All Things Gardening forum: Worried about my plants (particularly Coleus)

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Name: Benny Hill
Castle Rock, CO (Zone 5a)
Making something out of a little bi
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
bennysplace
May 10, 2015 5:52 PM CST
Hello all,

I live just south of Denver, Colorado and the last couple weeks we have been very blessed with a lot or spring rain. Well, Jack Frost swopped in and made everything cold late yesterday afternoon and into last night. With temps in the upper 60's to low 70's and mid 40's at night consistently, I purchased may typical spring lot of plants. Considering the direction I am taking with my garden, most of those plants were from this region (water smart plants) but I also purchased a bunch of annuals. Thankful for once for my lack of time to get all the plants in the ground, I was able to scoop all these plants up and place them in the shed which I thought would be warm enough for everything. After all, it was only supposed to get to 30 last night and the shed stays on average 8 degrees warmer. Well, so much for that.

In my lot of plants, I purchased two beautiful Sedona Coleus and another variety. Of everything in the shed, these plants seemed to have thought none too kindly in the drop in mercury. Everything else in there looks okay. I took the coleus inside this morning (what I should have done last night). They are so incredibly droopy and considering they cost me $8.00 each, I would rather they did not perish.

Can anyone out there offer me hope? I am thinking the combination of all the soaking rain we have been receiving and then the cold last night (even though in the shed) may have been too much for them to handle.

I planted up basked already and because I ran out of room in the shed, I left them hanging where they got buried in snow. They are all doing okay it seems. Well, they have alyssum and violas in them and I know they can take cold. Some have petunias though. So far no visible damage or stress so I will see if they suffer through tonight. These plants though came in those $1.99 4 packs so losing them won't be as bad as losing the three four-packs.

Sorry for this long winded message but hopefully someone will say, hey, don't worry, your coleus will be fine. Smiling One can hope!

I would love to use one of these emoticons when someone says, oh yes, no worries. they will bounce back. Smiling Hurray!
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Name: Elfrieda
Indian Harbour Beach, Florida (Zone 10a)
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orchidgal
May 10, 2015 8:42 PM CST
I'm pretty sure they will come back for you. You may lose the growing tops of the plants which you can snip off (try sticking those in some water and they may root for you). Just pamper them a little and when you can get them in the ground you may need to do some more cutting back. Coleus are pretty forgiving and as long as you keep that root system alive they should reward you, eventually, with some beautiful color.
Here's a picture of some of mine (taken last summer). I need to update my pictures.
Thumb of 2015-05-11/orchidgal/b8ac46

“I was just sittin’ here enjoyin’ the company. Plants got a lot to say, if you take the time to listen”
Eeyore
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
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abhege
May 10, 2015 8:45 PM CST
They look like they didn't kick the bucket yet. But coleus don't like the cold so baby them for awhile and they should perk back up.
Name: Jason
Gold Bar, Washington (Zone 8b)
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riverman123
May 10, 2015 8:50 PM CST
looks all too familiar. we don't plant our coleus here in washignton until we are POSITIVE its going to be warm and stay warm. even at night. now nothing is written in stone as far as weather patterns are concerned, but the damage in your pics is most certainly caused by the cold. they may or may not recover, especially for being starts still in their small containers. in my opinion. we plant coleus every year in our kitchen window boxes and they do great with only 4 hours of morning sun. but its still too early for us to seriously consider buying them yet. for me? I would do what I can to recover them, and keep them in a protected shed or garage until you are certain that warmer night time temps are here to stay.
Name: Benny Hill
Castle Rock, CO (Zone 5a)
Making something out of a little bi
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
bennysplace
May 11, 2015 11:43 AM CST
Hello all,

I want to thank you so kindly for your help with my question and encouraging words. :)

The good news is that the garden center will exchange them if they don't perk back up so I am going to do as suggested and baby them and if no joy, at least I am not out three plants.

Thank you again and wishing you all the best!
Benny
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Cut Flowers Composter Keeper of Poultry Keeps Goats Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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abhege
May 11, 2015 8:09 PM CST
I would be a repeat customer at that garden center! What great customer service. Hope they get perky for you soon. With the cold you have been having they'll probably have to stay inside for a bit longer.
Name: Benny Hill
Castle Rock, CO (Zone 5a)
Making something out of a little bi
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
bennysplace
May 12, 2015 6:09 PM CST
I am very much a repeat customer. It is a locally owned nursery and not a big box and they truly know the value of their customer base. Further, the plants I get are superb. Sadly though, the plants have not perked up so I will be taking them up on their generous offer.

Thank you all for your help and kindness.

Wishing you the very best,
Benny
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
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springcolor
May 13, 2015 1:31 PM CST
This is just a repeat but wanted to put my 2 cents in. Coleus can only be outside if the temperature stays 50 degrees or higher day and night. In my area it is sometimes the 1st of June before I get night temps of 50 degrees.
Sempervivum for Sale
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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pirl
May 13, 2015 2:23 PM CST
I agree and seldom plant mine before around May 20th.
Name: Benny Hill
Castle Rock, CO (Zone 5a)
Making something out of a little bi
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
bennysplace
May 13, 2015 4:47 PM CST
Hi there springcolor and pirl,

I second that emotion. I got them replaced today and they are snugly sitting on my kitchen counter until after Memorial Day. I picked up a couple more to use as houseplants. :)

I will post some images a bit later.

All the very best,
Benny
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
May 13, 2015 7:36 PM CST
You may be able to take cuttings by Memorial Day to either keep inside or plant when they have roots!
Name: Linda
Omaha, N.E (Zone 5b)
Always room to plant one more!
Cat Lover Birds Region: Nebraska Butterflies Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Level 1
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freedombel
May 14, 2015 11:16 AM CST
bennysplace said:Hello all,

I want to thank you so kindly for your help with my question and encouraging words. :)

The good news is that the garden center will exchange them if they don't perk back up so I am going to do as suggested and baby them and if no joy, at least I am not out three plants.

Thank you again and wishing you all the best!
Benny


That is so kind of the garden center under weather circumstances! When I heard on the news about snowfall in Colorado my first
thought was how heart broken I feel for fellow gardeners how frustrating and seems so unfair! Hope it all ends well.
You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because they have roses!
Name: Benny Hill
Castle Rock, CO (Zone 5a)
Making something out of a little bi
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
bennysplace
May 14, 2015 2:12 PM CST
Hi there freedombell,

Thank you so kindly! It was extremely kind of the garden center and they have further earned my loyalty. The snow was a surprise and a bummer BUT most things are perking up and at least I did not get hit as badly as some. In Colorado Springs, they had to contend with 10 inches of hail!

Thank you for your kind words.

I appreciate it. :)
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
May 15, 2015 2:38 PM CST
Does your local garden center/nursery have an online presence? I recently bought some lovely plants that came from a nursery in a nearby town and discovered that they have a Facebook page. I posted there and complimented them on the quality of their plants, as well as asking for a more precise ID. They were very helpful with the ID and appreciated the positive input. Kind of a nice way to say "thank you." Smiling
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Benny Hill
Castle Rock, CO (Zone 5a)
Making something out of a little bi
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
bennysplace
May 15, 2015 4:48 PM CST
They do indeed. :)

http://tagawagardens.com

This place is a little slice of heaven on earth.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
May 16, 2015 8:50 AM CST
Wow. I spent a little time exploring their site (and their Facebook page). That sounds like an amazing garden center! You are so lucky to have that close by! (we need a "green with envy" emoticon to insert here. Smiling )
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Linda
Tucson, Arizona
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Morning Glories Region: United States of America Amaryllis Hummingbirder
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quietyard
May 16, 2015 9:11 PM CST
Hi Benny! Hurray! Nice to see you here! I have been growing Coleus for the last few years in Tucson and really love the plant but they definitely do not like cold as you found out. They propagate from cuttings rooted in water very easily. I take lots of cuttings in the fall and root them in the house eventually planting into small pots of soil then I am already to plant them out when our heat returns. They add such vibrant color here in the desert.

So how have you been ? Smiling
" And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden" Genesis 2:8
Name: Benny Hill
Castle Rock, CO (Zone 5a)
Making something out of a little bi
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
bennysplace
May 18, 2015 12:11 PM CST
@Woofie,

They are very amazing and very kind. Their return policy does not allow for the replacing of annuals but they took pity on me possibly because it was just these three out of a few dozen plants I lost. Our locally owned garden centers across the country are always the most wonderful alternative in my eyes and I hope you find something near you that is just as wonderful.

Linda!

Hi there! I linger here quite a lot and become most active during this time of year. Smiling I love our community so it is always nice to seek help and advice due to our wonderful members.

I have certainly learned my lesson regarding coleus. At the end of the season, I am going to propagate some cuttings of the same plants for next year. Smiling

All my coleus are staying inside until after Memorial Day.

I have been wonderful! Thank you. Smiling I have been having an amazing time learning about my local botanical gardens... enough to write a thesis on it. I am not in college but I need a home for all this research I have done.

Shoot me a D-Mail when you have time.

Take care!
Name: Linda
Omaha, N.E (Zone 5b)
Always room to plant one more!
Cat Lover Birds Region: Nebraska Butterflies Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Level 1
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freedombel
May 19, 2015 3:33 PM CST
It was 38 degrees last night here in Omaha, and the high was 58....unreal for this time of year, anyway I have not even been outside to see if my
Coleus is ok. Seems like I can forget the saying don`t plant until Mothers Day and make it do not plant until Father`s Day! At least my Coleus
are the small inexpensive ones so the ouch factor would be low. I bought some beautiful plants yesterday and they are in the garage for now,
and I hope to plant them Friday after work.
You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because they have roses!
Name: Benny Hill
Castle Rock, CO (Zone 5a)
Making something out of a little bi
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
bennysplace
May 19, 2015 3:48 PM CST
Hi there freedombel,

It has been cold here as well and my coleus are all inside safe and warm. I am not going to contemplate planting out until after Memorial Day. Saying that, I love how they look inside so they may become permanent houseplants. Big Grin Everything outside is doing fine it seems. I am not a fair weather gardener so I have been getting all my hardy perennials in. I also planted some bok choy and some horse mint. Smiling

I will actually be in Nebraska (Wood River) in a few weeks. I volunteer for the Nature Conservancy and I will be joining in on a Platte Prairie work day. I am so looking forward to it!

I hope your coleus is okay!

Take good care,
Benny

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