Coleus forum: My Coleus

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Name: Peggy
Youngstown, Ohio (Zone 6a)
Normal is overrated
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pgurney
Sep 10, 2013 9:46 PM CST
I've read through this Coleus forum and didn't see the ones I have.
Of course mine are still pretty much babies, still in pots, even though they're quite tall!

The plant in the white pot is is over 2 ft tall, the other is 15" tall.

I guess my question is... do I just keep letting them grow taller and taller? Can I cut a few inches off the top and pot it?
I have no idea what to do with these, they were given to me,. ha. I didn't know they get so big! Hilarious!


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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Sep 11, 2013 11:52 AM CST
Nice gift! I can't tell from that angle, so far away. Maybe a 'duckfoot' type if I'm remembering the right word.

Yes, any Coleus piece will do its' best to grow roots, rarely fails. With plants that wilt so easily like this one, I like to hold them in water for a few days to a week, until I notice tiny roots starting to form. That gives me the best results, though others might have another method they prefer, and I've certainly grown plants from pieces just snapped off and plunged into the ground or a pot.

Yours reminds me of the one in front in this pic, but I don't remember its' name. These are cuttings brought inside to save over winter.
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I have no idea how big Coleus can get if it has more time, but it was a good year for them last year, these pics are from late October.


That's a 55-gallon barrel to the left, not all Coleus.
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Growing in used-to-be washtubs (bottoms rusted/gone.)
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Sep 11, 2013 4:06 PM CST
Nice Coleus Peggy! Yeah, they do grow bigger, if you let them, unless colder temps starts coming in. I just started having my Coleus this year too, such a fast grower in our very hot and dry area, as long as I give them early morning watering. Keeps forming flowers too, so have to keep cutting those ones off. I wonder if these plants will continue on till winter..since our winters are mild...I think I will experiment and leave them outside, but will get some cuttings as a fallback. Smiling

Thanks for posting the coleus planted in ground Tiffany..so that's how it goes...all my plants are in containers, it is so nice to seem them in ground, very lush! Smiling

This is how big they are in my container this Sept:, been pinching them a lot all season long Big Grin

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Name: Peggy
Youngstown, Ohio (Zone 6a)
Normal is overrated
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pgurney
Sep 11, 2013 8:19 PM CST
Mine have never gotten bushy like y'alls. But like I said these are still babies.
Believe it or not, when these were given to me, just this past MAY, they were little tiny things in tiny little growers pots - they were probably 6" high!
I'm not kidding.

Tiffany, when they started growing the leaves were indeed identical to the plant in the front of your pic - deep purple centers with green edges.

I will take a pic tomorrow of the leaves themselves. My original purpose was to ask if I can cut them down. When it gets windy, they sway pretty easily, so the stalk doesn't seem to be too strong yet, and I'm afraid it's affecting the integrity (strength) of the main plant. Of course, I could be way off, what do I know! Confused
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
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Onewish1
Sep 12, 2013 4:19 AM CST

Moderator

pinching them is always good.. you can cut those in 1/2.. root the other piece and pinch that top .. will be good to go.. after a while pinch again.. it will get nice and full for you.. I slacked off this year and didn't pinch much.. mine are flowering all over .. just been too busy to keep up.. going to be hard to find good cuttings to over winter
Name: Peggy
Youngstown, Ohio (Zone 6a)
Normal is overrated
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pgurney
Sep 12, 2013 6:55 AM CST
Onewish1 said:pinching them is always good.. you can cut those in 1/2.. root the other piece and pinch that top .. will be good to go.. after a while pinch again.. it will get nice and full for you.. I slacked off this year and didn't pinch much.. mine are flowering all over .. just been too busy to keep up.. going to be hard to find good cuttings to over winter


Thanks for the info!

Ok, how do you 'pinch'? And will these survive winter if I bring them inside? Or do I start over?

Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
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tarev
Sep 12, 2013 10:07 AM CST
Look at the new growth at the tip, in the center, that's the one I pinch, forefinger and thumb..literally pinch it off. Smiling
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Sep 12, 2013 10:50 AM CST
Cutting part off would rarely kill any plant, to answer the question as simply as possible. All of the plants from my pics came from cuttings, except 1 mama of each kind, guess I didn't actually say that above. Coleus are known for being easy to propagate.

Tip pinching usually results in bifurcation at the tip, which is great, but won't necessarily encourage lower branches to grow as quickly as removing the lower leaves. This stuff works similarly on about any upright, branching plant.

This Datura plant bifurcated early on, when tip-pinched. Later removal of lower leaves has caused side branches to start growing.
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This Begonia was a stem with a few leaves on it. I removed all of the leaves below the tip, now there are branches forming.
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It's the same for Coleus. Removing the leaves lower on the stem would slow the rate at which it is getting taller as energy would be put into making the side branches. Just depends on if you want a bushy-looking thing, or more tall and airy like it is now.

The plants can survive as potted with roots, or as cuttings in water, that's what these are for. They provided this years' show (along with new ones I got this spring.) There wouldn't have been so many branches to cut off and save without selective pruning from the beginning, and all summer long. After growing outside all summer/fall, each planted cutting should have many new branches to cut, to repeat the process.
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Name: Peggy
Youngstown, Ohio (Zone 6a)
Normal is overrated
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pgurney
Sep 12, 2013 1:43 PM CST
Mine don't have any branches. They're just getting very tall, tree-like, rather than bushy.
The one is tall enough (over 2 ft) so that on a windy day, it sways quite a bit.
That's why I'm thinking of cutting it down.
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Sep 12, 2013 2:37 PM CST
Peggy it is a tender plant. This late in the season it will die if the temps go down into the 40s and stay there.

What you need to do now is cut it in half stick the part you cut in some water or moist soil and it will root. The plant in the pot will branch. But as I said it will not survive outside much longer in our climate.

At this point you have to decide if you want to bring it inside for the winter or leave it outside to die.
Name: Peggy
Youngstown, Ohio (Zone 6a)
Normal is overrated
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pgurney
Sep 12, 2013 5:18 PM CST
Thank you Cinta, that is what I needed to know. Thumbs up
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
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Onewish1
Sep 13, 2013 4:16 AM CST

Moderator

yeah 40 - 45 will turn them to mush .. depending on how long the snap is.. they can mush-ify over night this time of year .. keep an eye on temps.. and for mealy bugs.. easy to miss sometimes

when they are leggy I cut them harsh.. normal pinching just the growing tip in the center like stated earlier.. can do every branch later on.. can be tiny on some.. I have a cheap pair of nippers from the christmas tree shop that I love for that job.. other wise my finger nail turns brown .. and I use alcohol to get it off my nail
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Sep 13, 2013 7:06 AM CST
The branches form when the leaves are removed, but cutting a larger portion of the top (than just the tip) should also cause the side branches to grow. Here are 3 examples of plants that were single stalks just getting taller. I removed all of the lower leaves along the main stem. So now they are growing side branches. It's fine to have either type of plant, but hope this helps those who want them more bushy without reducing the height.

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Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Sep 13, 2013 11:00 AM CST
Peggy you are welcome. I started my winter plan last week. I took cuttings and put them some in moist soil and some in water. We are suppose to go down in the 40s this weekend so they may be gone soon.

This is urgent it is time to make a plan or you will only have a dead plant in a pot.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Sep 13, 2013 12:58 PM CST
Oh wow, wish I could share some of the heat here with you folks up north!! Where is the happy medium?
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Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Sep 13, 2013 6:55 PM CST
No purple I do not want the heat. It is only going to be in the 40s at night but 70s through the day. It will give me comfort time to get all the bushes and plants I picked up for pennies at Lowes dead bin. It was too hot to dig and plant.

I have to walk around and look at the areas, place the plant sit down and look at it and see if it is where I want to plant. I cannot do that in the heat. I am to uncomfortable if it is too hot. I would just throw them in the ground just so I can run back into the air conditioned house. Then I am not happy where I planted them. Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Peggy
Youngstown, Ohio (Zone 6a)
Normal is overrated
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pgurney
Sep 14, 2013 12:56 PM CST
I'm with you Cinta. HATE the heat! Give me good cool/cold weather, or give me A/C.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
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purpleinopp
Sep 15, 2013 8:10 AM CST
You would both absolutely LOVE winter here! Plants still have to come inside, frost or worse most nights for a few months, but not uncommon to open windows/short sleeves at any time during winter. No snow. Summer is another matter. Even at 8 AM this time of year, I got a sheen on my brow taking those Coleus pics.

The real fun begins after one has multiplied their plant though, IMVHO. In different amounts of light, most Coleus can look totally different. If that appeals and is an option, might be something fun for next summer. I love decorating with Coleus, in the ground and in pots. Already anxious to see what will be 'out there' next spring! You may end up addicted too, Peggy. You don't want to know how many different ones there are!

Cinta, I do that too, it can take a surprisingly long time to make some of these decisions. I used to have a lot more perennials in OH, but really just enjoy doing almost all non-hardy stuff here. It's different every year, and I always seem to need more space. Have you removed any grass or is there already enough space for you?
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Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Sep 15, 2013 6:56 PM CST
I am removing a lot of grass. Even though I have the 4 acres I am trying to make garden rooms and less grass. So there are a lot of bushes to create the rooms.

There was a woman on GW that wrote a long article on how to plan gardens for your golden years. I am not getting any younger. She described the bushes and the perennials that are low maintenance for my golden years. The gardens she said should be mostly bushes.

You would love my area. We get snow but with this climate change we do not get much and it is only cold 3 months out of the year. Our winters are now in the 40s and 50s with a few days in the 30s and a couple inches of snow. Last year I had roses blooming for Thanksgiving and it was in the 70s.
Name: Peggy
Youngstown, Ohio (Zone 6a)
Normal is overrated
Image
pgurney
Sep 20, 2013 7:22 PM CST
Tiffany I lived in Columbiana, Alabama for about 3 yrs and my son was born in Andalusia.
I really liked it. But I LOVE Ohio. Hurray!

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