The Coleus Plant, a Memory from My Childhood

The coleus plant was a favorite of mine when I was a young child. Looking back, I realize that I always loved plants. My Mom’s best friend in Canada, who lived across the street from us always grew coleus in her yard. I used to ask her for a piece and I would root it in water, then plant it in the backyard. In Canada, the coleus died off every winter, and that makes me wonder if our neighbor kept some plants indoors during the  winter months, or did she plant seeds the following spring? I have a very shady side garden, and I thought that the coleus would do well there.burgundy coleus

On a recent visit to Green Thumb Nursery, with my mom, I spotted some coleus plants. It was a variety pack, and you can see two of the plants above. I bought a six pack and  planted five in the shady garden. A friend of mine  told me she has a coleus in her house, so  I decided to keep a very pretty variegated one inside as a house plant to see how it does.

With the Coleus, the show is from the leaves and not the small pale flowers. Leaves can be shades of of pink, electric lime, dark burgundy and black, also sizzling gold. Some leaves are a sold color while others are variegated like the one I am keeping as a house plant, Leaves can have solid scalloped or lobed edges. I now learn that you can plant coleus in full sun or shade, providing the right light level is the secret to coaxing maximum color from the leaves. They are not picky about the soil type, as long as it drains well. They can’t take any frost as I learned in Canada. It will be interesting to see how mine do this coming winter. I will be certain to keep some rooting for future plants. See here if you would like additional information on the coleus.

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