Planting coleus

jennypat Zone 3b NW MN(Zone 3b NW MN)April 30, 2007

I just decided I want some coleus this year, I have a couple packages of seed. Should I plante them outside in mini greenhouses like winter sowing? Or would I have better results starting them in the house? OR should I wait and plant the seed right in the garden?

Jenny P

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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

You would have better results starting the seed in the house. But you will not get the big, beautiful coleus that you see in all the garden pictures. Seed coleus will be much smaller and will set blooms quickly in spite of your best efforts at pinching them. If you want the big guys you will have to purchase plants. I take cuttings of mine in the fall and grow them as houseplants over the winter, then take cuttings again in the spring for use in my garden over summer. If you have gardening friends, chances are someone has some overwintered coleus that they'd be willing to share cuttings of.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 8:30AM
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jennypat Zone 3b NW MN(Zone 3b NW MN)

I might just have to pick up a plant or two then. But I still have the seed! It's not going to do anything in the package, so I might as well plant it out.

Jenny P

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 10:20AM
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I have planted coleus seed and did get some big plants. Maybe it all depends on the variety. I got mine from Value Seeds this winter.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 9:05PM
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jel48(Z4 Michigan)

I've had big, beautiful coleus from seed too... BUT I started them mid-March, indoors. A word of warning about coleus too, they are very very frost sensitive. I had a bunch of coleus plants two years ago, and I put them inside my garden shed, covered, and the temp went down to a couple degrees below freezing overnight, and they were gonners.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 10:33PM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

Just wondering if you purchased seed for the Kong coleus, because yes they do get large leaves on them. I had forgotten about them. I tried them one summer, but I get a lot of wind here and the leaves mostly just looked ratty. When you say you got large coleus from seed are you talking the 2 to 3 foot varieties? How large is large? Generally all I have ever seen is the Wizard mix.If you have a a seed variety for the so called sun coleus I would appreciate it if you would share the info on variety.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 8:13AM
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jel48(Z4 Michigan)

Mine didn't have huge leaves like Kong but the plants were large and a beautiful mix of medium size leaves. They were Burpee Rainbow Mix, Germinated in 4 days - I potted them up in individual small pots on 4/12 & 4/13 and moved them to larger pots some time later when frost was well past. I'll see if I can find some pics and post. I know they're here somewhere.....

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 8:43PM
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Sorry I got them from GroCo Seeds and they were just called Colorful Shade Mix. I started a few in late Feb and they are over a foot tall and leaves are in the 4X5 range. I also got some sedona seeds in an exchange but these are still small plants. I took cuttings from a Green Kong last year but it got funky and so I threw it out this winter.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 8:52PM
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jel48(Z4 Michigan)

I found some!

I literally had coleus all OVER the place that summer (2005).

This first one is earlier in the summer... plants aren't full size yet, but it's the only shot I could find that showed the entire plants in the pot. The smaller pot on the bench in the background is Kong, but I bought that one as a seedling. The ones in the pot in the forground were the ones I raised from seed:

These next three are a month or so later and are close-ups of the leaves but don't show the whole pot:

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 9:00PM
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Very much the same leaf shape and patterns as the ones I have growing now. They get bigger and bigger as it gets warmer. I have mine outside already but will run them in if (and I doubt it) that we get frost. I had huge plants by the end of last summer.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 9:08PM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

Thanks for sharing the info. I'll clip your posts and save them for next year. They don't look as though they are quite as varied as the sun coleus but still pretty. I have a bout 25 varieties right now. Guess the limit will be when I can't get any more in the house in the winter.( or maybe I need a bigger house he-he)

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 11:21PM
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