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Scaredy-Cat Coleus

You have received a set of six scented coleus plants. This unusual border plant, a Coleus- Canina hybrid called 'Sumcol' 01 (PAF), releases a scent that dogs and cats can't tolerate, though it is inoffensive to humans. These annual plants have also been found to repel groundhogs, raccoons, rabbits, foxes and other pests from digging or fouling in garden beds, play areas or other areas.

This coleus plant has been tested extensively in Europe and is proven to be completely safe for animals and people—an earth-friendly alternative to chemical sprays and other pest deterrents.

The Scaredy® Cat Coleus is easy to grow and will reach a height of 12 to 24 inches. It produces thick fleshy leaves and spiked lavender-blue flowers. This plant can be grown as an annual or can be brought indoors and kept in a frost-free location during winter (Zones 8 and colder). Gardeners in Zones 8 through 9 can grow this plant outdoors all year.

Care Upon Arrival

Plant the coleus outdoors only after the danger of frost has passed, when daytime temperatures reach 70 to 80 degrees F. (21 to 26 degrees C) and when regular night temperatures are 62 to 65 degrees F (16 to 18 degrees C).

Put the potted plants in a sunny window until they can be transplanted outdoors. Check the soil regularly and water the plants thoroughly when the soil begins to dry out.

Planting Instructions

For best protection, plant these coleus along a garden border or where animals are a problem. Space the plants 30 to 36 inches apart. Use a slow-release flower fertilizer soon after transplanting.

Water: It is best to water your plants in the morning to prepare them for the hottest part of the day. Some plants will droop on hot days even though they have adequate moisture. This could also be an indication that the soil is too wet, so always check the soil before watering to avoid drowning your plants.

Mulch: Add several inches of mulch around the base of the plants to help conserve moisture, reduce weeds and keep the roots cool. Bark, wood chips, sawdust and compost work well. Avoid using stone or brick chips because they absorb and reflect heat.

Spraying: A water-soluble fertilizer or pest control spray should not be applied in the hot sun. Both can burn the foliage.

Pinching and pruning: To keep plants full and bushy, prune off any lanky growth or periodically pinch back new growth. To avoid plant stress, this should not be done during the heat of the day.

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