Before frost arrives, take cuttings of favorite plants, like coleus, plectranthus, or scented geraniums. Stem tip cuttings from these plants root easily to allow you to overwinter starts for next year’s containers. Also take cuttings of herbs like pineapple sage, Greek basil, mint and basil to root in water and transplant into pots to grow garden fresh flavors on your windowsill.
Coleus is an old-fashioned favorite for shady locations, and modern varieties deliver even more. This trio of ColorBlaze coleus boasts beautiful leaves on plants that don’t set flowers easily, which means no more endless deadheading. Mix and match coleus varieties for containers or planting beds by choosing complementary and contrasting leaf colors and patterns. Make sure the coleus you choose is not a full-sun variety if you’re growing it in the shade. Pinch out growing tips when plants are young to increase branching.
Color explodes on the leaves of Kong Salmon Pink coleus. Bright lime green leaves unfurl to reveal bubble gum pink splotches and burgundy etched veins. Each leaf is a work of art. This coleus struts its stuff best in full shade but also sparkles in part sun. Large leaves make Kong Salmon Pink a strong choice for landscape designs or large containers. Plants grow 18 to 20 inches tall and 15 to 18 inches wide.
Pot up your coleus before the first frost to overwinter them as colorful, showy houseplants. Coleus grow nicely in an eastern exposure, and if they start to look leggy and stretched, simply prune them back. Stick the cuttings into a glass of water or a small container filled with potting mix, and roots will soon form, increasing your windowsill garden. Shown here: Coleus 'Sun Rose To Lime Magic'
Draft a classic autumn icon as a vase for the last of your garden gleanings. A small pumpkin, turban squash or gourd easily hosts a blend of blooms. This display features boldly tinted coleus leaves with a pop of lantana blooms. To create a pumpkin vase, start with a flat-bottomed fruit that rests evenly on a surface. Remove the stem end and seeds. Insert a saturated block of floral foam or a water-filled jar and add fresh stems.
Just because you live in the heart of the city doesn’t mean you can’t commune with nature every day. This green approach to urban terraces from The Artist Garden is one inspired idea that brings together a variety of colors and shapes with columnar oaks, coleus and impatiens set off against the beauty of Ipe wood and limestone flooring.
Fallen leaves mixed with hosta, coleus, Rozanne geraniums, heucheras, ferns and long-lasting annual flowers make a glorious tapestry in your fall garden, says Jan Johnsen, a New York-based landscape designer.
When leaves bring the color, the show never stops. These gorgeous foliage plants fill shady pots or planting beds with season-long good looks. One way to create an eye-catching display is to plant pots with one type of shade-loving annual. Cluster the pots together to create a striking garden tableau. This shade garden features (clockwise from bottom center): glowing gold millet grass (Milium effusum), Kong Red coleus, a hanging basket of Emerald Falls dichondra, Chocolate Mint coleus and Kong Rose coleus. These plants all grow best in full shade to part sun.
Featured in this raised bed is an appealing cacophony of color including hot pink dianthus (a type of sweet William); lighter pink yarrow (Achillea Millefolium); hot pink salvia in the background; golden coleus 'Wizard' in the foreground and 'Sunshine' ligustrum, miniature to the left and right.
Formally known as Magilla purple perilla, it’s okay to shorten the name of this shade-loving plant to Magilla perilla, just because it’s fun to say. It’s a coleus lookalike, but the similarities stop there. Unlike coleus, Magilla perilla branches easily to form a full plant that’s packed with multicolored leaves. It’s also extremely heat and cold tolerant, which means it stands up to summer sizzle and fall’s chilly nights. Use it in containers or to bump up the color quotient in landscape beds. Plants grow quickly to achieve their full size: 24 to 36 inches tall and 12 to 18 inches wide.