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Coleus is a popular decorative culture from the Lamb family. The culture is not picky and does not require much maintenance. Therefore, even a novice gardener can grow Coleus from seeds at home.
Rules for growing coleus from seeds at home
Even an amateur can grow coleus from seeds. To do this, you need to follow simple rules and guidelines.
What do Coleus seeds look like?
Coleus seeds (pictured) are very small (about 3.5 thousand pieces in 1 gram). They have a faceted shape.
Coleus seeds look like poppy seeds.
When to sow Coleus for seedlings
The optimal period for growing coleus from seeds for seedlings is early spring. Thanks to spring sowing, the grower can optimize labor costs and save time, since seedlings no longer need greenhouse conditions and additional lighting.
How to plant Coleus seeds
Planting coleus seeds for seedlings does not require special skills and knowledge. After sowing seeds and emergence of seedlings, they are dived, and then planted in pots. Seeds are sown from February to April. The first shoots are observed on days 15-19. The planting material must be pretreated in a weak manganese solution. Soaking is necessary for disinfection. After that, the seeds of the coleus are sown into the ground.
Preparation of containers and soil
For planting Coleus seeds at home, not too deep containers are used, in which drainage holes are pre-made. Loose substrates saturated with nutrients are considered optimal for the plant. An example of a suitable soil mixture: crushed sphagnum, peat, sand and humus. Backfilling is carried out without compaction of the soil, no more than 2 cm should remain from the soil to the edges of the container.
As a planting container, you can use both an ordinary plastic container and a special box. The container must have special drainage holes. Otherwise, moisture stagnation will begin and the supply of oxygen to the root system will be disrupted. When using old pots, they require a thorough cleaning and pretreatment with a manganese solution.
The best soil for sowing Coleus seeds is a mixture of river sand, humus, peat and garden soil
Sowing Coleus seeds for seedlings
Sowing Coleus with seeds is performed according to the following algorithm:
- Since Coleus has very small seeds, it is recommended to evenly distribute them over the soil surface.
- A spray bottle is used to moisten the soil. This manipulation must be performed with utmost care, since as a result of jet irrigation, the seeds can become crowded or go to a depth.
- The container is placed in a window greenhouse or covered with plastic wrap to provide a greenhouse effect. The film is slightly opened every day for a few minutes for the purpose of airing.
After the seeds are in a nutritious moist substrate, they need light and warmth. It is recommended to place the container on a light windowsill or provide the seedlings with a source of additional lighting. When the second pair of leaves appears on the coleus, it can be transplanted into a pot.
How to plant coleus seeds in peat tablets
Sowing Coleus for seedlings in peat tablets is one of the simplest ways to grow crops from seeds. The procedure is performed as follows:
- Before sowing peat tablets, you need to provide abundant watering so that they swell and increase in size.
- You need to get rid of excess fluid.
- Then the seeds are laid out at a small distance, gently pressing them into the surface of the elastic substrate.
- Peat tablets with seeds are placed in trays and covered with plastic wrap. The pallets should be placed in a place with good lighting and room temperature.
In the case of sowing seeds in peat tablets, both excessive moisture of the substrate and its drying out are considered unacceptable.
Important! Water for irrigation is sprayed over the surface of the peat once every few days and moisture is added to the trays in which the tablets are placed.
If the seeds were planted in peat tablets, before planting in the ground, it is recommended to trim the surface layer for the full development of the root system of the Coleus
How to grow coleus from seeds
Purchased seeds are highly germinating. However, subject to correct self-collection, the percentage of germination will be almost identical.
The optimal temperature for Coleus in the summer is 22-24 ° C. It is recommended to take out seedlings in the summer to fresh air. In winter, the culture should not be kept in a room with a temperature below 12 ° C. In summer and spring, leaves can fade due to direct sunlight. The midday sun is dangerous for the plant, so it needs to be shaded.
In room conditions, the Coleus needs high humidity. The plant must be sprayed using settled soft water. During the winter period, coleus practically do not grow, being at rest.
Attention! For coleus grown from seeds, the southeast side of the house is best suited.
The soil will be warmed up by spring rays, which will have the most favorable effect on the development of young seedlings.
After night frosts cease to pose a threat to plants, pots with seedlings can be taken out to the loggia or transplanted into open ground
Watering and feeding
Coleus needs abundant watering, especially on hot days. It is preferable to use settled water at room temperature. After watering, the soil must be loosened and weeds removed.
Attention! In winter, the plant needs moderate watering. The topsoil must not be allowed to dry out. With a lack of moisture, Coleus leaves acquire a flabby appearance and fall off. Excessive watering harms the plant and causes foliage to fall off. Lack of lighting is fraught with stretching of the stems and the loss of decorative qualities.
Growing seedlings of coleus from seeds involves periodic feeding: at the beginning of the summer period, the seedlings need nitrogen fertilizers, from the second half of the summer they begin to make complex mineral supplements. Plants obtained from seeds require potassium supplements (potassium concentration should not exceed 1 g per 2 liters of water), as well as nitrogen complexes. During the winter period, top dressing is recommended no more than once a month.
They start diving after the appearance of two leaves. All manipulations must be performed with utmost care, since young seedlings are rather fragile. In order not to harm the root system, the dive is carried out with a plastic or wooden spatula.
Seedlings obtained from seeds are hardened 7-8 days before planting. The seedlings are taken outside and left for a while, gradually increasing the period of being outdoors from a few hours to a whole day. After hardening, coleus adapt better to external conditions and demonstrate high growth rates. Without this procedure, seedlings planted in open ground can get sick or even die.
Transfer to the ground
The sprout is dug up together with a lump of earth and transplanted to another place, gently holding the base. Planting is carried out at a distance of at least 10 cm. When the procedure is completed, fertilizing can be applied to the soil in the form of a dry mineral fertilizer.
In the case of growing Coleus as an annual, it does not need a transplant. If the plant is needed as a perennial, it needs a transplant once every few years. It is necessary to prepare a substrate with a weak or neutral acidity in advance. A mixture of peat, sand, humus, deciduous and soddy soil in a ratio of 1: 1: 2: 4: 4 will be optimal. It is necessary to plant seedlings obtained from seeds in a well-lit place, reliably protected from the wind.
The danger to culture is represented by: whitefly, spider mites and aphids.
A soap solution is used to combat aphids.
The aerial part of the plant is treated, repeating the procedure in a week if the pests survive. Before starting the manipulation, the soil in the pot is covered with plastic wrap to prevent soap from entering the soil. Ticks are not afraid of soapy water, therefore, to combat them, it is worth using special preparations Agravertin or Oberon.
In the absence of timely pinching and trimming, the seedlings will become very elongated
Excessive lighting causes foliage to become faded and discolored.
How to collect Coleus seeds
To sow Coleus with seeds, you can use both store-bought and self-collected seeds. The culture blooms in the first year after planting. Seeds are obtained from nondescript-looking inflorescences. Before planting in peat tablets or soil, they need to be treated with a solution of potassium permanganate.
To grow coleus from seeds at home, you need to select manually or purchase high-quality seeds in a garden store, prepare containers and soil, and also provide an appropriate microclimate, timely watering and feeding. For full development, seedlings need diving and hardening.