Floral Spike with Bee

One of my most popular posts of late was Floral Spike. After reading all the comments from avid gardeners, I decided to allow my Coleus to spike even if that led to the plant’s death. My reasons were that it would likely die in the winter and that the spikes attract butterflies, hummingbirds and bees. I managed to snap this busy little bee foraging. Texas bees were ravaged by the February Freeze – about 25% died. This particular Coleus does look a little sad but she has fed so many garden visitors.

The Honey Bee, Apis mellifera Linnaeus, is upside down in the spike, trying to avoid my nosy gaze. In the last few weeks my other Lime Green and Maroon Coleus has also started to spike.

It almost looks like a Texas bluebonnet but the Coleus spikes are often blue. Like the other Coleus, I shall allow it to spike and feed our garden friends.

This Coleus grew from a tiny plant pot to this verdant bush in just 6 months and is still popping out little ones at the back. Being part lizard, I feel that winter has arrived and I am sitting with a fleece in front of the gas fire. It is 77 F outside…

Floral Spike

This is the first year that I have seen floral spikes on my Coleus plants.  When I researched this, some articles indicated that it was a precursor to the death of the plant.  We often use them as annuals but they are perennials in their native countries of Thailand, Malaysia and surrounds.  Since we are also subtropical, they should live past a year but only if we get no frost.  Our Texas mega freeze this year both killed many trees and plants, yet magically revitalized others.

Then I read another article that suggested you should let them flower, as the hummingbirds, butterflies and bees feed off them.  The freeze also killed many of Texas’ much needed bees – I have seen hardly any this year.  The hummingbirds have started to arrive, however, and we have had a lovely variety of butterflies fluttering past the window.  A little green pond hawk dragonfly follows me around when I water the garden every day.  Coleus are part of the mint family and the roots are used medicinally in South East Asia.

Treesymbolism.com states:

The coleus plant can be considered as a sign that you need to take good care of yourself and you must do everything possible to stay healthy and live a long and fulfilled life. You must always put your health at the peak of everything because this is what will give you the courage to stay fulfilled.