Growing coleus has become an enjoyable hobby for most stay-at-home Filipino women (and men) these days because of the ease of growing these species of perrenial or annual herbs or shrubs (sometimes succulents) found in tropical countries. It is an indoor plant that likes to have some sunshine during the day, but not too much; and needs to be watered constantly. It also needs a watchful eye for pests that attack its colorful leaves from time to time; and from overgrowth that deforms its potential beauty.
Coleus can also be easily propagated by cuttings, which could be placed either in water until it grow roots or directly replanted into the soil. Overall, the time spent for taking care of the plant is so little compared to the joy that it brings once fully grown with different bright and distinct colors.
I only started to plant coleus during the last week of December 2020 despite the fact that many have already become “plantitas” beginning May of 2020, when bartering became very popular. As founder of the Bacolod Barter Community last May 8, 2020, and the new site which started in September 2020 – I personally saw the rise in bartering plants in exchange for plants and food items. But I never had the chance to tinker with plants and grow them in our garden. Until I made my first buy along the roadside of Don Salvador Benedicto of several coleus plants last December. The pots of coleus seem to call me everyday to figure out how to let them grow. Eventually, I started to buy more pots from other towns.
After almost three months, I have around fiften different types of coleus. They are small ones at the moment since I grew them mostly from cuttings (which I didn’t expect to grow because I have always believed that I have no “green thumb”). For the past weeks, I have been taking pictures of my plants and posting on social media to share their beauty but lately, I started to post for potential swapping of other types. There are more than 200 varieties they say. Today, I found inspiration together with my son Emmanuel to create “mixed form of art” combining the shaved leaves from the coleus I received from barter (which we just usually throw away). We shave or cut these leaves to give way to roots or purposes of replanting in soil.
Combining pictures from Canva, and using Canva for effects, I created these images to show the beauty of coleus and the amazing contrasts. I call these ten pieces of pictures – Dancing Coleus. I hope you find inspiration and enjoy the images. Sharing these also as a tribute to all women on the occasion of National Women’s Month this march. Let me know which one of these do you like most.
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