One of the most reliable flowers for Central Texas is the Coleus plant, which only has scrawny, spindly flowers! The showy, drop-dead gorgeous parts are its ornamental leaves that can carpet the moist, shady spots in your yard where nothing else thrives because of lack of sun.
Did you know that in Lebanon, the Coleus plant is called “Sejade,” translated as the “carpet?” So when I state that it can “carpet” your shady garden spots, I’m telling you the truth! And the leaves do create a magic Persian carpet effect with all their deep, velvety, royal colors and soft textures.
Coleus is one of the easiest plants to propagate. Cut off a long stem at a joint, remove the lower leaves, and plant in some moist potting soil. It will take root within two weeks. I also like to cut a bouquet of Coleus stems and let them take root in water. Cut Coleus can be a dramatic addition to any flower arrangement, especially in the fall with the rich dark colors complementing the golds and reds of autumn flowers. After a week or so, when the other cut flowers are spent and ready to toss, the Coleus will have sprouted roots and you can plant them straight into your prepared soil.
My norm is to purchase 3-4 different Coleus plants in the spring, propagate them using both methods and spread the love all over the shady spots in the ground, pots, or hanging baskets throughout the summer. However, this year, I plan to add another step. I want to winterize indoors the Coleus plants by potting several seedlings. Maybe, just maybe, I won’t have to buy any Coleus this spring. We shall see!
What winterizing plant project will you try this year?
For eveything there is an appointed time, and an appropriate time for every activity on earth.