Who said you need flowers to have an attractive garden? Many residents are discovering colorful foliage can be an equally effective method of creating accents and brightening the dull spots in the landscape. There are few plants more colorful than the coleus.
A quick trip to the garden center finds a rainbow of leaf colors waiting to be discovered. Coleus plants also have interesting leaf shapes varying from broad and long to short narrow and scalloped. Some are even said to resemble duck?s feet.
Now here is the really good news. Newer selections of coleus won?t mind the sun or shade. They also love the heat and rainy summer weather. All coleus need to flourish is a well-drained soil. Where possible enrich sandy soils with compost, manure and similar forms of organic matter to supply nutrients and help stretch the time between waterings.
- Water when the surface of the soil begins to dry to the touch.
- Add a thin mulch layer to conserve water and control weeds.
- Feed monthly with a general garden fertilizer.
- Pinch out the tips of shoots to encourage branching as needed.
- Control slugs and other chewing pests when noticed.
- Periodically prune back to control height and width.