Green Thumb Sunday
Working in the Floriculture greenhouse transplanting coleus yesterday inspired my post for today. I grew coleus for the first time this year. It was by accident. When the seedlings for my Adopt-A-Plot bed failed this year, I brought plants from my own gardens but my plot was still too sparse. The Head Hatter took pity on me and took me "shopping" in the greenhouse. She helped me choose from the extras that were there, among them some coleus. The coleus was quite leggy from being in pots too long so before planting them, she snipped the tops off of them. She gave me some of the cuttings to take home.
I've never been a big fan of coleus. Growing something because it has "pretty leaves" has always seemed silly to me but my motto is that I will try anything once and I did have the perfect spot for it. I even had a little fun "creating" a little garden for it and documenting the process for posterity. Here's a closer look at the cuttings after I planted them in a container on July 4:
The picture at the top of the post was taken on September 8, two months later. Other than watering it, I did absolutely nothing for it and it became a monster!
Since all of the coleus at Rutgers Gardens are named varieties, I consulted with our Plant Pro for the name of this one. He noted that coleus "sports" regularly. He says the one I grew probably started out as Compact Red (the dark red with a lighter border) then morphed into Trailing Rose. Here's his take on coleus:
Welcome to the world of coleus. From the Victorian times there has been an incredible resurgence in gardeners interest in this genera. In fact it is a plant that sports regularly so it is hard to keep them all straight. Many times there are multiple names for the exact same plant. One of my suppliers took cuttings from me and then simply renamed the variety to put their twist on the plant. It is hard enough to keep clear without this action.
Coleus is a fabulous genera which I have been selling and pushing to my customers for years. I'm glad it has finally caught on. Welcome to my world.
He included some helpful links:
The Flower Company
I'm sold on coleus! I can't wait to try different varieties next year. Keep an eye on that container. It's going to get a lot more colorful.
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