The term Coleus blumei refers to a genus consisting of some perennial herbaceous plants, cultivated as annuals, originating in Africa and Asia. Most show very showy leaves of bright colors, often variegated, yellow, red or pink and in summer they produce small insignificant purple flowers. THE coleus blumei are usually kept in sizes between 20 and 30 cm, but some varieties reach 60-70 cm. C. thyrsoideus has green leaves, but produces long ears of decorative purple flowers. To have more compact plants it is advisable to trim the buds that tend to stretch too much.
The plants of coleo they prefer the semi-shaded positions, which favor a strong coloring of the leaves; they grow without problems even in full sun, but often the sun's rays tend to lighten the leaves. They are not affected by high summer temperatures, but when they are particularly high, it is good to intervene with vaporisations on the leaves to keep them bright.
They fear the cold very much, and therefore they are planted in late spring; to be able to enjoy the beautiful leaves of the coleus blumei even in winter you can produce new plants in late summer, to grow them at home in the cold season.
Excessive temperature changes are dangerous for colas, as they cause the entire specimen to rot.
The specimens of coleo they need abundant watering, avoiding letting the soil dry between one watering and another, especially in hot weather; in this period it is good to supply abundant quantities of water, so that the soil remains constantly humid. From April to September, provide universal fertilizer with water for watering every 20-30 days.
The coleo need rich, loose, very well drained soil, but which allows to maintain the correct degree of humidity, necessary above all during the hottest summer days.
To obtain new specimens of coleo, at the end of winter, they are sown in a warm bed and the new seedbars should be kept in a humid and temperate place until spring. The new plants should be grown in a single container for a few weeks before they can be planted in the garden. If desired, they can also be propagated by cutting, in spring or early autumn; daughter plants usually tend to be more colorful and lush than mother plants.
Coleo - Coleus blumei: Pests and diseases
These plants are quite rustic as far as diseases are concerned, but they are often attacked by aphids, cochineal and whitefly; if grown in the ground they become a delicacy for snails. To counteract the onset of these problems it is good to intervene preventively with broad-spectrum insecticide products or with the vaporization of natural nettle-based or garlic-based compounds, which effectively counteract the presence of parasites. It is enough to boil two cloves of garlic in 3 liters of water, filter the whole and vaporize it on the affected plants, to quickly eliminate the problem in a natural way.