February 24, 2014 - 10:40

Kong Jr.’s heart-shaped leaves are 30 percent smaller than the original Kong’s, but just as stunning. Leaf size is well matched across the series. These new coleus varieties perform well in landscapes, patio planters and mixed containers.

Plant one plant per 4-inch, 6-inch or gallon pot. Use a well-drained, soilless media with a pH of 5.5 to 6.0 and a medium initial nutrient charge (0.75 EC). 

Maintain temperature at 62 to 65° F nights and 70 to 75° F days. Provide shade if lighting is more than 5,000 foot-candles.

Avoid both excessive watering and drought. Coleus are low to moderate feeders. Excessive feed can lead to dull coloration and decreased vigor. Apply fertilizer at 100- to 175-ppm nitrogen using predominantly nitrate-form fertilizer with low phosphorus and high potassium.

Kong Jr. plants are well branched and have short internodes, but because of the large leaves, the plants tend to get too wide and need more space before they get too tall. Growth regulators are generally not needed, but if necessary, 2,500- to 5,000-ppm daminozide can be applied two to three weeks after transplanting.

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West Chicago, IL