We grow coleus from seeds
Coleus, or as the plant is sometimes called, nettle, is a native of Asia and Africa. Thanks to the unpretentiousness of Coleus, growing from seeds at home and the lack of special care, the culture has become truly popular and is widely used for outdoor and indoor gardening..
What is the attraction of the plant? And how to grow coleus from seeds?
The main feature of numerous varieties and varieties of a herbaceous plant with a height of 30 to 50 cm is the decorative pointed-ovoid foliage of incredible colors.
Leaves sitting on pubescent succulent stems can have such a bright and variegated color that even flowering species will envy the abundance of shades. For Coleus, revered by lovers of indoor and horticultural crops, not only green or yellowish-white tones, but also such exotic paints as lilac, crimson, brown, purple and pink are not uncommon. In many varieties, the leaves are decorated with spots, stripes, a wide or narrow edging along the edge..
At the same time, the cultivation of Coleus will not be difficult even for beginners in floriculture, and with minimal care, a bright, non-capricious plant will delight the eye for a long time both on the street and indoors..
Ways to grow Coleus at home
As far as coleus is unpretentious in care, it is so easy to grow them. Moreover, there are two main ways of plant reproduction:
- using cuttings;
- through seeds.
Since the stems of the plant branch out on their own not too willingly, and you can get a dense compact crown only if there are many shoots, then when grown at home, the coleus are necessarily cut off and pinched.
Apical cuttings with several leaves cut from adult plants and used for propagation. Young shoots cut in spring can be rooted in water or by digging in a light wet mixture of sand and sphagnum. Roots, as a rule, appear within a week, after which the plant is ready for planting in separate pots..
If the grower has several young coleus of different colors at his disposal, you can create a decorative composition from them by placing the seedlings at a distance of 10-15 cm in one large container. As the plants grow, they pinch, forcing them to bush and take a beautiful rounded shape..
Such cultivation of coleus will allow you to decorate with a multicolored hat of lush foliage both a house and a personal plot, a veranda or a flower garden.
Growing coleus from seeds
It is not difficult to obtain unusually attractive Coleus plants from seeds. Self-collected or purchased seeds give a large percentage of seedlings, and young seedlings grow well.
And yet, when growing Coleus from seeds at home, several factors must be taken into account..
Plants are light-requiring enough and develop in stably warm air. Therefore, to obtain strong healthy seedlings, sowing is carried out in early spring, when daylight hours begin to increase. In this case, the seedlings are guaranteed not to be weak and elongated due to lack of sun, and their development is much faster than in autumn or winter..
Spring sowing saves not only the grower’s time, but also his labor costs. Spring warmth is enough not to suit the seedlings with greenhouse conditions and illumination..
Growing Coleus from seed will require shallow containers with pre-made drainage holes. For sowing, take a light, very loose substrate with a high nutrient content. An example of such a soil is a mixture of humus, sand, peat and crushed sphagnum. Backfilling is carried out, almost without compacting the soil so that about 1.5-2 cm remains from the soil to the edge of the container.
Now you can proceed to sowing:
- Coleus seeds are very small, so they are not embedded in the ground, but only evenly distributed over its surface.
- On top of the planting moisten with a spray bottle. This has to be done very carefully, since even a stream of water can deepen the seeds or lead to their crowding..
- The container is placed in a window greenhouse or placed under a film.
When the seeds intended for growing Coleus have fallen into a nutritious moist substrate, they need warmth and light. Therefore, the container should be immediately placed on a light windowsill or artificial lighting should be arranged for crops. Optimum temperature for wheel 22 – 24 ° C.
It usually takes about two weeks before germination. Until the sprouts appear, the crops are aired every day. If necessary, the substrate is moistened.
Growing coleus from seeds in peat tablets
If the grower has peat tablets at his disposal, they can be successfully used at home to grow coleus from seeds:
- Before sowing, the tablets are watered abundantly so that the compressed peat swells and increases in size several times.
- Then the excess liquid is removed.
- The seeds are carefully laid out on the surface at a short distance from each other, easily pressing into the elastic substrate.
- Tablets with seeds are placed in a tray under a film and transferred to a warm, bright place.
When using peat tablets, it is important to avoid drying out or over-wetting the substrate. Therefore, water can be sprayed onto the surface of the peat or, at intervals of 3-4 days, a little moisture can be added to the tray where the tablets are located..
Seedling care when growing coleus
With the emergence of seedlings, they need to be aired more and more often. Due to this, Coleus plants, when growing their seeds, quickly acclimatize to the external environment..
The first leaves are green, but with the formation of real foliage, it is painted in different shades, as it should be for adult specimens. As soon as the crowns of the plants close, and the senses begin to interfere with each other, they dive, seating them at a distance of at least 2 cm from neighboring bushes.
If Coleus seedlings were grown in peat tablets, it is better to cut off the surface layer before planting them in the ground. This will allow the roots to develop unhindered in all directions..
After 1.5-2 months after sowing, the plants have several true leaves, completely colored in accordance with the selected variety, and the height of the sprouts reaches 10-15 cm. In this state, when grown at home, Coleus can be transplanted into separate pots, where they to grow constantly.
In the future, indoor plants of Coleus need:
- in diffused bright light;
- at an air temperature of about 18–25 ° C in summer and at least 15 ° C in winter;
- in abundant watering and regular summer dressings, which are stopped with the onset of winter.
To form a lush crown when growing coleus, it is imperative to pinch and trim the shoots. With the help of such a formation, in several years you can get spectacular standard trees with bright unusual foliage..