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 Non-Natives Questions

Care for non-native tropical Hibiscus rosa sinensis in Clinton Township MI
October 18, 2010 - Do I have to bring a painted lady hibiscus tree in for the winter? We planted it in the ground and it did great this summer, but I do not know if we have to put it in a pot and bring it in for the wi...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control in Spicewood TX
March 20, 2013 - I am from a small community along the Colorado River a few miles East of Marble Falls. We are looking for a ground cover/grass to prevent erosion on on our beach front. We had planned to use Bermuda G...
view the full question and answer

Non-native blue potato bush in El Dorado Hills CA
June 12, 2010 - I have two blue potato bush topiary planted in my front porch in a very big planter. It's getting a full afternoon sun. I am wondering why they are losing their leaves??? Am I overwatering them??? Al...
view the full question and answer

Problems with shrubs by pool in Bethesda, MD
February 24, 2012 - We are trying to grow Otto Luyken Laurels by a pool and doing okay, some brown spots on leaves, but not many. Also have Arbivatea beside the pool about 3 feet from the edge of the pool. They have a l...
view the full question and answer

Death of lantana in Bryan TX
March 28, 2013 - I would like to know what killed several new gold lantana in a single bed that died over the winter. They looked quite healthy last fall. I have several other new gold lantana that survived the wint...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center