Coleus I.C.U.

We’ve had nice weather the past few days, but it started to rain today. I’ve slowly been hardening some of my plants and taking them outside, but I haven’t started on my Coleus… except of 4 healthy ones. I just don’t want to chance a few days of cold weather killing or weakening them.

Overwintering can be a pain to maintain, but keeping a majority of my babies alive is worth it to me. I’ve gotten a little bit discouraged because a few Coleus have died after all those months taking care of them… and the mealy bugs are driving me crazy!!! I hate trying to control them. At least, I think a majority of the ants are gone.

Earlier this week, three of my Coleus seem to have just wilted. One day they were healthy or semi healthy, then the started drooping… I think something happened inside the stems and water stopped going up (or something like that).

I’ve have to do emergency precautions and snip the tips which I think will survive, and immediately dip them in water to relive them. It worked for one at home; the other two are at work and I will see how responded in the morning. I hate seeing some of my babies in I.C.U. but last year I had one Coleus that looked like this… recover and look like this.

BTW, These are half of my overwintering Coleus which are at work:

Overwintering Coleus at Work 1 Overwintering Coleus at Work 2 Overwintering Coleus at Work 3 Overwintering Coleus at Work 4 Overwintering Kong Hybrid Coleus at Work 1 Overwintering Kong Hybrid Coleus at Work 1

  • Nice going!

    My own coleus seem to be faring well in a sunny window and under grow lights. In another two weeks I’ll be taking cuttings to root for setting-out. I will probably cast a jaundiced eye on the collection and save only those I really like this year — with a mere 300 sq ft out back it’s easy to get overrun with coleus and I’d like a little room for other things.

    • I usually just plant my Coleus cuttings directly into their outdoor pots when it gets warm, but since I had a bad infestation of mealybugs, I decided to do as you did and take cuttings from the poor plants in the hopes that that will help with the problem. Also some of my cuttings are tall (like almost a foot tall), so I may be able to take multiple cuttings from them.

  • They’re looking good! I may post pics of my babies soon…I managed to save 40 out of 48 varieties and the color is flooding back into them now (a little fish fertilizer helped).

    • Oops… I haven’t been fertilizing my cuttings… Should I be doing that?

      I’m glad you are doing well. Do you overwinter them at home or at work?

      • You can feed them as soon as they have roots, maybe half-strength to start then at least once a month. They like nitrogen but low phosphorous since that encourages flowering.

        I overwinter at home AND at work but shifting mostly to work now…we’ll have flats of new cuttings everywhere, and they should be ready to sell by May 1st or thereabouts.

        • I’m bad… I haven’t even fertilized them at all :( I’ll start giving them a tiny bit for now… (err, when I have time)

          I’ve taken most of my cuttings to work too, since we moved to a building where I actually have a window seat… They seem to be happy on my window sill :)