(Caution: the following is intended for Advanced coleus lovers ONLY!)
Yes, it’s late August and they are at their peak… well, okay, I guess they’ll peak a bit more in September, but come October, they’ll be gone and that’s it for the year.
Front-bed coleus: these are 40 or so of the ones I divided and propagated under lights and in our windowsills over the winter. There are five basic models, which I have grown for three years now. They’re described here: Meet the Coleus! All but two of these originated from free (okay, stolen) cuttings (small ones! nobody missed them! I promise!).
So here they are. Not as impressively huge as I remember them getting last year, but maybe they’ll grow a bit more still…
I love how rich the colours get by late summer. Indoors, they are a pale imitation of their own colouring… sometimes in February I wonder why I’m propagating them, they’re so pale and weak. And then, in summer, I remember.
Assorted side-yard coleus:
Purchased President’s Choice “dragon-type” (molten lava?) coleus, paired with miniature encliandra fuchsia and a white-flowered gaura in a pot on a rustic wooden bench beside the house:
From seed: giant green “tree” coleus! Yerachmiel Meir said, “what’s the point of a plant if it’s green?” Meaning why grow such a distinctive foliage plant (ie coleus) if its foliage looks like everything else in the garden. He has a bit of a point. The novelty of green coleus is a lot more appealing in early spring when not the entire world is green yet.
Still – it is big, especially considering it started out back in March looking like this.
The rest of those March coleus seedlings are in a pot beside the garage, by the way. I think they look nice together, if a little rag-tag and jumbled.
The trailing thing in the pot is helichrysum, not coleus! It doesn’t love the shade, and I’ve just turned it around so it looks a little sparse. Above the coleus pot is a hanging coleus I call “fingers” (it didn’t have a tag when I bought it this year). It was one huge overflowing plant, but I just divided it today into two separate pots, on either side of the garage. Hopefully, both will thrive.
This one is definitely a keeper – really intriguing both from a distance and close-up (see photo at the very top of this post for a way close up “jungle” shot). I don’t love the colour, though – maybe it wants a little more sun? We’ll see – the new one on the right of the garage gets a lot more sun than the existing one on the left.
Here’s a close-up of the new Bi Polar By Golly coleus I’ve already complained about. It’s a little freckly and bedraggled. Hopefully, it’ll fill in a bit before we get frost.
Ooooh – speaking of coleus from seed, here are the three surviving “Black Dragon” seedlings, also from March! I thought I had just-sprouted pics somewhere, but I guess not. Anyway, here they are. I think they’re lovely, and I even like the contrast with the mini hosta they’re planted with.
Note to self: must replant the hosta higher up in the pot with good drainage if it is to survive the winter. It barely made it through last year, as the pot had a thick layer of ice on top of the soil a month after the rest of the yard had thawed.
Here’s an impulsively-bought coleus from my trip to Humber Nursery back in May with my mother. It’s called Colorblaze Royal Glissade, and it’s a full-sun coleus. It’s just now starting to show its distinctive yellowish-green speckles on the leaf tops. I think it’s gorgeous. I bought it because it already had a long hangy-down “arm” coming off it and I knew it would be instantly gorgeous in a pot. Boy, was I right – another keeper for next year!
Finally, here’s my “tree coleus,” also from Humber, I think. It’s called “Jingles.” See how woody the trunk has gotten? I planted lots of curly parsley around the base, which is a lovely shade of green and beautiful with the coleus foliage. However, raccoons scrambled it up and killed one of the parsleys two months ago and I never got around to replanting. :-(
Also, the “tree” leans at a distinctive angle that to me looks rakish and windswept, but to anyone else, probably just looks dumb. A plant only its mother could love!
So that’s Jennifer’s world of coleus for today!!!