Self Sowing Coleus in the Garden

I love surprises in the garden.  Plants that pop up where you least expect them - unfortunately those are usually called "WEEDS."  Sometimes though we find plants of value that pop up.  Here are a few pictures of some self-sown coleus plants that came up in my front garden this year.  I grow coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) every year but have started growing it from seed myself rather than buying it at a nursery.  I save the seed each fall and sow the coleus from what I have collected.  I only collect from the coleus that impresses me in some way.  I collect seeds from plants that either have a unique shape, color, or large leaf size. The leaves on this coleus are very large.  Possible 6 inches wide on the largest leaves and about 8 inches long.  The coloration is good too.  Just a little lime green on the leaf edges…

Continue Reading

Growing Coleus in the Garden

Coleus is one of my favorite ornamental plants (Solenostemon scutellarioides).  It functions as an annual in our zone 6b-7 but is a tropical perennial that can come back each year in the right climate.  Tennessee is definitely not the right climate!  I enjoy planting coleus because of the many varied colors it can bring to the garden.  I like the red colors but the foliage can range from yellow to purple to green with all kinds of combinations in between.  Generally speaking coleus likes the shade but plant breeders have made some remarkable advances with more sun tolerant coleus plants. You don't necessarily have to buy new coleus plants each year.  I tend to buy a couple six packs but also supplement our coleus plants in other ways.  Coleus is a very easy plant to propagate so I take cuttings before the frosts come in the fall to root and…

Continue Reading

Raised Beds Aren’t Just for Vegetables

I mostly use raised beds for my vegetables but the truth is almost any plant can do great in a raised bed. Herbs, flowers, and ornamentals can all thrive in raised beds.  What makes a raised bed an awesome growing method is the soil that it uses.  You can mix the perfect soil mixture for any plant you want to grow whether it be ornamental or edible! Rosemary Herbs in a raised bed will want a well drained soil that isn't too rich.  Often herbs do much better when planted in a nutrient deficient soil so you don't have to build a rich compost-like soil for them.  For herbs a well drained mix is very important.  Soggy soil can lead to rotting and the eventual demise for some herbs.  They can handle conditions that are drier. In fact the flavor that herbs produce can be enhanced in dry conditions. When…

Continue Reading

Still Planting Despite the Heat

As crazy as it sounds I'm still putting plants in the ground with temperatures up around 100!  The weather may be hot but sometimes you just have to deal with it and move on with your garden plans.  Usually a plant will perform much better with less water requirements if it has been planted in the ground rather than left in the pot - at least that is my observation.  My plan was to plant more plants in the front garden area where I built the garden sitting wall.  It rests underneath the shade of a Bradford pear tree (which admittedly I'm taking a risk planting anything underneath since the Bradford pear could come down at any time).  What plants did I pick out to plant in this area?  Since it gets mostly afternoon shade I planted a combination of coleus and hydrangeas to go with a few hostas I…

Continue Reading

Coleus Cuttings: Are they the Easiest Cuttings You’ll Ever Root?

If coleus (Solenostemon) is not the easiest plant cutting to root, then it must be ranked at the top of the plant propagator's list right next to the willows. It's such a great foliage plant why not make more? How to Propagate Coleus The procedure is simple, just take a cutting with two leaves and some stem (about 2 inches is good), pinch the terminal growth and put it in water. Now here's the really important part, the most critical part, you have to wait for roots to grow. That's it! No rooting hormone is needed. You could get away with sticking the stem in moist potting soil and skip the water treatment altogether but if you're like me, you will want to see the roots before you plant them!   How Long Does it Take for Cuttings to Root? Before too long, in less than a week you'll have…

Continue Reading
Close Menu