I’ve been growing this year’s coleus crop in recycled chicken rotisserie containers since mid-winter. They have grown well, and it’s time to transplant them. Before I begin I gently move the larger plants aside; the coleus are already showing different colors, sizes, and leaf shapes. Years ago, and I have no idea where the advice came from, I read that often the best coleus are the last ones to sprout and grow large. I have found this to have a modicum of truth, beneath the larger coleus sprouts are often the best plants.
I transplant into small cups with a drainage hole cut into the bottom. A light potting soil is best, I add a bit of vermiculite to lighten it further, but it’s not necessary if the soil drains well.
The best method to remove the seedling from the surrounding sprouts is to use a fork. The fork lifts without cutting through the roots.
At this time I closely examine each plantlet and take note of those that have the most potential. I was impressed by this small sprout. Although it it is tiny it is loaded with color and sass. I like the spots and it reminds me a bit of a leopard.
Here’s my first tray of seedlings potted up and ready to grow on for a few weeks. Coleus cannot tolerate cold temperatures. I will grow them on in the trays until after the full moon on May 7th. At that time they can be placed in their permanent pots outside.
I love coleus. They can be sown and planted at any time throughout the year. They make an amazing houseplant. I’ve included a photograph of a coleus I’ve grown into a topiary.