What are the characteristics and features of Coleus plant? Information about the cultivation, soil and temperature of Coleus plant needs.
COLEUS, a genus of annual and perennial plants widely grown as house and garden plants. Coleus belongs to the mint family (Labiatae) and is native to Java and tropical Africa, although many species have become naturalized in the American tropics.
Most cultivated coleuses are derivatives of Coleus blumei or it variety verschaffeltii. These plants range in height from 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90 cm) and have showy, often toothed, leaves in various combinations of red, yellow, and green. Their small flowers are bluish and are borne in terminal spikes.
Coleuses grow well in any normal soil but must be kept at temperatures above 55° F. (13° C) to flourish. They are among the easiest plants to propagate and are rooted by placing tip cuttings in moist soil or sand. To produce compact plants with dense foliage, the end buds of young shoots should be pinched when the shoots are from 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) long. If coleuses are grown out of doors, they should be moved indoors during the winter and replanted outside in the warm weather. The chief pest of coleus is the mealy bug, which can be controlled by spraying infested plants with the chemical insecticide malathion.