Can You Grow Coleus As A Houseplant

Can coleus be grown indoors? Indeed, why not? Although coleus is generally planted outside as an annual, if growth circumstances are ideal, its colorful leaves can be enjoyed indoors for many months. In actuality, coleus plants thrive in potted settings. Continue reading to find out more about growing coleus indoors.

Is coleus a suitable indoor plant?

Coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides), a plant from Southeast Asia that is often referred to as Painted Nettle, is a member of the mint family. Unbeknownst to most, while being typically grown as an annual due to its sensitivity to frost, it is actually an evergreen perennial.

They make excellent indoor houseplants since they prefer warm weather.

How much time can coleus spend indoors?

A coleus plant typically lives for one year. However, if they are properly cared for indoors, they can live considerably longer. If given the necessary care, which includes adequate watering, sunlight, the right soil, and the right plant food to keep it green and healthy, indoor plants can often live for three to four years. Coleus plants kept indoors could survive a little bit longer than other houseplants.

Can coleus be grown year-round indoors?

Care Coleus Although coleus can be grown year-round indoors using the growing instructions provided here, coleus is frequently cultivated as an annual and is then removed when it grows lanky (a problem that can often be contained by pinching off new growth).

Can coleus withstand the winter inside?

Coleus plants can be easily overwintered. You can dig them up and store them indoors for the winter, or you can take cuttings from your healthy plants to grow more stock for the garden the next year.

Can coleus be brought indoors for the winter?

How to Overwinter Coleus You can bring inside coleus plants in pots and keep them as houseplants. Cuttings can be taken and brought inside for the winter.

How are potted coleus maintained?

If the top inch of the soil around the coleus in the pot is dry, water it. Even though container plants dry up more rapidly than plants grown outdoors in the ground, you should still make it a point to examine the soil and water the plant as needed.

Can coleus survive the winter?

How can I save money by overwintering coleus plants rather than having to buy new ones every spring?

A: Potting up stem cuttings is the simplest procedure. The majority of producers and home gardeners employ this technique in early spring to enhance their supply of difficult-to-find varieties or in late fall to overwinter coleus plants.

Cut 3- to 4-inch tip cuttings from healthy plants to overwinter coleus. In a pot filled with a soilless mix, insert the cutting after removing the lowest set of leaves and dipping the cut end in rooting hormone. In a 6-inch pot, 12 cuttings can be placed. Move the pot to a warm, shady area, cover with a clear plastic bag, and water well. Repot each cutting into a separate pot after seven to ten days, once it has taken root. To encourage a larger shape over the winter, place the pots in a sunny window, water frequently, and pinch back the developing points. Introduce the plants to outside conditions gradually in the spring. Coleus is quite sensitive to frost, so if chilly nights are anticipated, keep the plants inside. The plants ought to be prepared for your garden or pots by mid-May.

In the late spring, cuttings can also be taken from a big, healthy plant. Observe the directions above with one modification. Wait two weeks after repotting each cutting into its own container before exposing cuttings to the outdoors. The cuttings can be planted right away in your garden in a partially shaded spot after May 15.

How are coleus plants cared for during the winter?

I was asked this question by a reader a while back. I’m sorry to the person who submitted this in; I accidentally deleted your email. However, I did save your question on my list, and I’m only now getting around to answering it.

I enquired as to who instructs the series of horticulture workshops at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. David Clark is a well-known garden instructor in the country.

Cuttings from your coleus plant should be rooted, potted up, and kept growing in a sunny window during the winter until it’s time to put them outside in the spring. This is the main concept of overwintering coleus.

If you have a coleus in a pot, you might be tempted to just bring the entire pot inside, but Clark warned against doing so unless you have a greenhouse.

Cuttings are preferable if you want your coleus to survive the winter because they advance the plant’s growth cycle to the vegetative growth stage earlier in the cycle.

These are the phases of this type of plant:

  • Seed
  • Germination
  • Vegetative expansion
  • bouquet creation
  • Pollination
  • growth of seeds
  • the annual plant’s demise

Your coleus’ life cycle is about to come to an end if it has already produced flowers.

Cuttings are started at this earlier vegetative growth stage when you take them.

He stated that now is the ideal time of year to take cuttings. With the current weather, they are starting to become dormant.

Additionally, you should bring cuttings inside before the plant is affected by the frost or snow. In 2006, I had a stunning coleus in my garden. Although I was intending to take cuttings, I opted to wait a few more days because the plant looked so lovely in the garden. The October Storm, which arrived that evening and dumped about two feet of snow on us, I never again saw that coleus.

Place the cut-off pieces of coleus in a glass of water when you have done so. Just until the roots start to grow, keep them submerged, according to Clark.

In two of Clark’s classes, you can learn more about plant propagation.

This Saturday, September 16, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo, will host the course Plant Propagation, HCP 102. Learn more here about the Horticulture I course offerings.

The Botanical Gardens will host Advanced Plant Propagation, Course Number HCP 202, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4. Find out more about the Horticulture II course series here.

You are not required to enroll in the whole course sequence; you can enroll in specific classes. The classes don’t have to be taken in succession.

What about direct sunshine for coleus?

The care of coleus is minimal. They require great drainage but can survive a broad range of soil types and pH levels. Avoid overwatering coleus when planting it in locations with little sunlight. Cool, evenly moist, well-drained soil is ideal for coleus growth. Although regular precipitation is beneficial, wet circumstances can lead to root disease. Sun exposure should be complemented by watering.

Some contemporary coleus types can tolerate full sun, but the majority may still thrive in at least dappled shade with morning direct sun as their only source of light. When there is insufficient light, plants develop slowly and become burnt and faded by the sun or harsh noon rays. Both the health and beauty of the coleus depend on equilibrium. As long as they receive enough hydration, plants with deeper leaf hues may take more sun.

Can I grow coleus in containers?

A popular container plant grown in the yard is coleus. Because coleus grows quickly, it is best to start with a large pot when growing it in containers. Utilize often well-draining soil and water.

Does coleus like sun or shade?

The fact that coleus has varieties that may flourish in both the sun and the shade makes it the ideal plant for your yard.

Coleus traditionally requires part- to full-shade for optimum development. Consider your climate before growing your garden. Give your coleus some shade in the heat. Bring your plant inside during the winter. (And keep stem cuttings on hand in case your plants don’t survive.)

Are coleus annuals or perennials?

Coleus plants are technically perennials that are evergreen. However, they are best off being grown as an annual because they are delicate, frost-intolerant, tropical plants. Zone 10 is their hardiest point.

Do coleus come back every year?

Coleus is a perennial plant that can grow again every year in tropical regions and in their natural habitat. The roots survive the cold season whereas the stems do not. Perennial plants might regrow as a result the following year. Coleus, on the other hand, is typically grown as an annual in the US and is predicted to pass away in the winter. Every year, you must replant them.

Where is the best place to plant coleus?

There are more coleus varieties now, so you can choose whether to grow coleus in partial shade or full sun. Provide morning light exposure to your coleus for the greatest leaf color. But take care not to over-dry the plants.

You have the option of planting them in containers or on your yard. If you have experienced varying degrees of heat or cold, container gardening is best. This enables you to rearrange the plants as needed to shield them from the weather.

How do I get coleus started inside?

Coleus can be produced from potted plants or from seeds that are started early indoors and moved outside after a frost.

Indoor Seed Sowing

  • Using a seed starting kit, sow indoors six to eight weeks before the final frost.
  • With fine seed starting soil, the sower covers the seed shallowly and softly.
  • At 65 to 85 degrees, keep the soil moist. Bottom heat can be advantageous for coleus.
  • Plants sprout after 12 to 21 days.
  • As soon as seedlings appear, give them lots of light on a sunny windowsill or grow them 3–4 inches beneath 16–hour-per-day fluorescent plant lights that are off for eight hours at night. As the plants get taller, turn up the lights. Because they will become too hot, incandescent bulbs will not function in this process. Do not leave lights on continuously for 24 hours; most plants need a time of darkness to flourish.
  • when they have two sets of leaves, thin to one seedling per cell.
  • Seedlings don’t require a lot of fertilizer; feed them when they are 3–4 weeks old with a starter solution (half the strength of an indoor plant food), as directed by the manufacturer.
  • After the first frost, transplant hardened-off seedlings into the garden.
  • Seedling plants must be “hardened off” before being planted in the garden. By relocating young plants to a protected area outside for a week, you can acclimate them to outside circumstances. At first, be sure to shield them from the wind and the light. If frost is expected at night, cover or bring pots inside; then, in the morning, reintroduce them to the outdoors. The plant’s cell structure is toughened during the hardening off process, which also lessens transplant shock and scorching.

In the Garden, Plant Potted Plants:

  • Choose a site with good, thick, well-drained organic soil that is protected from the wind and full to partial shade.
  • Turn the soil under to a depth of 8 inches to prepare the bed. To get rid of grass and stone clumps, level the area using a rake.
  • The majority of plants do well in soils that have had organic matter added. Compost is a beautiful organic material that can be applied to your planting area whenever you like. It has the perfect pH level and nutrient balance. If compost is not available, topdress the soil with 1-2 inches of organic mulch after planting; this mulch will break down into compost over time. Following the growth season, a soil test will reveal what soil amendments are required.
  • In the garden, plants should be spaced 12 inches apart.
  • For each plant, create a hole that is sufficiently large to hold the root ball.
  • positioned level with the dirt around it. Up to the top of the root ball, cover with soil. Your hand should firmly push the earth down, leaving a small depression to hold water around the plant.
  • Water deeply until a puddle appears in the saucer you have made. As a result, there is strong root-to-soil contact and the plants become established.
  • Use the plant tag to indicate its location.

How to Grow

  • Keep weeds under control while the plants are growing. Weeds compete with plants for water, space, and nutrients, therefore keep them in check by frequently cultivating or by using a mulch to stop the germination of their seeds.
  • Mulches also support stable soil temperatures and moisture retention. Shredded leaves used as an organic mulch for annual plants give the bed a more natural appearance and, as they decompose over time, enrich the soil. Mulches should never be placed on a plant’s stems to avoid potential decay.
  • During the growing season, make sure plants are well-watered, especially during dry spells. The growing season requires roughly 1 inch of rain every week for plants. To determine whether you need to add water, use a rain gauge. The optimum irrigation method is a drip or trickling system that releases water at low pressure directly into the soil. To reduce disease issues, water early in the day if you want to use overhead sprinklers so the foliage has time to dry before dusk. Maintain a moist but not saturated soil.
  • Some protection from strong winds and intense sunlight may be required until plants grow established. Additionally essential is good airflow.
  • A mild fertilizer can be administered after new growth starts to show. To prevent burn damage, keep granular fertilizers away from the plant’s top and leaves. Use moderate amounts of a slow-release fertilizer because greater amounts could promote root rots.
  • Flower stalks should be removed before they blossom as they may ruin the foliage show.
  • To maintain plants’ compact, bushy habits, pinch stem tips right above a pair of leaves.
  • Observe for illnesses and pests. For advice on pest management measures that are suitable for your area, contact your cooperative extension service.
  • In order to prevent disease problems the next year, remove plants that have been killed by frost in the fall.
  • Coleus also grows beautifully inside. Prior to the last frost, bring smaller plants indoors.

Growing Tips

  • Growing Coleus plants from cuttings is quite simple. Select a stem tip that appears vigorous, then trim off a 3–4 inch portion right below a leaf joint. Remove the lowest set of leaves, then place the cuttings in a glass of water with the stem submerged and the leaves resting on the edge of the glass. In a week or two, roots ought to start to show. Prior to transplanting, give the roots time to spread out. Make sure the stem is submerged in the water every day, and replace it with fresh water every few days.
  • In somewhat shaded settings, coleus grows well in window boxes, pots, hanging baskets, and patio containers. The best plants to grow for kids are mature ones.

Common Disease Problems

One of the most frequent issues when beginning plants from seed is damping off. The seedling appears healthy when it first emerges, but then it mysteriously begins to droop and die. A fungus that causes damping off is active when there is a lot of moisture present when the soil, air, and temperature are above 68 degrees F. This typically means that the soil is either too moist or heavily fertilized with nitrogen. Burpee advises keeping seedlings moist but not overwatering them, avoiding overfertilizing them, thinnng out seedlings to prevent overcrowding, ensuring the plants have good air circulation, and if you are planting in containers, washing them thoroughly in soapy water and rinsing them in a 10% bleach solution after use.

Downy Mildew is a fungus that eventually affects both sides of the leaves, causing pale gray areas on their undersides. Burpee Don’t plant in the same spot for a number of years, it is advised. Avoid watering from above. Don’t overcrowd plants and make sure there is enough air movement. When plants are damp, stay away from them.

When the weather is humid, a fungus illness known as powdery mildew develops on the tops of the leaves. The surface of the leaves seems to be white or grayish, and they may curl. Burpee advises giving the plants adequate air circulation through optimum spacing and pruning in order to prevent powdery mildew. For advice on fungicides, get in touch with local cooperative extension service.

Small, worm-like pests called root knot nematodes are responsible for the growth of galls (swellings) on roots. Plants could falter or seem stunted. In many Southern states, this is a major issue. Burpee It is advised not to plant in contaminated soil. cultivate resilient varieties. Try surrounding your plants with “Nema-Gone” marigolds.

Root Rots: Both mature roots and seedlings can develop root rots, which are caused by several pathogens. Burpee advises using crop rotation and avoiding planting closely related crops in the same location for an extended period of time. Grasp and throw away infested plants. Ensure that your soil drains well. For advice, get in touch with your local Cooperative Extension Service.

Common Pest and Cultural Problems

Aphids are disease-carrying sucking insects that feed on the undersides of leaves and can be green, red, black, or peach in color. On the foliage, they deposit a sticky substance that draws ants. Burpee advises attracting or introducing aphid-eating predators like lady beetles and wasps into your garden. You can also use an insecticidal soap or a powerful spray to wash them away.

Mealybugs: Mealybugs are flat, wingless insects that range in length from 1/8 to 1/4 inch. They excrete a white powder that hardens into a protective waxy shell. They accumulate in masses that resemble cotton on stems, branches, and leaves. They hinder growth by sucking up liquids from stems and leaves. Additionally, the honeydew they exude, which can potentially develop a black sooty mold, attracts ants. Burpee advises washing the damaged plant parts and making an effort to rub the insects off. Predator insects including lacewings, ladybugs, and parasitic wasps can also control them. For advice on which pesticides to use, contact your cooperative extension service.

Slugs: These pesky insects consume entire leaves or leave big holes in the vegetation. They feed at night, leaving a slime trail, and are especially problematic in wet weather. Burpee’s Advice Hand select, ideally at night. You can try using cornmeal or beer to lure the slugs into traps. Create a hole in the ground and fill it with a huge cup or bowl to serve as a beer trap. Make sure the object has steep sides so that the slugs can’t escape once they’ve finished. Beer should be poured into the bowl until it is about 3/4 full. The basin should be filled with drowned slugs by morning so that they may be emptied outside for the birds to consume. Put a spoonful or two of cornmeal in a jar and place it on its side close to the plants to create a cornmeal trap. Slugs are drawn to the smell, but since they are unable to digest it, it will kill them. Diatomaceous earth or even coffee grounds can be used to create a barrier around your plants. They are too big to crawl over these.

Spider mites: These minuscule insects, which resemble spiders, are approximately the size of a peppercorn. They can be yellow, brown, black, red, or black. They ingest plant liquids, sucking out chlorophyll and injecting poisons that leave the foliage with white spots. On the plant, webbing is frequently seen. They cause the leaf to stipple, dry, and become yellow. They proliferate swiftly and do best in dry environments. Burpee’s Advice Every other day, a strong spray can help control spider mites. Try using insecticidal soap or hot pepper wax. For advice on miticides, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service.

Sunscald: Leaves become bleached, withered, and frequently turn white with crisp, brown edges. Pests and illnesses are not present. Typically, plants had just been relocated. The sun’s intense light and heat degrade chlorophyll, which causes the leaf to wither and die. Burpee advises moving coleus to a location with more afternoon shade. Coleus shouldn’t be planted in a south or south-west exposure.