June, 2018 Newsletter

The Versatility of Coleus

As the summer heat, humidity, and rains become a constant factor, many gardeners add coleus to their pots and landscape beds for bursts of colors and easy maintenance. Originally from Malaysia and southern Asia, many of the new varieties available can thrive in our South Florida climate. Generally thought of as an annual planting, coleus can become a two-to-four year perennial by keeping the blue flower spikes pinched out. They take the normal amount of water, and they are a wonderful "wilter" to let you know when they want to be watered. Coleus will average two-to-three feet in height. They are members of the mint family and have the same characteristic square stems. SmartyPlants currently has many varieties with different leaf shapes, sizes, and colors ranging from lime green to burgundy, yellow to red, or several mottled varieties of mixed colors. Coleus are very versatile - use in potted arrangements as either the thriller, filler, or spiller; plant in hanging baskets; use sparingly or heavily in planting beds to add color and texture; and even use in full shade or part sun. If you haven't grown coleus before, now is the time to give them a try. We have 1 and 3 gallon plants available.

Friendly Reminder

June marks the start of hurricane season. Don't be caught off guard by yard chores that can be done now in preparation. Prune back trees and shrubs as necessary. Remove dead stems and branches from all plants. Clean out old fronds from palms. Make sure that any supports or stakes are secured, especially on new trees and larger shrubs. Use, discard, or secure any leftover pesticides, fertilizers or soils. Clean out storage bins or sheds. Doing this now will ease the panic should a storm have South Florida on its path.
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