Monday, December 27, 2010

Coleus (ati-ati)

Who doesn't love coleus! They are the most loveable easy-to grow houseplant, whether indoors or outdoors. They are grown in containers, hanging baskets, or directly on the ground in the garden in groups as borders, like mine. What is attractive about coleus is not the flowers, but the colourful leaves with varieties of patterns. Very tender plant, thrives in sunshine but grows well in the shades with well-drained soil. Coleus can be grown from seeds or propagation. Its sooo easy to grow and maintain.. If you let them grow too leggy, they will not look so nice, so regularly pinch them so that new shoots will grow bushy and compact.
my group of coleus when first grown outside the fence a few months back, as a border under the shades of my mulberry bushes, in between yellow and white tunera


love this one best, for the contrasting colours of dark red with bright green border


now there are so many cultivars and hybrids with very colourful, contrasting and variegated
leaves



the leaves maybe green, pink, yellow, black (very dark purple), maroon and red resembling the caladium though they are not related..

I intend to get more varieties of colours for the borders here as they really brighten up the monotonous green of the mulberry bushes

the purplish blue flower florescence of coleus, very small compared to the leaves, should be cut to halt the elongation of the stems, as coleus is not generally grown for its flowers


Coleus is a prennial member of the mint family and is a popular traditional herbal medicine in ancient times. It is also known as Flame Nettle, Painted Nettle, The Poor Man's Croton. But now it has gained popularity when a chemical extract of the roots called Forskolin have medicinal properties to treat asthma, bronchitis, glaucoma, congestive heart failure, to lower blood pressure and some other conditions too. It is said to bring down blood pressure by drinking the water of boiled coleus leaves. I wonder whether the lovely leaves can be eaten as ulam (salad)?



27 comments:

The Whimsical Gardener said...

Beautiful plants aren't they! Very nice.

Malar said...

You have beautiful collection of coleus in your garden! I have heard about the medical benefit of this plant but i'm not sure if it can be eatan like Ulam...
my e-mail add is malart79@yahoo.com
Please e-mail me your address so that i can post the seeds to you!

milka said...

I have only a bright green one in my yard and i propagated them into many many pots hehe. Should get more varities from the nurseries as they are really very easy to maintain. They look yummy to me too haha.

Arati said...

very nice/ i didnt know it belonged to the same family as the mint.

gardenwalkgardentalk.com said...

Pretty. I always bring them in for winter here. They make it until next summer for a reshow. I like them...

Orchid de dangau said...

Nice Coleus! Beautiful. I just worried about 'ulat bulu', if plant this coleus. This plant is their favorite. Anyway your coleus looks beautiful.

p3chandan said...

Whimsical Gardener, thank you...they are lovely especially when planting them in groups!

p3chandan said...

Thank you Malar, Arati...they are indeed in the mint family but they dont have that special mint fragrance. They are ancient traditional medicines especially in India, in your Ayurvedic treatment. Looking forward to the seeds Malar, thanks!

Milka, I would love to see your coleus! Yeah, Im going to Sg Buloh to look for new ones too!

p3chandan said...

Donna, they are so pretty as houseplant, brighten up any garden, indoors or outdoors!

Makarimi, thank you. Are you sure they attract ulat bulu, I must check that, Im very geli of them!

rainfield61 said...

Haha, there are always beasts behind the beauties.

Ulat bulu, if happen to see them. Photograph them!

p3chandan said...

Rainfield, I dont mind other pests, but not ulat bulu!

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Colourful foliage. My Rayyan thought it was Flower!

Appalachian Feet said...

I haven't heard if the leaves can be eaten but they'd certainly be a beautiful salad. I think the herb sold as Cuban oregano for edible use might be a type of coleus. Beautiful photos!

p3chandan said...

Diana, the foliage is the attractive part of Coleus and they are grown for their colourful leaves!

Eliza, I think Cuban Oregano is better known here as Indian Borage and they have the unmistakenly very strong spicy smell. While Coleus has sort of camphor smell, although it is in the mint family, not sure whether they are edible as salad though their leaves can be boiled and the water drank as traditional herbal remedy to lower blood pressure.

Lrong said...

Hello there... got here through Rosie Gan's blog... you seem to be doing very well with your garden!

fer said...

Very beautiful! I didn't know they were relatives of mint.

Hope you had a very merry Christmas and that you have the best happy New Year!

Plantaliscious said...

You started your post "Who doesn't love coleus". Sorry - me! Can't stand them! But there again, that is the wonderful thing about gardening, we all love different things and what I do love is your passion for your plants.

p3chandan said...

Hello Mr Lrong, thank you for dropping by my small garden. I love your 2 blogs too. Im sure you had a fantastic holidays back in your hometown Kedah.You seemed to have made a good life in Japan, love all your vegetables.I envy you!

p3chandan said...

Hi Fer, thank you, back from your Christmas holidays already? Im sure you have a fantastic time! Welcome back to garden blogging. Same you you Fer, have a Happy and Successful New Year!

Plantaliscious...I wonder why you dont like Coleus? But its ok, each of us have different likes and dislikes.But there are so many hybrids that are so gorgeous with fantastic colours you cant help falling in love with them as a beautiful houseplants.

kitchen flavours said...

I like the bright-green Coleus. I grew them and the red ones many years back and thought of starting again after I 're-do' my garden. Yes, they are really easy to grow. You have many varieties. Looks lovely in your garden! Wishing you A Happy New Year and a great 2011!

Meems said...

Oh,I DO love coleus as I am a weakling for all colorful foliage. The unusually cold weather has caused mine to faint miserably this winter. Fortunately I have some cuttings rooted in pots waiting for warmth to return. All of yours are very pretty and I know you must love the pops of color they provide.
Happy 2011! Best of wishes for a new gardening year.
Meems

Orchid de dangau said...

'Ulat bulu' really this plant. Last time I also plant coleus, then more 'ulat bulu' come and eat them, then destroy my orchid. No more coleus in my garden. Another plant that ulat bulu like is 'pokok puding - Codiaeum variegatum'. Even these 2 plants are so beautiful, I decide not planting them in my garden.

Orchid de dangau said...

I mean :'Ulat bulu' really likes this plant.

p3chandan said...

kitchen flavours..thank you, hope you can keep us posted after you re-do your garden. Happy New Year to you too!

Thank you Meems, they are very attractive houseplants and I would love to see your coleus too. Have a Happy New Year to you too!

Makarimi...you really scare me about the ulat bulu, I must get some pesticides to spray them. Im not giving up on my Coleus for them!

Autumn Belle said...

Wow, I didn't know that coleus can be eaten. Your coleus are beautiful and I love their colour leaves which looks like batik. Happy new Year 2011!

p3chandan said...

Thank you Autumn Belle. Its true that coleus has been the traditional remedy for many ailments since ancient times. Happy New Year to you too!

Sunray said...

I love the looks of coleus and it looks lovely in your gardens.

Cher
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