GerriB
Full Member
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:17 pm
Location: Cincinnati Ohio

Coleus Bulbs

Surely there is a forum that will answer my question but I can't find it. Here's my question. How do I store coleus bulbs that we pulled from my back yard pond? I think it can be called a pond: it's about 400 gallons all together: three sections separated by earthen dams. I didn't purchase the coleus as pond plants, but they did awfully well as they grew in their clay pots submerged halfway in the water. A couple bulbs fit into my fist. The others aren't quite bad either. No insect damage or decay on any of these. I would like to either store them for replanting next year; or I would like to re-pot them for inside growing. Live in Cincinnati Ohio, Western Hills, between zones 5 - 6 depending on site.

User avatar
Kisal
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7648
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

Um ... are you sure you have coleus bulbs? I have never heard of a coleus that grows from a bulb. I've always grown them from seeds. Perhaps you mean lotus bulbs? :?
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

GerriB
Full Member
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:17 pm
Location: Cincinnati Ohio

Coleus

Well, we bought the plant at a Cincinnati White Oak garden store. It was sold as a coleus and it sure looked like a coleus to me. But if it's a lotus I'm just as happy because whatever it was managed to survive Cincinnati in the summer time and I like it. It would surely die if left outside here in the Cincinnati winter. I would like to know how to take care of these bulbs/corms over the winter. I'm happy enough to re-plant the bulbs in a medium for indoor growth. Or, if need be, I'll do whatever I can to store it for the winter months.

User avatar
Kisal
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7648
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

The plants in this pic are the coleus I'm familiar with. I'd love to see a picture of your plants. I know coleus like moisture, but I've never heard of them being grown submerged in a pond before. I'm always looking for new plants for my ponds, so I'd love it if I could add coleus to the ones I already use. :)

[img]https://www.gardencentre.co.uk/images/large/843.jpg[/img]
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

GerriB
Full Member
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:17 pm
Location: Cincinnati Ohio

Yes! That is the plant! In fact. one of the bulbs/corms that we pulled out this afternoon had tiny coleus leaves. Right now they are sitting on our patio table, waiting to find out what is going to happen to them. Man, I'll take my camera outside and see if I can get a picture for you. Well, in fact, they were pretty happy in the pond. It's a shaded area - I know coleus likes shade. And needless to say they loved having their feet wet. Mind you, their pots weren't totally submerged. Maybe about 1/3 of the pots were setting on a shelf. Be right back!

GerriB
Full Member
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:17 pm
Location: Cincinnati Ohio

Here are the pictures of the bulbs or corms of my coleus plant which I took today, October 10, 2010, at about 7:30pm. They all grew in the same pot. When we stuck the pot in the water, the bottom of the pot was submerged about a quarter of the way but over the summer, the pot sank so the pot was at least three quarters of a way under water. Some of the plants did well, others didn't. The little leaves that I mentioned earlier have fallen off. I scruffed off a bit of wet soil before I took this picture. So I want to know how to take care of these bulbs/corms whatever so I can get them to grow again next summer. I would appreciate any suggestions. Argh. Now I can't figure out how to submit an image. I tried Img at the top of this message but it doesn't seem to work.

User avatar
Kisal
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7648
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

I'm looking forward to seeing the pics! :)

[url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3724]How to Post Pictures & Photos on Forums[/url]
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

shadowsmom
Senior Member
Posts: 212
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:40 pm
Location: NJ

Some canna lilies have very colorful leaves. They would grow in or near water. I just pulled my coleus out of my window boxes. They just have roots. I'm curious.

https://www.google.com/images?q=canna+lily&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&rlz=1R1GGLL_enUS392US392&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=6-ayTLnLEsP7lwfc5aGDBQ&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=6&ved=0CEoQsAQwBQ&biw=1015&bih=503

GerriB
Full Member
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:17 pm
Location: Cincinnati Ohio

This is a picture of the coleus corms (I hope) [url=https://img183.imageshack.us/i/coleusinourpond001.jpg/][img]https://img183.imageshack.us/img183/6812/coleusinourpond001.th.jpg[/img][/url][/img]

Here's a picture of part of the plant, taken this August. This shows more of a white color rather than all the colors of a coleus. I wonder if these are caladium tubers and not coleus at all.

[url=https://img543.imageshack.us/i/caladiumaugust2010.jpg/][img]https://img543.imageshack.us/img543/9336/caladiumaugust2010.th.jpg[/img][/url]


Now what to do with them. Are the tubers in good enough shape to store over the winter for next year?

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27920
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Coleus has the square stems and long flower shoots reminiscent of Perilla and basil. They grow on fibrous roots.

Were these corms/bulbs actually attached to coleus plants? Coleus plants usually keep growing until frost kills them. Could they be spring bulbs that went dormant and were in the same container as the coleus?

GerriB
Full Member
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:17 pm
Location: Cincinnati Ohio

I think they must be caladiums, not coleus which name was on the label when we bought them. When I planted them I put them into the same pot that I used last year for elephant ears. I also grew canna in the same area.

This year it was taro and the thing I had been calling a coleus all summer.

Maybe I'll take one of the tubers or corms inside for a houseplant and see just what comes up. I suppose that's part of the fun of gardening nutty people such as I - the ones who don't know which end is up and for us folks life in general is always a mystery.

Thanks everybody for your responses! I really appreciate it.

User avatar
lorax
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1316
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:48 pm
Location: Ecuador, USDA Zone 13, at 10,000' of altitude

Colocasia esculenta 'Magic', or Caladium bicolor of one cultivar or another, but definitely not Coleus.

The tubers, so long as they're dry and not mooshy in any places, will winter just fine - treat them the same way you would tulips, irises, or other perennial bulbs that you'd take in for the winter (store in a cool, dry place with not too much light.)

You can absolutely keep them as houseplants provided that they've still got leaves when you bring them in. If they've dropped their leaves, they've entered their dormant period, and breaking that dormancy early isn't very good for the plants. If they're Caladium, they naturally take a rest in the fall, even here where they're native. If they're Colocasia, they go dormant when the tubers are nice and mature (it's how you know when to harvest them for eating.)

GerriB
Full Member
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:17 pm
Location: Cincinnati Ohio

Thanks for the advice. Based on that, it's probably too late to bring them inside since they must be going into dormancy. I definitely want to save them for next year to see what I've got.

Colocasia - "elephant ears" - the bulbs are edible? This must be on a forum somewhere. Time for a new search!

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

elephant ears are the taro you mentioned. Taro root is a staple in the diet of many tropical areas.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

GerriB
Full Member
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:17 pm
Location: Cincinnati Ohio

I often wondered if that Taro wasn't the exact same plant as an elephant ear. See - that's what Latin nomenclature can do for you! I know what Poi is, and I don't like it at all. So I'll just leave the Taro alone.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

poi is mashed taro root
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27920
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

The ones eaten in Japan (and I think in Korea/China as well) the tuber/corm/? is smaller -- more like a tulip bulb size -- than the Hawaiian Taro which I think is about baseball or softball size. It's steamed with jacket (skin) on, then peeled (it basically slips right out) and eaten with -- no surprise -- soysauce. It's slippery/slimey so people who don't like slimey food won't like it, but has drier inside -- about texture of red bliss potatoes. I think it's pretty tasty. I believe other popular recipes are deep frying them or putting them in hearty stews.

User avatar
lorax
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1316
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:48 pm
Location: Ecuador, USDA Zone 13, at 10,000' of altitude

That's because Hawaiian taro is Colocasia gigantea, and the one eaten in Japan is Colocasia esculenta.

The tubers of Caladium aren't edible, but the young leaves are prized as a vegetable here in Ecuador - they're steamed the same way that spinach is cooked.

If you want another edible Aroid tuber, look up Xanthosoma.

Return to “What Doesn't Fit Elsewhere”