Coleus: Rainbow Foliage for Containers and Gardens

Coleus: Rainbow Foliage for Containers and Gardens

by Ray Rogers
     
 

Coleus are no longer your grandmother's parlor plants. Favorites during the Victorian period, they have made a dramatic comeback. It's easy to see why: no other plant offers such a dazzling variety of leaf colors, shapes, and patterns, and no other plant is so easy to grow and propagate. Given a modicum of care, coleus will flourish from spring until frost.

Overview

Coleus are no longer your grandmother's parlor plants. Favorites during the Victorian period, they have made a dramatic comeback. It's easy to see why: no other plant offers such a dazzling variety of leaf colors, shapes, and patterns, and no other plant is so easy to grow and propagate. Given a modicum of care, coleus will flourish from spring until frost. Although older varieties performed best in shady situations, newer ones have been selected for sun tolerance, making it possible to grow coleus in every part of the garden. With their sumptuous colors and tough constitution, coleus are ideal both as attention-getting focal points and as complements to other foliage or flowering plants. As happy in a container as in open ground, they are the ultimate in versatility, their uses as unlimited as your imagination.

Whether you're a weekend gardener in search of easy, reliable color, or an enthusiast who wants to collect every colues available, this exciting and comprehensive resource will give you exactly what you're looking for—and more. Expert plantsman Ray Rogers offers equal parts inspiration and practical advice, with history, plant characteristics, problem solving, propagation, and designing with coleus in both containers and in the garden, all brought to life by Richard Hartlage's masterful photographs. An encyclopedia covers more than 225 varieties.

Editorial Reviews

Garden Compass - John Bagnasco
“Any coleus lover will find it enjoyable and educational.”

Washington Post
“Any coleus lover will find it enjoyable and educational.”

West Hawaii Today
“Traces the history of a single plant since its formal discovery. The book includes 385 brilliant color photographs.”

Seattle Times
"The most comprehensive work ever written on coleus."


San Diego Union-Tribune
“Paging through the new book, Coleus, is like looking at a fine-art catalog or an old book of fabulous wallpaper prints.”


Portsmouth Herald
Coleus can turn even a curmudgeonly coleophobe into an ardent admirer as Rogers enumerates their many benefits. The stunning color photographs by Richard Hartlage add even more credence to the claim that coleus have their place in almost any garden setting.”


From the Publisher
“Revels in the diversity of the plant.” —The Washington Post

“[Rogers] shows how gardeners can get the maximum benefits from this colorful plant. . . . Recommended.” —Library Journal

“Ray Rogers takes a comprehensive look at these garden staples and even shows a few uses for them, such as training them into topiaries, that we never thought of. If you haven’t been tempted by the new cultivars and want to see what all the chatter is about, this is the place to start.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Any coleus lover will find it enjoyable and educational.” —Garden Compass

“Can turn even a curmudgeonly coleophobe into an ardent admirer as Rogers enumerates their many benefits. The stunning color photographs by Richard Hartlage add even more credence to the claim that coleus have their place in almost any garden setting.” —San Diego Union-Tribune

“A wonderful book for any gardener. The coleus is truly a versatile plant, but also an essential plant for every garden.” —Portsmouth Herald

“For a lover of coleus, this book would be a welcome gift and a valuable reference. An added bonus is the beautiful photography, which is sure to provide delightful diversion in the darker months.” —Connecticut Horticultural Society Newsletter
Library Journal

Coleus, once prized as a bedding plant in Victorian times, lost favor with gardeners during the 20th century but recently has experienced a dramatic increase in popularity. Coleus plants are prized for their colorful foliage, which may combine shades of green, yellow, pink, red, and maroon. New varieties of this popular annual (a perennial in temperate zones) have been developed for increased sun and heat tolerance. Today, there are hundreds of coleus cultivars on the market. Here, author Rogers (Pots in the Garden ) and photographer Hartlage show how gardeners can get the maximum benefits from this colorful plant. In addition to explaining how coleus can best be cultivated in both the ground and in containers, detailed chapters discuss how to integrate it with other plants, how to train the plants into dramatic topiaries, and the benefits of pinching them back. Sporting and reversion, propagation, and pests and diseases are also covered. The book has an encyclopedia section, organized by color, leaf characteristics, and variety, that describes a broad cross section of popular and lesser-known cultivars. Recommended for public libraries.-Phillip Oliver, Univ. of North Alabama, Florence

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780881928655
Publisher:
Timber Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
02/15/2008
Pages:
228
Sales rank:
955,591
Product dimensions:
8.34(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.86(d)

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Meet the Author

Ray Rogers has won 397 blue ribbons and 88 top awards (including 5 Best in Show) for container-grown plants at the Philadelphia International Flower Show. After a career in public horticulture with the Morris Arboretum and the American Horticultural Society, he turned to garden writing, speaking, and editing. He is the author of Coleus and Pots in the Garden and the editor of several major gardening titles published by Dorling Kindersley. He holds a master’s degree in horticulture and is an avid hybridizer of Hippeastrum, better known as amaryllis. Visit him at www.showplants.net.

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