El Brighto Coleus Not so bright???

newbilacJuly 11, 2011

I bought an El Brighto Coleus and put in on the west side of my house. It was beautifully colored when I bought it but now most of the color is faded on the leave that it had when I bought it and all the new growth is mostly green with some dark brownish maybe purplish but dull splotches. I have recently tried giving it a couple doses of miracle grow to see if that might bring back some color but so far no luck. I thought maybe it was getting too much sun but I have been watching an El Brighto in a container in a town nearby and it recieves full sun most of the day and it is very vibrantly colored and has remained so as it continues to grow.

I am kind of dissapointed to say the least and would like to hear any tips anyone has.

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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

It may need some nutrients. The easiest thing to try is to pull up a few handfulls of grass (just blades, no roots) and lay the grass around the bottom of the plant near, but not touching, the stem. Pure nitrogen in a "safe" and very usable form.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 9:56AM
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Sounds very likely that it's simply not getting enough sunlight. Take a look at Factors that determines coleus color

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 1:23PM
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I guess it's just can't be that simple with coleus.

I have talked to the folks at RDG and other horticulturists and get different stories all around. I see other people planting coleus that aren't necesarrily considered "sun" coleus (wizard or maybe versa) in containers that get full sun all day in zone 6 and they seem to be thriving. I have had some of the wizard series in the same location as I have my El brighto and they absolutely burned up even with regular watering they wilted badly every day until and they eventually died. I see coleus in small containers put out by the city street department that never seem to wilt even with all day sun or for sure the most abusive half of sun during the day and I really doubt they get watered more than once a day by the city workers and and my supposed "sun" coleus wilt badly every afternoon without daily or sometimes twice daily watering. I have been told by the "experts" in the coleus arena that even the most sun tolerant coleus should never get direct afternoon sun but my El brighto appears to need more sun to achieve a desireable color or is it getting too much sun? or not the right kind of nutrients? There seems to be a lot of varrying opinions. I have amended my soil with peat moss to make it drain better and I put a time release fertilizer on top of the ground around the plants. I realize that the combination of factors can vary widely between locations but I seem to be having more trouble than most folks are.

Maybe I'll figure something out one of these days. I have some cutting started and I am going to experiment with them and see what kind of results I can get. Who knows what I will run into.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 7:47PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

There are thousands of different Coleus and people all over the world grow them and have different experiences based on climate, soil, latitude, sun exposure at different times of day, etc... The info gets thrown back'n'forth across all of these variables and confusion abounds!

Few things about gardening are as fun and produce such quick results as "experimenting with Coleus." Have fun!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 10:32AM
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Well I've been fertilizing heavier for two weeks now and no significant improvements but definitely no worse. The leaves that had color in it when I bought it are crispy and brown where the yellow coloring was and the rest of the leaf just doesn't look healthy. So, I am pretty sure it's not lack of sun. But what still gets me is that I see other coleus in far more exposed locations than what I have and they are very colorful and don't appear to be affected by the sun like nearly all of mine do.?

I am going to try shading the plant until temps get back down into the low 90's upper 80's for sure and see if that helps. I have some fairly open burlap that should only let that about half or a little less light through.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 8:20AM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

I'm brand new to the coleus world. Bought some seeds and I'm planning to start them under lights this winter. Just wanted to comment that results with coleus probably don't have much to do with the skill of the gardener. My SIL has had them in containers for years and I know she just throws them in a container and puts them where ever she thinks they'll look pretty--without regard for the needs of the plant. Somehow, hers always look gorgeous. Though, who knows what color they might have if treated differently. Best luck to all, and wish me luck with my seedlings.


    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 6:11AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Martha, good luck with your seedlings!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 9:17AM
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