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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Transplanting Coleus Plants From Cells to Cups: Save Money!

Coleus are annual flowers in my area and most areas. They are tender, don't like cool weather and die at first frost. They are also really expensive to buy! They make for great container plants and flower bed fillers.  They aren't grown for their flowers but for their leaf color.  In fact, pinch off the flower heads.

They take time to grow and should be started indoors well before last frost. The Coleus seeds are small and growing them 1 seed at a time doesn't make sense to me. It is true and you can see by the pictures that 1 seed per cell or fewer seeds per cell mean bigger plants initially. However, they are being grown to fill space my garden and I just don't have the room to grow 100 single Coleus plants indoors. I wish I did!

I over seed cells, divide into cups and divide again once they are hardened off to the outdoors and ready to be transplant into my containers or ground. That means 1 cell of plants get divided. That leaves me 2 cups. The  2 cups will get divided or even quaded (is that a word?). I can end up with 4 to 8 plant bunches for my garden from a single seed starting cell. This is how I manage minimal room in my house and great desire for plants. It works for me.

Coleus Seeds: Gary Pilarchik

I planted my seeds the first week of January or close to that and now about 7 weeks later, they go into cups. I use Miracle Grow starting mix as part of my mix or fertilized starting mix. Planting this many seeds in a cell sucks out nutrients. The cells with bigger Coleus seedlings had fewer seeds.

Coleus Seedlings for Transplanting: Gary Pilarchik
Coleus Plugs Torn Down the Middle: Gary Pilarchik

The cells with bigger and fewer plants went straight to a cup. The plugs with 20 plus seedlings just got torn down the middle. Some will die but most will survive nicely to be divided later. The plugs in the upper right corner (above) are torn starting from top to bottom. 

Coleus Transplanted into Cups: Gary Pilarchik

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