Coleus Availability?

Foreverlad(9b - Tampa Bay)March 8, 2013

Aside from great online sites like rosydawngardens, I was wondering if the nurseries and big box stores carry a wider assortment of Coleus in the spring here in Florida.

At Lowes, I've seen probably 8 varieties over the last 6 months. There's usually 2 or 3 varieties of the 99 cent ones, then a few types of Proven Winners, like Sedona.

At Home Depot, they randomly appear to have a few Viva brand coleus and, the occasional random one like Dipt in Wine, and like lowes, a few of the cheap 99 centsers.

Wal-mart garden centers have a few varieties, and some nurseries carry less common ones, but do the various garden centers and nurseries bring in a wider variety in the spring, or are the really unique coleus only found online?

This is my first spring for gardening, I'm not quite certain what I'll be able to find.

Love to hear about your experiences. Thanks!

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shear_stupidity(9B)

What you've just described is pretty much the way it is, and stays, in my area. Lowes, HD, Ace, and Walmart each get a handful of the most common (imo) varieties. If you are looking for the really unique ones (and who isn't!) you're probably going to have to order them.
If you DO order some unique ones, share pics!!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 11:27AM
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Foreverlad(9b - Tampa Bay)

Thanks, Shear.

Yeah, I wasn't sure if some of the big box stores brought in a wide variety for a few weeks in the annuals section, but alas, looks like I'll be scrounging around.

I'd post some pics of the varieties I already have, but they're lanky and recovering from the winter.

Hard to believe, when I started gardening I didn't think much of them, but once you turn 10 plants into 300 and all but create a privacy hedges out of them, you know you've got a keeper.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 1:26PM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

I'll be posting pics of mine soon. Here are the ones I found this year in big box stores:

Dipt in Wine
Trusty Rusty
Blackberry Waffles
Valentine

At my local garden center, I also found:

Alabama Sunset
Gays Delight
Inky Fingers
Valentine
Hit and Run

But that's just a local place.
Maybe later in the summer we can root cuttings for each other and ship them for over-wintering!

*Gasp!* A Coleus "round robin" would be a great idea!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 3:38PM
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Foreverlad(9b - Tampa Bay)

Y'know, I'd been thinking the same thing. Plant trades are great, but they can be even better when everyone's focusing on a particular species of plant.

Off the top of my head, mine include:

Dipt in Wine
Sedona Blaze Keystone Kopper
Gays Delight
Inky Fingers
The generic green/yellow one, (Marguerite or chartreuse, maybe?)
and 2 or 3 large, etoliating purple/green varieties that might be capable of growing into standards.

I've got a lot of renovating going on in my yard right now, but when they show up in stores, I'll probably grab the bucket coleus like King Kong, along with whatever random Burpees packets I can find.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 4:34PM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

I have the ones listed above, plus Electric Lime (my favorite, along with Dipt in Wine) and a few I can't think of the names of right now. Here's some pics I took today of my Coleus collection. They're just starting to look like anything:


    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 6:02PM
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leahrenee1(z9FL)

Our local nurseries usually have a nice variety, you just need to go to an actual nursery and not a big box.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 9:13AM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

I agree, leah. My problem this year is that everything I bought from them withered and died. Some disease or something. I'm praying it doesn't continue to wipe out all the plants in the pics above.
*Fingers crossed*

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 9:37AM
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Foreverlad(9b - Tampa Bay)

Leah,

I only visited 2 or 3 nurseries over the summer. Duncheon's had a few varieties I wasn't familiar with, and I did grab them, but I noticed that most of the coleus description (insert) tags were the red/blue varieties that match those from Wal-mart, so I started to assume most nurseries share the same vendors.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 10:41AM
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rene09

Mine are coming up from last years plants. I never know what will come up, have lots if India Frills that came thru the winter. I have some friends that I swap with.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 11:43AM
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Foreverlad(9b - Tampa Bay)

Funny you should mention the India Frills, Renee. I had two 18-pack trays of cuttings from it, but I didn't know it's name until I saw it in Wal-mart today.

While there I acquired 3 varities I didn't have yet: Alabama, Carnival, and Rustic Orange. I shot photos of the planter trays, since they're the only way to 'guarantee' a name for the particular variety.

A nearby Lowes had a Glassworks coleus, which bears the same structure as India/Carnival, but it's really weird looking, and I'm not quite sure what it'd work with.

I also picked up something that I'm absolutely in love with, but I have no idea what it is. The guy in the garden center at Ace said it's a coleus, but I'm severely doubting it. I'll post a pic of it a bit later.

At home depot I snagged 2 of the generic coleus I don't have any more; the solid red, and the red/yellow one.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 2:47PM
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bugbite(z9a FL)

Anyone grow coleus from seed? I did last year and am growing a mix now. Just coming up. They are pretty easy.

Here is a link that might be useful: coleus

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 4:55PM
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Foreverlad(9b - Tampa Bay)

Purchased 6 packets (2 types x 3) two days ago, figured I'd give it a try. Coleus have been a ridiculously easy plant to grow during my short gardening life, so I figured it was time to expand both my collection and my experience.

I couldn't get over just how small coleus seeds are. Took a fair bit of effort to try to apportion them to separate cells.

I've heard varying stories on germination time, but with Spring temps quickly approaching, now's as good a time as any, I suppose.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 7:33PM
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bugbite(z9a FL)

They do seem to be slower to germinate. Planted mine on 2/20 in flats outside here in Northeast Florida and they are just now slowly germinating. Same pace as spider plants.
Might have something to do with outside temperatures.
Marigolds and zinnas already have first true leaves. The rest may have germinated but are waiting until consistent warm weather to take off.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 9:54PM
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Foreverlad(9b - Tampa Bay)

Thanks for that info Bugbite. Out of curiosity, where were your seeds located? I've currently got my 2 trays sitting out on my patio, under protection and only subject to indirect light.

I figured I wouldn't bring them out into any direct/dappled sunlight until I start seeing some signs of life.

If this endeavor proves fruitful, I'll probably invest an unhealthy sum of money on seeds from Swallowtail.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 10:20PM
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bugbite(z9a FL)

Hi Foreverlad,
I have them by the garage outside. 11 flats elevated off the ground about 4ft. They get, maybe, 6 hours of direct sun and then are shaded by trees in the afternoon.
They have been outside all the time but once, when I thought it would freeze I put the flats in the garage.
I water daily.
Hmm...That was a wake up call. You are right about the sun. Maybe I better shelter these things. Last year and the year before I direct seeded in the ground in a shaded area. I better rethink these coleus in the flats.
Thanks for your question. You might have saved my coleus.
Incidentally I just showed Swallowtail for the pictures. I use Geoseed.
Bob

Here is a link that might be useful: Geoseed

This post was edited by bugbite on Wed, Mar 13, 13 at 22:48

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 10:37PM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

I swear, if I had the right growing conditions, I would grow 90% Coleus all over my property.
Honestly.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 11:14PM
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Foreverlad(9b - Tampa Bay)

Couldn't agree more, Shear.

BTW- perusing the Annuals forum and found your Coleus thread. I'm reading through it right now. Always good to find another kindred spirit lol.

Oh, and just to update the thread, I picked up two more coleus I was missing yesterday: Blackberry Waffles (x6, of course) and another one that looks like it could be Lord Voldemort, or Chocolate Mint? I'm not certain.

Ignore the impatiens, bought them for 25 cents each, figured I'd take a chance and see if they survive.

This post was edited by Foreverlad on Thu, Mar 14, 13 at 17:14

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 5:06PM
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Foreverlad(9b - Tampa Bay)

Just a small follow-up.

Grabbed a Henna coleus from Home Depot today, and a few days earlier managed to find one of the Kongs.

So far this season, I think I've added 8 variations of Coleus I didn't have before. Hopefully this is only the beginning.

I'll try to post some photos later today. Gotta get my gardening on.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 12:50PM
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bugbite(z9a FL)

Hope you find some great ones, Foreverlad.
Yesterday, I planted the rest of my 1000 seed pac (direct sowed). In a few weeks hopefully I will be able to report I spent all day thinning and not report that "only one came up". :-)

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 3:53PM
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Foreverlad(9b - Tampa Bay)

Thanks Bug.

Direct sowed Coleus? I'm really curious to see how that turns out. I don't think I'd ever have enough courage to direct sow anything in this yard of mine, even with heavy amendments.

Be sure to let us know how it turns out!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 7:17PM
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