Foliage Color

“Foliage Color”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

This time of year does not have the blooms that early spring does, but that does not mean that there is no color or interest in the garden.  This year, in particular, there isn’t the amount of flowers around as is usual for summer.  Our heat always does seem to make plants stop flowering during the hottest months and then pick up again when the cooler temperatures of fall arrive, but this year, with our unusually high heat in June, flowers are pretty scarce right now.  Thank goodness for coleus and caladiums, two brightly colored plants that help a summer garden look nice.

Coleus is having a sort of revival in the past few years.  The Victorians were crazy for this plant, but as with all things, it went out of favor for a while and is back now.  When you look at coleus, you don’t miss not having flowers.  Not only are they colorful, but the different leaf shapes and textures make these such interesting plants.  I especially like the puffy or puckered leaf coleus.

Coleus Alabama Sunset (redu)

Coleus II (redu)

Coleus R. Radish (redu)

Coleus Un-named (redu)

Caladuim is another plant with colorful leaves that can outshine many a flower.  I am lucky that I can leave my caladium tubers in the ground, and they will overwinter.  I just make sure that they have a lot of mulch and stay dry.

Caladium Carolyn Wharton (redu)

Caladium Firecracker Red (redu)

So, even though this year’s heat has stopped the normal summer flowering, we still have a great deal of interest in the garden with the different textures and colors of coleus and caladiums.


  1. Charlotte said,

    July 16, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    These are lovely pictures! And very interesting for those of us this side of the pond because we don’t have any of these here!

    • Jan said,

      July 24, 2009 at 9:26 am

      Charlotte, I, too, like to see plants from other areas. Thanks for the kind comments about my photos.

  2. Janet said,

    July 17, 2009 at 4:56 am

    I really like many of the newer varieties of the Sun Coleus–love having color and foliage interest without needing the flowers. My Caladiums have all been blooming. Kind of fun to see their interesting bloom. (agian–similar plants! )

    • Jan said,

      July 24, 2009 at 9:28 am

      Janet, I have always loved coleus. I had one that I planted in our first apartment that was gorgeous, and I was able to overwinter it for years. I sure wish I had that one again. It is nice that we have similar tastes in plants.

  3. Vue Jarden said,

    July 17, 2009 at 5:30 am

    Nice colorful leaves, when the flowers are not blooming, it gives more colors to the garden.

    • Jan said,

      July 31, 2009 at 8:37 pm

      It is good to have color from something other than flowers when the flowers stop showing up.

  4. Randy said,

    July 17, 2009 at 6:25 am

    Jan you are smart to have planted these wonderful little jewels. No colorless days for you! I feel like we got cheated out of blooms this year. LOL

    • Jan said,

      July 31, 2009 at 8:39 pm

      Randy, I found that the flowers did seem to stop earlier than usual, so I am glad I did have these plants already in place.

  5. Phillip said,

    July 17, 2009 at 7:10 am

    I planted several coleus this year like I always do but for some reason they just haven’t taken off. They are still rather small.

    • Jan said,

      July 31, 2009 at 8:47 pm

      Phillip, I have sometimes found that coleus planted early in the spring does not seem to do as well. I wonder if it is because the ground is still cool.

  6. July 17, 2009 at 11:58 am

    I have lots of shade in my garden so I plant these everywhere. They look great right until frost. I love them too! You pictures are lovely! Happy Friday! -Jackie

    • Jan said,

      July 31, 2009 at 8:51 pm

      Jackie, these are great plants. I put them in every year.

  7. July 30, 2009 at 6:32 am

    Pretty no doubt, but worn out, over used here…Lame in Puerto Rico.

    • Jan said,

      July 31, 2009 at 7:27 pm

      These are not really overused here. While many are old favorites, new varieties keep things interesting.

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