'Campfire' ... 'Spiced Curry' ... 'Alabama Sunset' ... 'Dipt in Wine' ... no, I am not reminiscing about my summer holiday, I am of course talking about varieties of the fantastic plant that is the Coleus. I was once rather dismissive of these plants, but in recent years I've come to realise how wrong I was. Dr Hessayon calls Coleus 'the poor man's Croton' and he's right - they are a lot cheaper and easier to grow! They come in a fascinating range of shapes and colours, from 'Dark Chocolate' to 'Pink Chaos'
Many people treat them as annuals, and they are cheap and easy to grow enough that there's no shame in this approach, but it's also possible to overwinter your Coleus going over winter. I sowed a packet of 'Rainbow Mix' Coleus seed as part of this spring's On The Ledge sowalong and it's further cemented my love of this plant family.
I talked to Kelly Norris, director of horticulture and education at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, about the garden's incredible Coleus collection, find out why Coleus goes under so many different names including Solenostemon and Plectranthus, and discuss how to overwinter Coleus indoors. Visit janeperrone.com for full show notes.
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