Colei are truly exquisite plants, with colors that stand out from the typical homogeneity that green gives. The leaves are exultant and powerfully attract attention, so they are very interesting ornamental plants to have and combine with other species in the garden or with the furniture.
The maintenance they require, however, can sometimes come as a negative surprise. And is that are plants whose roots are very sensitive to excess water; in fact, so that we do not lose them prematurely, we have to control the risks quite a bit.
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Origin and characteristics of coleus
While they used to be known as Coleus blumei, it is common to speak of coleus to refer to the different varieties of plants that belong to the Solenostemon genus, which today is the replacement of the Coleus genus and which many think is also synonymous with Plectranthus, but according to KewScience it is not.
Many of the plants in the group are grown in Southeast Asia, with variegated and variegated leaves, ranging from combinations with pinks, yellows, browns and reds.. They grow between 50 centimeters and one meter in height. Its flowers are very small, purple, and sprout from the upper part of the stems.
The beauty of coleus
Personally, I like plants with dark tones and that is perhaps why I have been so attracted to coleos because its leaves combine a light green with a beautiful irregular purple color that adds small hints of fuchsia. A natural combination that is very pleasing to the eye that also stands out even more for the characteristics of the variegated and irregular leaves.
In addition, they are ideal plants for those people who like plants that always keep their leaves. They are not discreet but quite the opposite: the purple tone of its leaves is presented on both sides. That is why it is ideal to place it in a prominent place in the garden or in beautiful pots that can be made of any material, although we do recommend that it be terracotta since this is a material that enhances its natural beauty. But in any case, anyone with a hole in its base will do.
Coli they need natural light to live and give away their shades as the characteristic color of these plants is due to a pigment that comes into action with the sun. The difficult thing is to find the right place for the plant because an excess of sun can lead to dehydration but the lack of this in turn affects the leaves, which stop showing the characteristic and striking color to give rise to an almost green tone. in all the leaves.
But this has an easy solution: it is enough to avoid having them exposed during the central hours of the day. AND if they are to be kept at home, they must be put in a room where natural light enters through the windows.
It is a delicate plant when it comes to watering because must be balanced throughout the year, varying the intensity according to the season. Likewise, it is important that, if it is in a pot, it has a hole through which the water can escape. In addition, if a plate is placed under it, it must be drained after each watering.
But how many times do you have to water it a week? Well, for now you have to know that when the leaves become limp it is because the plant needs watering. Although you have to try not to take it to that extreme, the truth is that it will always be easier (and faster) to recover a plant that is going thirsty than another that, on the contrary, has received excess water, since you simply have to take the watering can and pour water until the soil is moist again, or put it in a bucket of water for about twenty to thirty minutes.
Now, depending on the climate, the location and the land that we have put in it, It will be necessary to water two or three times a week during the summer, and 1-2 a week during the cold months.
- the garden: the ideal soil for Coleos is one that is acidic, although it is not too demanding. It is best to combine peat with sand and mulch so that the plant grows stronger and improves the thickness of the stem and the colors and size of the leaves.
- Flower pot: it is advisable to plant it in a substrate for acid plants.
Coli grow best when fertilized in spring and summer. Moreover, when it is not done they tend to produce many leaves at the end of the stems, but few or none in the rest of the plant.
As the months go by, we will surely see that the oldest leaves, that is, those that are lower, dry out. Well, these can be removed without problems.
But you should also know that when the coli begin to gain height, specifically, when they exceed half a meter, their stems can bend. To avoid this you can do two things: put a stake to keep it growing, or top it off so that it branches lower and the trunk thickens. This will be done in spring with previously disinfected scissors.
Colei propagate well by means of seeds and cuttings throughout the spring. Let's know how:
- Seeds: you have to sow them in pots or seedling trays (for sale here!) with specific land (for sale here!), and bury them a bit. It is important that they are separated from each other so that they can grow well. Then, you have to water and leave them in semi-shade. They will germinate in about 14 days. Get seeds by clicking here!.
- Cuttings: you just have to cut healthy stems and put them in a glass with a little water. If all goes well, after about ten days it will begin to take root. As soon as they are abundant, they can be planted in individual pots.
More than anything they can be affected by Red spider and White fly, especially when the environment is very dry. These can be eliminated with ecological and natural insecticides, such as diatomaceous earth (for sale here!) or potassium soap (for sale No products found.), of which we leave you a video:
They are very sensitive to cold plants. The best thing is not to have them outside if the temperatures drop below 18ºC.
What do you think of the colleos?