Re: [gardeners] transplanting question

penny x stamm (
Sun, 29 Oct 2000 01:07:03 -0400

Billie,  celosia are amongst my favorite of annuals -- hard 
to believe, but I have 9 beds of annuals only..!  

This summer the celosia stood still.  We had a record breaking 
number of overcast days, and everything suffered from lack of 
sunshine (and in some cases, lack of heat).  

Did you know that celosia come in all sizes, from 4 inches to
24 inches in ultimate height?  The 24s are, I believe, only 
available in a red & gold bicolor.  I've never seen them .....
Altogether, I think that celosia complement all mixed beds,
bringing both color and form into the variety.  And I just as
well admire the crested form (like brain coral) which have 
quite a long season and strong coloration.  

One of my daughters (in St.Louis, probably zone 6b or 7a)
set a fantastic example in showmanship for me summer '99
by filling the side of a berm with enormous coleus of varied
coloration. They are supposed to grow only to 18 inches, but
hers were even taller and totally bushy.  Trying to emulate
her, last winter I grew at least 5 different color varieties, my
all-time favorite being "Inky Fingers", looking like a black
hand print on a medium green background with lime
colored ruffled edging.  When proper planting time arrived,
unfortunately I was unable to bend or kneel, and so my
young plants were a month late getting into the ground. Add
to that the lack of typical summer weather, and obviously,
I never came close to matching my daughter's achievement.
What did develop, nevertheless, was a dense forest of 12"
coleus, very eye pleasing in its own right. 

I swore that I would no longer spend my winters trying to keep
over a hundred cuttings watered -- but as the cold weather
has approached, I caved in, darnit . . .   I've got about 75 slips
planted in pots right now, and today, against all logic, I slipped
out and cut 24 more -- all coleus.  No will power. 

All my annuals get planted with Osmocote 120-day fertilizer
in the hole underneath.  That's all they'll ever need for the 
summer.  And they all get automatically watered every day
it doesn't rain, even the shade beds. 

Penny, zone 6

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