Can Coleus Grow Indoors? Tips, Tricks, and How to Guide

Are you seeking for a trouble-free, reduced-routine maintenance, and straightforward-to-grow plant? Then you are going to like the lovely coleus! It is a single of the best crops to develop, get care of, and propagate. It requires root rapidly, prospers in shade, and requires moderate watering to bloom. Much more importantly, coleus is a excellent selection as an indoor planting flower.

With that said, there are even now some principles to comply with if you want to be successful in growing it within your property. Sign up for us, and permit us talk about it all in element, including the very best soil sort, pH, temperature, watering program, and solar publicity that coleus thrives in. We’ll start by selecting the perfect species, pick the correct spot for it, and go from there.

Botanical Name Solenostemon scutellarioides
Soil Type Well-drained, aerated, rich, loose, consistently moist
Soil pH 6.0–7.0 (acidic to neutral)
Sun Exposure Partial shade/Full shade
Watering Requirements Low/Medium
Temperature 60–75º Fahrenheit
Hardiness Zone 10–11 USDA
In Bloom Early spring through fall
Can Coleus Grow Indoors? Tips, Tricks, and How to Guide
Image Credit: F. Muhammad, Pixabay

Before You Start: Choosing the Right Coleus Type

Coleus is a widely well-known plant and there are heaps of distinct cultivars out there, with unique colours and leaf textures. Some gardeners go for more compact crops with a common coloration mix, even though other individuals choose unique species that expand relatively tall and attribute vibrant designs/textures. Listed here are the most admirer-favored coleus types that you can easily expand indoors:

  • The Kong series coleus is famous for its bigger-than-average leaves (6–7 inches long) and plants that reach 1.5–2 feet in height. Partial shade, moderate watering, and rich soil are the way to go here.
  • In contrast, the Premium Sun coleus is specifically cultivated to withstand exposure to direct sunlight. The leaf structure and patterns are quite lovely, too.
  • If you’re looking for a relatively smaller plant, the Wizard series coleus will be just right. With an average height of 12–14 inches, it grows quickly, and adapts easily, but has a “modest” color variety.
  • Long shelf life, late flowering, and a captivating apricot-orange leaf color make the Fairway coleus a worthy pick. It’s even smaller than the Wizard species (6–10 inches tall).
  • Finally, ruffled, maroon leaves with black spots are the landmarks of the Black Dragon species. It grows 16–20 inches tall and prefers partial shade and well-drained soil.
Can Coleus Grow Indoors? Tips, Tricks, and How to Guide
Image Credit: Jan Haerer, Pixabay

Seeds, Seedlings, or Cuttings? How Do You Grow Coleus Indoors?

Like with any other gardening plant, you can increase coleus from seeds. This is the longest route, though. Plant the seeds in a potting combine which is wealthy in fertilizer and reasonably moist. Do not protect them way too significantly, as seeds will reward from publicity to the sun and light-weight. When the seeds germinate and you see small leaves show up on the stems, go them to a “big-boy” pot.

Don’t have the time or the persistence to develop seeds? Then go with seedlings rather. These will not value much: you can acquire a pack for $10–$fifteen at the neighborhood gardening keep. Keep the seedlings moist, expose them to average light, and fertilize at least 1–2 times a 7 days.

To propagate coleus from cuttings, get a knife and minimize 3–4 inches from the stem. See that the reducing has at the very least 2–3 leaves connected to it. Next, set the chopping in a glass filled with h2o. Give it a working day or two to grow roots and then transfer it to a normal home plant pot.

1. Make Sure It Gets Enough Light

Brilliant oblique light is what you must go for if you want to see coleus prosper. A windowsill is a perfect place for that. See that the plant gets 1–2 several hours of daylight in the course of the day (preferably, early on) but stays in the shade when the sunshine receives genuinely powerful. Publicity to scorching summer time sun will make the leaves fade, turn yellow, and even drop.

You need to find the correct harmony here due to the fact the deficiency of sun will also have a negative impact. Folks that stay in chilly/wet states may well want to use artificial light to compensate for the scarce organic light. This is specifically real for winter. Grow lights are relatively cheap, by the way ($50–$eighty), and won’t crack your financial institution.

2. The Temperature Comes Next

Coleus does really well indoors since it is adapted to tropical climates. As extended as the temp in the place doesn’t fall underneath 60–75ºF, you won’t have to be concerned about anything at all. Certain species will expand more quickly and brighter when the temperature reaches 85ºF. And in the course of chilly days, it’s essential for the temperature to by no means fall underneath 50ºF.

Another thing to appear out for is open windows, doors, and cracks: the residence demands to be sealed limited. Finally, make certain that the plant is much sufficient from sign up vents. The great and very hot air that arrives from these vents will do a number on coleus (or any other indoor plant, for that issue).

Can Coleus Grow Indoors? Tips, Tricks, and How to Guide
Image Credit: Greg McGill, Shutterstock

3. The Soil and Humidity Levels

Well-drained, nicely-aerated, moist, and loose—that’s the best soil for developing coleus indoors. You can purchase an all-function potting soil from the closest shop, and it will be just right for this plant. Some perlite and a healthier amount of peat moss will additional aid with the growth. Coleus does not prosper in overly acidic soil, though.

For this plant, you want medium to substantial humidity amounts (at least, higher than thirty%). Do you live in a dry location? Then think about getting a humidifier. Available for $60–80, or even more affordable, it will do a decent task of maintaining humidity inside suitable amounts. That will be very good for your wellness as well, by the way.

Can Coleus Grow Indoors? Tips, Tricks, and How to Guide
Image Credit: Piqsels

4. How Much Water Does Coleus Like?

Alright, we just talked about the appropriate temperature and humidity, but what about watering? The soil requirements to be moist for coleus to grow, but not soggy. When it is genuinely sizzling outdoors, h2o it once each and every 2–3 times. Now, if the plant grows slowly and gradually throughout the winter days, try watering it considerably less regularly and only when the soil will get practically fully dry.

And if the very same happens for the duration of spring/summer, h2o it far more generously. Also, lukewarm water has proven to be ideal for indoor crops, which simply cannot be stated about difficult water (abundant in calcium). Gardeners that live in city places are advised to let the h2o sit for 1–2 days before feeding it to coleus.

5. Fertilizing: How Often Should You Do It?

This greatly is dependent on the time of the calendar year. In wintertime, when the plant isn’t genuinely growing significantly, you won’t have to fertilize it. But in spring-summer, when it’s developing speedily, fertilize it when or even twice a 7 days. Oh, and see that you’re utilizing the fertilizer at half the suggested strength (or even far more diluted) this applies to each and every single coleus species.

Up coming, select a fertilizer that’s substantial in nitrogen and (comparatively) low in phosphorus. This way, the plant will bloom more rapidly, and the foliage will be healthy and vibrant. All-goal, h2o-soluble fertilizer works greatest for coleus. In contrast, balanced plant foodstuff is NOT a very good option, as it will finish up hindering progress rather of stimulating it.

6. Pruning To Maintain Steady Growth

Regular pruning of the stems will make confident the plant remains healthier for a long time and does not get leggy. This can be completed 365 times a yr, but it would be ideal to “pinch” it in spring/summertime when it’s expanding actively. Otherwise, you may conclude up reducing a little bit way too considerably and leaving coleus uncovered and susceptible.

Typical scissors will do focus on the pale leaves and branches. This is crucial: leaves that are ruined by pests or diseases will pull the plant into the abyss. So, you must be merciless right here and cut each and every time you see a ruined leaf. Pruning is a very potent “tool” in any gardener’s arsenal for making sure regular development.

7. Repotting: The Ultimate Guide

Small pots are wonderful for indoor plants, but only to a certain extent. When the coleus gets way too large, you’ll have to uncover a new container for it—that’s exactly what repotting is all about. Do this about after a 12 months depending on how quick the plant grows. It is recommended for the new pot to be at the very least 2–3 inches broader than the outdated 1, but the peak can be the identical.

Fill the new container with refreshing potting soil, h2o it sufficiently, and gently go the coleus, generating sure the roots are not broken. What’s the right time for repotting, however? In spring, of system, when the plant thrives and grows quickly. To cultivate expansion, you may well want to move the plant outdoor, not just into a different pot.

When Can I Move My Coleus Plant(s) Outside?

Yet again, the greatest time for that would be early/mid-spring, when there’s no risk of frost. Preserve your eyes on the temperature: as shortly as it goes previously mentioned 50ºF, that indicates it is time to shift the plant. If you’re a little bit anxious that it will get colder throughout the night time, go over it up before heading to slumber. This way, it will still get the advantages of the outdoor even though currently being guarded against frost.

Now, coleus isn’t a big admirer of the solar, yet it is a warm-loving plant. Apart from, the air and the soil will definitely have a positive result on its progress, and that’s why relocating it outdoors is a great idea. The exercise of “migration” indoors from outside and vice versa is quite widespread, especially in colder places or states/metropolitan areas with unpredictable climate.

Is Coleus Safe for Humans and Pets?

No, this plant is NOT edible and is poisonous to humans. Thankfully, it will not lead to any main overall health problems, but you must even now remain away from it. The most widespread facet influence is an upset stomach. Really don't consume it raw or include it to any dishes as an ingredient. There is one harmless species, known as Solenostemon rotundifolius, but we’d nevertheless advise against consuming it.

Coleus is poisonous to animals, also. With that said, it does have therapeutic homes. Considering that the old days, coleus has been used to treat angina, epilepsy, rashes, and even bronchial asthma. Furthermore, it can aid cure sleeplessness, together with dry eyes, various pores and skin circumstances, and blood clots. Seek advice from with your physician just before you consider it, however.

Can Coleus Grow Indoors? Tips, Tricks, and How to Guide
Image Credit: Yaroslav Mikhailovsky, Pixabay

Why Is My Coleus Dying? How Can I Fix That?

If you see the plant fading and wilting, the very first thing to verify would be the soil. If it is dry, drinking water the plant ASAP. Is it getting rid of leaves at a quicker charge than before? That indicates the flower is making an attempt to adapt to low materials of water. This could also show that it is not acquiring ample light-weight (or way too much of it), and the temperature is considerably reduced. Fertilize it as soon as or twice a week and do your ideal to reduce blooms as they grow.

In any other case, they will take in most of the power and the leaves will turn yellow. If the hurt is more significant, try reducing away the rotten areas of the plant. Subsequent, place the wholesome portion of the coleus in a new pot that’s rich in a healthy dose of nutrients (don’t overdo it with the fertilizer) and is properly-watered. To hold pets absent, spray the leaves with a water/diluted cleaning soap mix.

Associated Go through: Can Caladium Expand Indoors? Guidelines, Methods, and How-to Information


The lovely foliage, lower-servicing mother nature, and the capability to increase and prosper each indoors and outdoors make coleus a popular garden plant. Native to Asia, it thrives in heat temperatures but largely prefers shade. If you want to go for anything unique, coleus will be an best option many thanks to the bold, exclusive foliage.

H2o it frequently and make positive it does not get burned by excessive publicity. Also, really do not forget about pruning, humidity, and repotting. You can cultivate this plant from cuttings, seeds, or seedlings. Not certain how to do that correctly? Go by way of our pleasant manual 1 much more time, and you will master the art of developing coleus in no time!

Highlighted Impression Credit: Coleus plant, Piqsels