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How to Grow Coleus in Your Backyard

Most people think of coleus as a shade plant with drab colors that were often grown by their grandparents. However, this kind of perspective has recently changed as cultivars have been grown that allowed them to grow and, not to mention, thrive under the sun. Coleus plants that are grown under the sun have colors that are vivid. When put under a shade, the colors become dull and drab.

It doesn’t matter whether their leaves are small with ruffles or large ones with margins, their bold colors are what make them the perfect choice for summer plants. Although they have flowers, they are often removed and planted elsewhere since the coleus doesn’t need to expend its energy in producing flowers at all.

Though the newest cultivars are capable of handling the heat, their growth usually stops when the temperature drops below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The plants can get damaged too even if the slightest hint of frost occurs.

If you want your coleus to grow nicely and sturdy, you need to trim it back every once in a while. There are times when this plant grows taller than expected or that its growth becomes uneven. If this is the case, it is best that you cut it back to create a uniform look while the new cuttings can be transplanted to grow more coleus.

There are different ways that you can grow coleus. You can start them from seeds, transplants, cuttings or as plants. All that you have to do is to provide your plant with the basics like water, soil and enough sunlight and watch it grow.

If you will be raising coleus from cuttings, you should prepare your soil first. Combine one part of potting soil with one part perlite then add water until the soil becomes moist just like a sponge that has been lightly squeezed. Once you have achieved the desired consistency for your soil, you should make holes about two-inches deep. Any flowers that come with your cuttings should be removed. This way, your coleus will focus on producing roots instead.

You should leave three sets of leaves in your cuttings before cutting the stem. Dip the cutting in a root hormone then tap it lightly to get rid of any excess. Plant the cutting into the hole then cover it nicely. Put your newly planted coleus cutting in a tray which you need to water instead of the soil so the roots will form nicely.

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