Monday, June 7, 2010

The Great Coleus Experiment -- Starting Coleus Plants From Seed.

MrMartha has had an interesting experiment going on the past several weeks: Growing Coleus from Seed.

Coleus are such wonderful and versatile plants, with incredible variety in shape and colorations....although, at 4 or 5 bucks for a 4" pot from the nursery, building an interesting collection of these surprisingly accomodating annuals can get quite pricey -- very quickly.

Trying to grow Coleus from seeds has been an interesting, eye opening, and frustrating experience, which is hopefully now about to pay off with some amazing results.

The seeds themselves are all but microscopic, they sprout as incredibly delicate seedlings, and seem to take a long time to get established and strengthen....
but it is nowappearing that it is all time well spent.

ReadMore about the details, and some additional photos of the progression.

MrMartha started the seeds in small 6pack type pots in new sterile potting medium. Indoors in early April, under plastic covering, with a soil heating pad underneath the trays.
After several days, the amazingly tiny seedlings emerged, looking like a tiny bit of confetti on top of a human hair.

The growth is slow....but patience pays off. After a couple of weeks, the seedlings can be thinned out (carefully, with tweezers), and the containers moved under plastic canopies -- in a bright light area, with bottom heat continuing.

It was interesting that in searching online for tales of others who have tried growing Coleus from seed, all the posted images would show seedlings up to a few weeks old...but then nothing after that, which made MrMartha think that most experimenters would give up and toss out their trays at that point.....So, intrepid grower, keep the faith -- eventually the gambit pays off (or seems to be)....keep checking back for more updates on MrMartha's Coleus success!
Coleus are also very easy to propogate by cuttings, but that's another post...