Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Solenostemon scutellarioides, Coleus

Coleus is one plant which will always be spoken about by its common name rather than the tongue twisting botanical one .They are at their best now .They thrive in the heat when given enough water and contrary to popular belief they are quite sun tolerant, though a spot in morning sun suits them best. They could be described as perennial but it is often difficult to keep them going over winter in cooler climates even in frost free ones. A few cuttings of favourites taken in autumn and stuck together in the one pot is one way of keeping them till spring as growth is rapid in warm weather. Striking cuttings is easy and can be as simple as placing a few stems in a glass of water.The colour choice available is vast. I like the almost black leaf varieties such as "Inky Tears"as they contrast well with plants such as the dwarf golden Bamboo. Below, Coleus are pictured as a foreground planting to the dark grass Pennisetum 'Rubrum' ,Purple Fountain Grass.

Above an almost black Coleus growing with dwarf golden Bamboo

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