Coleus- to trim or not to trim

char35November 8, 2012

I have a large coleus that had lounged in my semi shade garden through the summer. I noticed some rather large holes in some of the leaves and discovered a few grass hoppers around. I figure they are the culprits. I would like to take it in to the house and place it in a morning sun location. I want to trim out some of the chewed up and and maybe trim it up a bit ( not drastic).

Is this possible without damaging or worse killing it?

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

You can cut back a coleus heavily without harming it.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 5:36PM
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birdsnblooms

And after you trim your Coleus, you can root cuttings. Toni

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 6:08PM
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char35

Thank you for you advice. Toni, I accidently broke a couple branches a month ago and just stuck them in the pot with the "mama" and they have taken root beautifully.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 10:10AM
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birdsnblooms

Char, there you go...
I never had luck rooting Coleus in soil...only water.

Since you have the gift rooting in soil, and if your Coleus is one of your favorites, more cuttings should be rooted.

Do you have the large-leaf type, or when you said large, did you mean your Coleus is big? Toni

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 11:09AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I would like to see it, too, I'm a Coleus junkie!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 11:28AM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

I'm quickly becoming a coleus junky. I bought 20 plants from an online source last spring and grew them outdoors in pots. They were gorgeous and carefree and took cuttings and brought them in and put them under lights. I now have a veritable jungle of lush leaves and rich colors and textures. I could take another generation of cuttings, but i don't know where I would keep them. Maybe I'll try rooting them in water. Rooting them is so easy and they are so beautiful I"m getting addicted quickly. Next spring I plan to plant them all outside in my shady garden and take more cuttings nest fall to continue the process. I'll also purchase some new varieties to broaden my horizons. I think we need a coleus forum, or at least a gallery. Though I'm not good at posting pictures--I need to get them out of my camera first. LOL

Martha

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 8:52AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Hey Martha! I've asked for a Coleus forum before, too... my absolute favorite plant.

You can definitely keep Coleus in water for winter, to plant back out in spring. I've been doing it for years. Here's a start on my cuttings this year, about 100 individual pieces in these jars.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 9:24AM
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birdsnblooms

Hey Purple, your Coleus are lovely..They look fantastic.
Do certain colors root faster than others?

One bottle, third clockwise, looks like roots, but I'm not certain.

There's no Coleus Forum, but the Foliage Forum, though slow, discussed Coleus.
Haven't been there lately.... Toni

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 11:08AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Toni, Thanks! I love them too. My favorite thing in spring is to see what Coleus are out there.

I've been asking myself the same question because some do seem to take root faster. But there are so many variables, it's hard to isolate it to any particular plant or type. The stems have gone woody at the base, the temps are not always the same, some of them are slightly more sensitive to a few degrees difference in cold temps, not always put in the same light, some are blooming but not all, different amounts of foliage left or removed, and who knows what else might matter to a Coleus cutting.

Need to finish Fri & Sat. Frost looks unavoidable this time.

But the success rate has always been around 90% (not including improper care incidents like letting a jar dry out, or put in a not sunny enough spot, or failing to replace the water that can happen if a leaf or bunch of flowers fall in there.) If you have an interest, some bottles/jars, and a spot to put them, it's certainly worth trying. Not much effort involved. You can't go wrong landscaping with Coleus, even if you don't like the result. It's definitely temporary or re-arrangeable.

I think you're talking about the jar with the white label? Good eye! It does have roots. I trimmed these pieces about a month ago as filler for a bouquet.

Yeah, the foliage forum has dust on it. This perennial is a tropical plant, usually grown as an annual and is a shrub in native location. The flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds. The colors can be wildly different in sun vs. shade and although common in containers, it is not that common as a house plant. No existing forum can accommodate a thorough discussion of this plant.

We sure could use a "Plectranthus scutellarioides, formerly known as Solenostemon scutellarioides, formerly known as Coleus blumei" forum!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 11:42AM
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birdsnblooms

Purple..doing cleaning..have a lot to cook for Thanksgiving. YouTube Christmas music is playing in the background, to get me in Christmas Spirit mood.. :)

BTW, if I don't get online tomorrow,
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL!!!

Are your Coleus kept on the washer and dryer? How much light do they get?

I tried rooting large-leaf Coleus last year but of course, my favorite didn't take..sorry don't know its name, but leaves are naturally huge.

Maybe temp was the problem..too chilly.

After your Coleus are fully rooted, will the remain in water, soil, or is it warm enough in AL to place outdoors?

Your Coleus are a rainbow of colors.

Yep, Foliage Forum is dusty..it's ashame, wasted space. If everyone participated, talked foliage plants, which there are many, it might be successful.

Tropical Forum is okay, too...it has a little more traffic than Foliage.

LOL, gotta love name changes. In some cases, common names might be more practical..lol.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 2:26PM
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birdsnblooms

Purple and Martha. If you gals have a chance, go to wikipedia.
Type in Coleus in the 'Search Box.'
Scroll down a little more than halfway, check the Coleus tree.
My God, do I want that tree? Yes, want, but never could afford....

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 3:37PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I had plants all over the yard that could have looked like that Coleus topiary if I removed the lower limbs. Buy the little Coleus you like, then groom it so it grows that. And as fast as Coleus grows, it would be a constant job to keep it that shape.

Been cutting down Coleus, Perilla and Persian shield, trimming excess foliage away, putting in jars for hours. They don't stay on washer/dryer, that was just the closest place to put all of those jars when I carried them in that day. They go in the windowsills until sometime in March, when it stops being cold outside at night.

Here's some from the other day with many more added.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 5:07PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

More from today.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 5:08PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

PS on the back porch. Some of these are a little ridiculously big, much bigger than I've tried before, and they're leaning against the ladder and wall so they don't fall over. Curious to see if this size will make roots. The stalks didn't feel too terribly woody there. Going to get some of the really tall, wide open vases I saw at the thrift store yesterday for these. Jack Frost is coming this weekend, pretty darn sure this time, nothing lost if they just rot.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 5:12PM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

I want a coleus again!!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 5:45PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

They're Tha Bomb! You should have seen them before I removed most of the foliage. My limit per batch for gathering them from the yard was either that what I cut was as heavy as I could carry or that my hands couldn't hold any more.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 6:05PM
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asleep_in_the_garden

What kind of philo is that hanging in the window?

It may be love at 1st sight! lol

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 8:35PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Hey, asleep. I'm not sure what it is yet. It's all sunburned right now. Whatever it is, it doesn't seem to be able to adjust to direct sun. There are 2 really fat stems growing in that pot.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 8:42AM
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asleep_in_the_garden

Took some searching but I think I found it!!
"Black Cardinal" is a good guess but it's a self-header whereas what you have is obviously more of a vine type with longer internodes.
I suspect her name is "Royal Queen" ...here's a link:

http://www.armstronggarden.com/philodendron-erubescens-royal-queen.html

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 2:24PM
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asleep_in_the_garden

Ummmm...ok...that's not a link but you get the idea. lol

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 3:16PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Asleep, that plant does seem to match, at least that pic and the few others I could find. Best suggestion yet. Even the sunburned leaves match, but the lack of pictures makes me think it's pretty unusual. Hard to believe an unusual plant would make its' way to, and then be neglected at a mom'n'pop garden store in Opp, AL. Hopefully soon it will stop looking beat-up and being abused by me and too much sun, and find it's groove...

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 8:47AM
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asleep_in_the_garden

I'm thinking it will be just fine judging by what I've seen so far. Like you said in the other post it really is a cool plant!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 9:35AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Yes, I love it! Before I let it get sunburned, the leaves were so pretty, deep red. Wish I had seen it at the store before frost killed it to the soil, allowing me to talk them into letting it go.

I think it's still fine, but I want it gorgeous, u know. Didn't even know there were Philos that were not vines until investigating this plant. You're right, it's definitely a vine. The stalks are so fat and stiff, I can't imagine it ever getting to the point where it would need a support to stay upright. Theoretically, that should eventually happen though, I think?

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 9:57AM
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asleep_in_the_garden

Count on it! Provide it with a moss stick or something similar and it will be all too happy to climb right on up. My emerald gem needs one at the moment but I am too lazy to rig something up. Meanwhile I've kinda dropped the length of it into a few ficus benjamina cuttings that i rooted a couple of years ago thats are now strong enough to hold it up. The trunks don't have any real surface area so it isn't likely the erubescens' aerials will secure to the wood. I could possibly train the roots down to the the soil line with drinking straws though...for the life of me I can't remember where I picked that little trick up but no matter. Truthfully I'm just being wishy washy about committing to it,..and at this rate I might even cut it up and root more,yaknow?

Decisions decisions...

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 4:40PM
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