Coleus Plant Care
Coleus plants are very popular for container gardening and hanging baskets
both outdoors, or as indoor houseplants. They also look great planted directly
in the garden in groups, or as borders. What attracts most of us to Coleus
is not it's flower, but the colorful leaves.
Coleus plants are native to Africa, Asia, Australia east Indies, and the
Did you Know? Coleus plants are members of the Mint family! There
are over 3,500 members of this big, big plant family.
These tender annuals can be grown from seed or cuttings. They like sunshine,
but tolerate shade very well, making them a great indoor houseplant.
They also need and rich, soft soil that drains well.
Coleus plants medicinal value: They are sometimes used for weight
Botanical Name: Coleus
Plant Height: 12 - 18"
Coleus plants are grown from seed or cuttings. Sow seeds by spreading them
thinly. Cover seeds with 1/8" of seed starting soil. Then, water lightly.
Plants germinate and grow rapidly, if the soil temperature is kept at 70
degrees or higher.
Growing Coleus from cuttings is also easy. If you like a neighbor or a friends'
Coleus plant, ask them if you can take a cutting or two. Select healthy,
new growth. Place the cuttings in soft, rich soil. Keep the soil moist but
not wet at all times. Covering them with glass or plastic will raise the
humidity, and help them to root.
Days to Germination: 7 - 14
Coleus Plant Care and Maintenance:
Contrary to popular belief, Coleus plants thrive in full sunshine. They will
tolerate partial shade, and to some degree, full shade. Leaf drop is common,
if the plants do not get enough sunlight, and especially if they are moved
from an area of full sun to shade, without an adjustment period.
Coleus likes loose and rich soil which drains well. Use plenty of peat moss
and other loose medium whether growing in containers, or directly in the
garden. Add a general fertilizer regularly. If growing indoors, use a liquid
fertilizer every one to two weeks.
If planting in your flowerbed, space plants one foot apart.
Coleus prefers well drained soil. But, do not be allow the soil to dry out.
While many plants wilt and recover, these delicate plants, can wilt and quickly
die. Make sure that the container has holes in the bottom for drainage.
Keep Coleus plants trimmed. Remove spent blooms, dead or dying leaves, and
cut back any stems that are sick or unsightly. The plant will quickly
produce more. Pruning will cause the plant to grow bushier.
Coleus is very tender annual, and are susceptible to even a light frost.
If you are planning to bring them indoors, do so well before the first frost.
In the spring, make sure to leave them indoors, until all danger of frost
When bringing Coleus plants indoors, leaf drop is a common plant problem.
It should be temporary, as the plant adjusts to lower light levels. Find
out How to avoid Leaf Drop.
Flowers Bloom: Summer