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A dozen years ago, it was considered a hopelessly outdated "grandmother's" plant - a variegated miracle with the popular nickname "nettle", which is now experiencing a renaissance. In horticultural culture, Coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides) are finally appreciated. But the garden fashion for this amazing plant is just the result of a revision of the status of indoor culture. Coleus first regained the status of a boring plant on windowsills, and only then became a star in modern garden landscape design.
Ornamental nettle, formerly known under the name of Salinostemon, is a bright and variegated Coleus - a short-lived but unforgettable plant. It resembles nettles in shape. Decorated with a beautiful jagged edge, oval, lanceolate, heart-shaped or ovate leaves of the coleus, with a constant elongated tip, wrinkled and velvety to the touch, they delight with their amazing variety of colors. Yellow, green in every imaginable shade, red, orange, purple, dark purple, brown, copper, pink are mixed in spots and patterns of different varieties in unmatched fashionable colors.
Depending on the variety, coleus are herbaceous plants with a height of 30 to 60 cm with strong ribbed shoots that create more compact or spreading bushes and differ in the shape and size of the leaves. Flowering in the form of apical spikelets is inconspicuous, it is better to prevent it in room culture.
Features of indoor coleus care
Coleus can boast not only bright colors, but also unpretentiousness. They grow well in rooms, they can move to balconies for the summer, they are not afraid of drafts. Even inexperienced flower growers can grow them: all that Coleus needs is timely rejuvenation and modest care.
It is very easy to propagate coleus. Plants can be grown from seeds, as well as obtained from cuttings rooted in soil and water.
Lighting and temperature largely determine the decorativeness and durability of room nettles. This light-loving plant grows equally well in a sunny place and in bright diffused lighting. Coleus does not need to be shaded even on balconies or when taken to fresh air. They put up with any temperature during the period of active growth. To preserve decorativeness without forming, the plant must winter in a cool place, at temperatures from +10 to + 15 ° C.
Watering for Coleus is carried out according to the standard scheme. The more stable the humidity, the more beautiful the leaves look. Watering is best done when the topsoil dries out. Coleus do not like dampness, but drought also has a bad effect on the bushes. Coleus are fed in spring and summer with a frequency of 1 time in 2-3 weeks with fertilizers for decorative deciduous plants.
Coleus are transplanted only as needed, if the plant is formed and preserved. Usually the nettle is replaced with a new plant, discarding the old ones.
Coleuses suffer greatly in shading. With a lack of lighting, they can drop leaves altogether. For dense branching, plants need to be shaped by pinching or cutting off the tops, preventing the shoots from stretching. Promotes thickening and a regular tie of shoots. Of the pests on coleus, whitefly and spider mites are most common.
For a continuation of the list of the best garden plants to grow at home, see the next page
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