These are spring-flowering plants with orange-red coloured blooms, and long strap-shaped, leathery leaves. They are usually grown as pot plants and thrive in a compost of fibrous loam, leaf-mould and well-rotted manure.
They like plenty of moisture and a high temperature during the growing season, but while they are at rest, a drier atmosphere is more suitable. They may be increased by division of the roots, or seed may be sown in spring.
Coleus. These are very showy plants, the flowers being of various colours. The plants are used for summer bedding and are generally lifted into the greenhouse for the winter, where a temperature of 60 degrees should be maintained. They like a compost of loam, leaf-mould, manure and sand.
They may be easily raised from seed sown in February, and will be well established for planting out in June. They may also be increased by cuttings of young shoots inserted in sand.
Cordyllne. Shrubby evergreens, generally grown for their foliage. They thrive well in a compost of peat and loam, or light, sandy loam and leaf-mould. They like a warm atmosphere, varying from 50°-S0° according to the time of year, and also the colour of the flowers, the brighter-flowered varieties needing ahigher temperature.
They may be raised from seed, or cuttings may be inserted in coconut fibre in bottom heat with plenty of moisture. Old plants may also be ringed, that is, a Blight cut made in the stem with a sharp knife just below the tuft of leaves and a layer of wet moss tied round the cut.
If the plants are syringed daily and the moss kept moist, roots will come through. The upper portion, with roots attached, may be severed and potted, and treated as a new plant.
Cotyledon. These plants are largely used for summer bedding and as edging dants. They will thrive in any good garden soil, but they must be protected from frost in winter and should be lifted into the greenhouse. They may be increased by suckers, or by the fleshy leaves inserted in sandy soil. This should be done in spring. The tops of the plants, cut off and treated in the same way, will root and make new plants.