Coleus plants are colorful. I have only one coleus plant at home. My mother got a cutting from some place and gave it to my aunt. And when that plant grew, I got a cutting for myself. That’s the story of my coleus. I plan to add more coleus plants only after I prepare myself with pest-control techniques. :-)
You can either sow coleus seeds or plant a cutting. If you are at Bangalore, you can find the seeds at Lalbagh or any other garden shop. When you get a cutting, ensure that it is pest-free, and is not too short (an inch or two). And yes, you can plant more than one cutting in a container, with sufficient space between the cuttings.
You can grow coleus plants either in sunlight or shade. Their coloration varies with the amount of sunlight they receive. I have placed my plant outdoors, and it receives sunlight from the West. The colors are striking Green and Pink. The plant at my aunt’s house has different shades of Green and Pink because she has placed it on terrace, full sunlight.
Fill the container fully, but lightly, with the soil mixture. If you plan to sow seeds, sprinkle the seeds on the soil, and gently cover it with more soil. Sprinkle water, and leave it. After a few weeks, you will see tiny plants. If you plan to plant a cutting, remove bigger leaves (or infected leaves) from the cutting, and then plant it. Keep the containers in partial sunlight or full sunlight (3-4 hrs). Wind and full sunlight (6-8 hrs) can damage the plants.
Time and again, check coleus plants for pests. Mealybugs love coleus plants. They hide behind the leaves, cling on to the stem, and slowly damage the entire plant. Oh, do they spread fast! Sometimes, I have handpicked these bugs. For pest-control information, see http://houseplants.about.com/od/pests/a/Mealybugs.htm.
Spinach and strawberry plants are co-existing. When the strawberry plants were small, I sowed spinach seeds, hoping to harvest them before the berry plants grew. Today, both the plants have grown well. Spinach is light green; berry plants are darker green. Nice to see those shades!
Rexes are colorful and mystic. The patterns can leave you dazed. Each time I look at a full-grown plant, I lose myself. That’s the time when I want to buy a small plant. After it comes home, boo, it doesn’t grow well. I am still experimenting with providing a good growing environment to the rexes.
These are a few new rexes that I bought. Praying that they grow!