam??

    mmq, I'm curious as to how you overwinter. Would really like to do that this year.

  • Tiffany, purpleinopp Z8b Opp, AL
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    I bought 2 Cineraria plants and a flat of pansies from L's and there was styrofoam bits in the soil of both.

    I don't know how mmq does it, but I used to try to keep potted Coleus plants over winter but it's so much easier to keep cuttings in bottles of water on the windowsills. No pests or piles of leaves on the floor. I had about 100 this spring to put all over my yard.

    {{gwi:6553}}

    {{gwi:6555}}

    {{gwi:6558}}

  • denisemb
    9 years ago

    Very pretty, I love seeing pictures to give me ideas for combos.

    (I knew there was a reason I saved all those Starbucks glass Frappachino bottles when I was addicted, LOL! Perfect for coleus cuttings.)

  • Tiffany, purpleinopp Z8b Opp, AL
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    denise, thanks! Those (Frap) are my fav bottle because of the wide opening. I quit buying them when they became ridiculously expensive tho. $2.50 for a cold coffee, I don't think so! Beer bottles have such a small hole but it's not hard to gather a bunch of those when I tell my redneck friends I need bottles again.

  • lefleur1
    9 years ago

    Hey purple...how come your cuttings don't get yucky being in water for all those months???

    I root coleus in water & they root just fine...however...the water gets all yucky & so do some of the stems...what might I be doing wrong? thanks

  • marquest
    9 years ago

    I tried taking cuttings root them in soil but before winter was over the leaves were gone. I was not trying to have a pretty plant just get them to survive the winter.

    I will try Ken's method of re-rooting all winter,

    Very pretty combos purple.

  • Tiffany, purpleinopp Z8b Opp, AL
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Uhoh. Yucky water means there's something dead rotting in the water. To take cuttings to live in bottles for the winter, remove any foliage that will not be outside the bottle opening, and usually only leave the top 2 leaves and the leaves at the tips of any branches. It's OK if there's just 1 stem with 2 leaves at the top holding themselves outside. Any foliage that stays inside will die, fall off, rot, IME. The little petiole stumps will fall off soon after the leaves are removed, so cut as close to the stem as possible. I try do just one cutting per bottle if there's room because they are so much easier to get out later. There's way too many to change the water, I just add more as they get low, maybe twice a month. Little thin-spouted watering can makes sure I don't miss the opening.

    Sometimes a Coleus will make roots but in the middle of the cutting and the bottom end goes to rot. If that happens, it's necessary to take that out & remove the dead part, rinse roots, bottle, refill & it should be OK after that.

    The flowers can make a little mess if you're not paying enough attention to pinch them off. You don't want that stuff falling in the bottle, but usually by the time they get around to making a flower, there's too much new foliage for the little petals to fall in.

    Needs lots of light, winter rays are weak and short-lived. Near a window doesn't work as well as right on the sill. I use an east, south or west (not north) or table right next to window.

    I've done this for many years in OH and AL. I wish there was some strange secret tip, ritual, or potion, to divulge... but that's about it. HTH!

    Also works with persian shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus) with extremely high rate of "still alives" in the spring. Also tried with lime green sweet potato vine and a lot of them didn't make it because they dried out so fast, then some got whiteflies. They got banished to a north window which didn't seem adequate. I only had about 4 of those left out of about 12 cuttings, and they were very pale, almost white. But, as you can see in the bottom pic I posted yesterday, that's more than was needed for that pot. There are only 2 in there. After the winter leaves all burned and fell off, they started growing like crazy.

  • lefleur1
    9 years ago

    ahh, doctor purple, your diagnosis was spot-on! I take *most* of the lower leaves off, BUT I leave quite a few of the top leaves....and, in fact, a few of them *DO* drop off & end up in the water...and then they ROT! ...only two leaves, huh...got it...

    Persian shield is gorgeous...had no idea I could overwinter it...will be trying this winter...thanks for the info.

  • Tiffany, purpleinopp Z8b Opp, AL
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    You're welcome. I wrote fairly extensively about overwintering PS in this thread. Can't have enough pretty leaves!

  • denisemb
    9 years ago

    Purpleinopp, hate to hijack this, but how do you propogate PS? I put one cutting in a pot with rooting hormone (which looks healthy enough), but a cutting placed in water a few weeks back is not forming any roots. Is that normal?

  • garden_for_life
    9 years ago

    I just found a new variety that was just introduced, they called it a "Sneak Peak", but the name of the coleus is "Honey Crisp". It has a beautiful shade of pale gold, have not seen anything like it before. Was so excited when I saw it. I will post a photo if I can figure out how to!

  • Tiffany, purpleinopp Z8b Opp, AL
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Denise, it can take a while for PS to make roots in water. More than a few weeks is normal. As long as it looks alive, don't give up on it. If it's wilting, remove another leaf or two. This time of year, I would probably just put them in a pot or the ground & skip the water step. Although the water method almost always works, I think the growth takes longer than a potted cutting when the weather is right (warm out.)

    Garden_for_life, I googled pics of those Coleus names and saw some very pretty pics - a few diff plants but all pretty. I bought a yellowish Coleus last year that I absolutely love!

    {{gwi:6561}}

    The one in that pic is in a medium exposure. Where I put that plant in full sun, it turned almost white, and in more shade the pieces developed a lot of red around the leaf edges. It didn't grow as fast as most others in any spot but I love the color and the saved pieces are doing well so far this year.

  • anniegolden
    9 years ago

    This is a fun thread. Coleus is a beautiful plant and those Under the Sea ones are amazing! Here's one that I picked up at a garden center. It's growing near pink astilbe.
    {{gwi:6564}}

    Thank you all for the tips on how to take cuttings.
    Christine

  • denisemb
    9 years ago

    Purpleinopp, I spoke too soon. The water rooted PS sprouted some roots today!

    Garden for life: I LOVE that Honey Crisp, very unusual coloring.

    Christine: Does that coleus have a name? Stunning.

  • anniegolden
    9 years ago

    Denise, sorry, the tag in the pot just said 'sun coleus mix' or something to that effect.
    Christine

  • Tiffany, purpleinopp Z8b Opp, AL
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Annie, LOVE that one! Thanks for sharing!

    Denise, yay for your PS roots! I realized over the weekend that I have a branch that broke off of a plant in a jar of water that is barely starting to make roots after about 6 weeks. Doesn't usually take that long but that branch was broken while I was away and completely wilted flat when I found it.

  • katob Z6ish, NE Pa
    9 years ago

    thanks for posting all the photos, I love all the different kinds and colors and combinations.

    I also do the cuttings on a windwsill for the winter. Usually three mugs full sit there looking worse and worse until I pot them up in March. By the time June rolls around I have dozens of little plants.! It's a great deal.
    Frank

  • Tiffany, purpleinopp Z8b Opp, AL
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Here's that PS branch starting to make roots, just took pic today:

    {{gwi:6567}}

    {{gwi:6571}}