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

Older leaves yellowing on Savannah holly in Dallas
May 01, 2009 - I planted a Savannah Holly in Dallas, TX in the Fall of 2008. It has new growth and some white buds all over it, but some of the older leaves are turning yellow and dropping off. Is this normal?
view the full question and answer

Malpighia glabra for Austin
October 14, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I am planting native Malpighia in a raised bed that was specially prepared for growing roses (soil and amendments). This bed has been left fallow for several years. Do I need t...
view the full question and answer

Perennials non-toxic to horses in Thayer MO
September 21, 2010 - I live in South Central Missouri. I am looking for a plant/shrub to plant in pots (our soil is clay and very rocky)to landscape the front of our barn. This plant can't be harmful to horses and must b...
view the full question and answer

Smaller trees for limited space in yard in Austin
March 29, 2011 - Follow up to "I have a choice of three shade trees from the city of Austin. They are Live Oak, Elm, Cedar. Although I am happy to have a free tree, I think the choices are not the best for my home. I...
view the full question and answer

Sudden death of Texas Mountain Laurel
April 14, 2008 - Last year, my 15-year-old Mountain Laurel died very suddenly. The leaves began to curl up and turn brown, and it was dead within about 15 days. What happened?
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