This plant is very similar to croton in brightness and leaf color. It is sometimes called the "poor croton". Although Coleus may surpass the Croton in terms of color, it is much cheaper. From here it is the second plain name.
Unlike Croton, Coleus has an advantage: it is not as capricious as its expensive relative. You can buy an adult Coleus plant in a flower shop. And you can easily grow it from seed.
Appearance of coleus
Coleus - a low bushy plant. It belongs to the group of ornamental leaf houseplants (you can read about it in the article "What are some houseplants"). Reaches a height of up to 35 cm. There are species that can grow up to 70 cm in length. But there are dwarf varieties. In most plants, the leaves resemble nettle leaves. Hence, in common, Coleus nicknamed "nettle".
The edges of the leaves may be wavy or folded. The leaves themselves can be corrugated. The color of the leaves is varied. Usually colorful leaves. The variegated forms of Coleus prevail. But there are representatives with monophonic leaves: pure yellow or dark red.
Coleus bloom, but their flowers are small and inconspicuous. They are on top of blue-purple and whitish below. Collected in complex ears. The flowering period takes away from the plant a lot of energy costs, because of what its leaves become smaller. Therefore, it is best to carefully remove the buds as they form. The owner of the most colorful and large leaves is Coleus Fershaffelt.
Location in the house
For the normal existence of Coleus, the humidity in the room should be high. Therefore, it is best to keep it in the kitchen, as in the warmest room with good humidity. Also suitable for Coleus are southern, western and eastern windows for growing.
Lighting.Coleus - light-loving plant. But depending on the color of the leaves, it requires a different amount of light. Coleus with bright leaves (for example, red and almost white) can better tolerate direct sunlight than plants with green leaves. Therefore, Coleus is better to shade from the bright midday sun. It should also be noted that the plant is accustomed to direct sunlight gradually to avoid sunburn.
Temperaturerequires moderate, but not below 12 ° C, otherwise your pet will freeze.
Air humidityfor coleus should be high.
Watering abundant. Use soft water well for irrigation. Often, tap water is too hard, so rainwater can be used. In winter, reduce watering - the soil should be only slightly wet.
Breeds Coleus in early spring seeds, and in late spring and summer - stem cuttings.
Transplantedplant in the spring after cutting the stems.
Pests and coleus diseases
Coleus are susceptible to infection with spider mites, aphids and thrips. A spider mite appears on the underside of the leaf, most noticeably its tiny spider webs. And aphids and thrips are visible on the shoots and leaves. From pests get rid of manually (to remove the screws, use a cotton swab moistened with alcohol). Also, they are treated with special preparations (with a solution of the drug "Hom" - 1 tsp per half liter of water).
If the leaves turn yellow, fall off, and the stems turn black and die, then you cannot save your green pet. This is a fungal infection. It is often caused by over-wetting the soil in a flower pot. Although there may be other reasons.
In addition to pests, you can still face other problems. For example, the drying of the soil immediately show the leaves. They fade. It is necessary to immediately water the plant and put it in a shadow for a while.
If the lower leaves turn yellow and fall off, and the rest turn green - this is a sign of a lack of lighting. It is necessary to move the coleus to a more lighted place.
Coleus - truly unpretentious and inexpensive plant. It can decorate your home with minimal cash outlay and effort on your part. If you provide your nettle with good lighting, watering with soft water and spraying its leaves regularly, it will never die.