En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - May 12, 2013

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Compost and Mulch, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Can non-native coleus grow in mulch from San Antonio
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can Coleus plants grow in Mulch only?

ANSWER:

From Wikipedia: "Solenostemon (coleus) is a genus of flowering plants in the family Lamiaceae, native to tropical Africa, Asia and Australia."

It is therefore not native to North America, which means the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, has no information on it.

We can, however, tell you about mulch. Please read our How-To Article on Under Cover with Mulch. This tells you that decomposing mulch added to soil will amend the soil as to good drainage and access to nutrients in the soil. If you are asking if coleus can grow in soil that has been mulched, the answer is "yes." If you are wondering if any plant, coleus included, can grow in nothing but raw mulch, the answer is "no." Water and nutrients for the plant are drawn up from the soil by tiny rootlets.

Just to show we are good sports, here is an article on Coleus from Clemson University Extension.

 

 

More Compost and Mulch Questions

Limp leaves on Texas purple sage in Magnolia TX
July 22, 2010 - Recently planted Texas purple sage, some of it looks healthy and has new blooms, but a few of the plants have limp leaves and are thin at the bottom. I read the article on cotton root rot, but am not ...
view the full question and answer

It's so hot, even the Salvia greggii are sad, in Bulverde Texas
July 28, 2011 - I have several Salvia greggii in large terra cotta pots. The leaves have developed a yellowish tint and are thinning. What is the best process to get them back to full green foilage?
view the full question and answer

Shade ground cover under honeysuckle from Wichita KS
February 21, 2012 - Hi! I know this is a bit odd, but I am trying to find a nontoxic, good ground covering plant that can live in the shade while competing with the roots of a whole bunch of honeysuckle. I have a few ide...
view the full question and answer

Ants in the compost pile from Georgetown TX
March 09, 2012 - Can you give me any suggestions for ridding my compost pile of ants?
view the full question and answer

Could ammonia harm poisonous, non-native oleander in Bay Point CA
December 20, 2009 - Could ammonia harm my Oleander plant? I have been spraying ammonia under it to keep neighborhood cats from using the soil under the plant as a sand box. If so, do you have any suggestions as to what...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center