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Growing Coleus Indoors, Coleus Types, Coleus Care

Introduction to growing Coleus indoors: The coleus plant smells like camphor and has an aromatic scent similar to that of the camphor plant. The plants are typically small and are usually grown indoors. The patterns on these leaves, yellow, green, violet, orange, and red, attract people. In many Asian countries, this plant is used as food. Some regions of India grow it and use it both as a pickle and as a fresh vegetable. In some parts of the world, coleus leaves are also used as a hallucinogenic drug. The Coleus grows to a height of 65-70 centimeters when it reaches its full maturity. The genus Coleus belongs to the Lamiaceae family of flowering plants. Species previously classified as part of the genus are now grouped into the genera Plectranthus and Solenostemon. Colorful and decorative leaves make the plant a popular herb all over the world. You can grow it indoors or outdoors. The genus Coleus belongs to the family Lamiaceae, which is a family of flowering plants.

A step-by-step guide to growing Coleus indoors, Coleus types, Coleus plant care and tips

Growing Coleus Indoors
Growing Coleus Indoors (pic credit: pixabay)

Types of Coleus

Many coleus cultivars have different leaf textures, colors, and patterns. New cultivars are introduced to the market every year, but garden centers focus on proven popularity with their customers. The unique varieties you want are found in several nurseries and online retailers. Look for varieties such as:

Wizard series: These are small plants between 12 and 14 inches in standard color mixes. These plants can be quickly grown from seeds.

Kong series: These coleus varieties have huge leaves measuring 6 inches long on big 2-foot plants. Direct sunlight makes them quite sensitive.

Black Dragon: The leaves of ‘Black Dragon’ are deep burgundy, ruffled, and spotted with black spots. The plant grows 18 inches tall.

Premium sun series: Plants bred for complete sun tolerance are known as these cultivars.

Fairway series: There are six to ten-inch tall coleus varieties with varying leaf patterns and colors.

The best way to grow Coleus plants indoors

We all know coleus plants for their beautiful additions to gardens and containers, but did you know they also make great indoor plants? You can brighten your indoor space with beautiful foliage by following the steps shown in this article on coleus plant care indoors.

Light Requirements: Coleus likes bright indirect light when grown indoors. As a result, it is best to place them on a windowsill exposed to sunlight in the morning or early in the day and is shaded during the most intense portion of the day. There is nothing wrong with some direct sun, except for the intense summer sun, which scorches the leaves or ruins the bright colors. Likewise, low light can dull leaf color and cause the leaves to drop. During the winter, artificial lights may be necessary to supplement the available light. Keep an eye on the plant closely. The plant’s leaves probably lose color and fade when it is exposed to too much sunlight. However, you can give the plant some more light if it’s wilting and dropping its leaves.

Range of temperatures: Because tropical houseplants prefer the same temperature range as humans, they do well indoors. So avoid sudden temperature drops by keeping your plants in a room between 65°F-75°F (24°C-27°C) or even up to 85°F.In addition, ensure your plants are not exposed to drafts coming from leaky windows, open and close doors, or register vents that blow hot air in the winter and cool air in the summer.

Humidity: The Coleus prefers environments that are medium to high in humidity. Low indoor humidity makes coleus plant care indoors a little more challenging for most homeowners. To encourage your coleus plants to thrive, create a pocket of moist air. To increase the humidity level, you can group plants or set your plants in a tray of pebbles and water if you begin to see brown tips or crispy edges on your plants.

Soil: Plants grow best in moist, well-draining soils that provide good root aeration. As a result, virtually all “all-purpose” commercial potting soils will do. If possible, avoid anything explicitly designed for a given plant type, such as acid-loving plants or succulents. Peat moss, coconut coir, pine bark, perlite, and vermiculite compose commercial potting soils. Use peat moss or coconut coir instead of straight coconut coir; they retain too much moisture. By adding extra perlite, you can improve the drainage rate of the potting soil.

Watering: Keep the soil moist but not soggy at all times during the active growing season in the spring and summer. It is best for coleus plants if they aren’t overly wet or dry. If your plants grow slower during the winter, cut back on watering. Give your plants water after the top 12 inches of potting soil have dried completely. Avoid getting water on the velvety leaves and water with tepid water. If you use hard water, water spots will remain that are difficult to remove.  To allow the chlorine to dissipate in urban or suburban areas with treated water, allow the water to sit for a few days before using it. Doing so will reduce your plants’ exposure to chlorine.

Fertilizer: During the active growing season, fertilize every 1 to 2 weeks at half the recommended strength. The plant doesn’t need fertilizer during the winter months when it isn’t actively growing. A fertilizer high in nitrogen and low in phosphorus will promote healthy foliage growth and minimize flowering. The use of a balanced fertilizer with equal N, P, and K ratios is not recommended. Instead, you should choose a water-soluble or liquid all-purpose plant food and mix it at half the dosage strength recommended on the label or even more diluted.

Flowering: When properly cared for, Coleus will produce a raceme of tiny white or blue flowers in the summer, but if you want to keep your plants, you must prevent flowering. If your plant’s flower, remove the flower buds immediately. A flowering plant thinks it needs to go to seed. Seeds lead to death. It would help if you continued pinching off the flower buds as they form to lengthen the life of your plant. In addition, plants propagated from stem cuttings will not bloom as frequently or at all if they have been propagated from cuttings.

Pruning: Make sure the plant doesn’t become too leggy by pinching back the stems. Growing points form at the nodes on the stem, creating a fuller and bushier plant. You can pinch back the stems at any time, but it’s best to do it during the growing season when the plant is actively growing. Use a pair of sharp scissors or your fingernails to cut the stem cleanly immediately after a leaf node when you pinch them.

Propagation: Remove a cutting off the stem tip with at least three leaves attached to the end of the cutting in spring or early summer. Then, cut the leaf just below its node, where it is attached to the stem. Following that, you can place the cutting in a jar or glass of clean, running water for a few days until roots form or in a small container filled with moist potting soil.

Re-Potting: If you have Coleus growing in a pot, it may eventually outgrow that container and need to be moved to a larger one. In a container, a root-bound plant will grow slower or even cease to grow all together. You can leave it in the current pot when you don’t want your plant to get significantly more significant. However, every year or so, you should remove it and replace the potting soil. The best way to encourage it to grow more is to put it in a container 1 to 2 inches wider and about the same height as the diameter of the container. Then, repot the plant by gently teasing its roots with your fingers and adding fresh potting soil. After a cooler winter, spring is the best time for repotting plants since they are actively growing and can recover from the shock of repotting more quickly. Adding growing media to containers does not create a “drainage layer” at the bottom. Therefore, it was a highly recommended practice for new gardeners for many years. It has been proven, however, that this practice has more detrimental effects than beneficial effects. Upon encountering this drainage layer, water stops flowing down the soil profile. As a result, water must percolate through the entire potting soil layer before it can percolate into the layer, rendering the layer problematic rather than helpful.

In case if you miss this: How To Grow Garden Cress From Seed.

Growing Coles in a pot
Growing Coles in a pot (image source: pixabay)

Care for growing Coleus indoors

Keeping Coleus healthy requires ongoing care when it is grown as an indoor plant. Keeping the soil moist can help with that: Water regularly – never too much or too little. Fertilize the plant once a week or two with a water-soluble fertilizer diluted half strength during spring and summer. You can submerge the pot in wet pebbles if the air in your house is dry. To keep the plant bushy, pinch the tips of the plant often (Never let the bottom of the pot stand directly in water). If the plant becomes long and leggy, you may remove up to one-third of its growth. Whenever possible, remove blooms as soon as they appear, as they draw energy from the colorful foliage. Allowing the bloom to continue will lead to the plant going to seed and dying. Whenever the plant gets scraggly, it may be time for a new plant.

How to grow Coleus indoors

Coleus plants are often grown in pots or gardens as annuity plants. The plants can tolerate full sun, partial shade and are suitable for gardens and borders. You can keep it in small containers, but if you move it to a large container or open garden, it can grow as long as 2 feet. A well-draining potting soil is recommended for planting this plant in containers since it thrives in pots and gardens. Indoors fertilize regularly to ensure good growth. When your plants are growing, feed them regularly. Place your vessel where it will receive the right amount of sun. The colors of Coleus are not as vibrant when a suitable environment is lacking. Growing Coleus is possible in two ways: from seed or cuttings. Cuttings are propagated by division. It is also easy and inexpensive to procure coleus seeds. The seeds are usually sprinkled over soil and pressed to lighten up the soil if seeds germinate. You shouldn’t cover seeds too much, as seeds need light to germinate. In addition to planting in a hanging basket, some people choose to plant on edge. Again, compact types of the bush can be used to create interest in the center. Although the Coleus needs a lot of water, the basket quickly dries out. If you prefer, you can choose a self-water basket.

How to Plant an indoor Coleus

  • Fill the planter with potting soil, plant your little seedling in it, and cover the roots with potting soil.
  • Select a location with the right amount of light. Put your new plant in a south window for several hours of bright sunlight every day so that its foliage color will be determined by how much light it receives regularly.
  • Sit in the warmest part of the room. The plants can adapt to lower temperatures but thrive at temperatures around 75-80 degrees when the soil is moist (not soggy). If you have access to fluorescent grow light, do not hesitate to use it for your Coleus. The colors will become more striking.
  • It would help if you fertilized your coleus houseplant once a month with diluted liquid houseplant fertilizer.
  • Especially if your plant is struggling, you need to pinch off the flower buds. Since coleus plants are cultivated for their foliage rather than their flowers, remove them quickly, since letting them flower and go to seed will sap their strength. If you pinch them off instead of leaving them, the plant will have more energy to grow. Keep pinching off the flowers, and you will have a healthy plant.
  • It will also help you if your plant becomes leggy if it is pinching off. Plants divert their energy to the sides when their tips cut off, making them whole, bushy, and gorgeous.

Tips and Ideas for Growing Coleus indoors

How about this: How To Start Vertical Gardening.

Coleus growing tips
Coleus growing tips (pic source: pixabay)
  • Coleus comes in dozens of colors and shapes, even in different sizes—many colors to choose from, including red, green, white, pink, and maroon. Various leaf shapes are found, such as rounded leaves, spiky varieties, and even vines trail. Create a natural pop of color and texture by mixing and matching! Different coleus plants need different amounts of sun. Consider the type of coleus plant you need to use (garden container plants, bedding plants, colorful borders, etc.) as well as the sun conditions. Make the coleus leaves as colorful as possible. The right conditions will make this possible.
  • Before planting, add a small amount of organic matter to the soil so that it is nutrient-rich. Then, when you give it soil that feeds it instead of limiting it, your Coleus will last well into the fall months. Ideally, potting soil ought to be mixed with some organic matter like eggshells or compost. Consider adding a balanced fertilizer that you have purchased from your local nursery or garden center.
  • You can grow Coleus in smaller pots because the roots are shallow. But you still need to give them room to grow and latch – so do not overcrowd your coleus plants when planting them. It would help plant the Coleus three inches deep, usually twice the root masses length plus one inch. Planting several coleuses in the same pot may require you to use a larger pot. Drainage holes in your pots will prevent excess water from sitting and damaging your plants.
  • If you plant coleus seedlings, you’ll enjoy the plant sooner and longer than if you grow Coleus from seeds. In addition, they are very inexpensive to buy, costing just ten dollars for a flat with 30 or more plants, which means each seedling costs just a few cents. They are available in just about any home and gardening store.
  • It was used for taking coleus cuttings from her existing coleus plants and placing them in water. Afterward, she would place stem cuttings on the kitchen window shelf (which was partly shaded, partly in the sun) and allow them to root, at which point she would transplant them into pots for a house plant or the ground as a new plant.
  • If Coleus only sees a few hours of sun per day, they will still do well. However, it is best to give primary Coleus varieties 4-5 hours of full sun a day. Although Coleus thrives in direct sunlight, it is considered a shady spot plant, so keep it out of direct sunlight all day long. However, not all coleus plant types prefer partial shade. Many thrive in full shade as well. Their vibrant foliage will, however, be diminished.
  • Allow the soil to dry between waterings, and give your Coleus about two inches of water per week. You can cause root rot if you let your plants sit in soggy soil for too long. As a result, consider watering 2-3 times a week at a rate of 12 to 15 inches. Keep your plants sufficiently hydrated without overwatering.
  • In general, Coleus does not require much maintenance except in the beginning. A coleus plant should be pruned when its growing tips are young. Pruning encourages branching and bushy growth.

Commonly asked questions about growing Coleus indoors

1. What are the best methods for growing Coleus?

You can plant Coleus in containers or add it to beds for interest. It thrives best in fertile, well-draining soil, though many varieties can also tolerate partial shade. It would help if you kept in mind that Coleus tends to overgrow.

2. How well does Coleus grow indoors?

If the growing conditions are right, Coleus can be enjoyed indoors for many months regardless of whether it is grown outdoors annually. In addition, coleus plants grow well in a pot. Keep reading to learn how to grow Coleus as an indoor plant.

3. What is the optimal amount of sun for a coleus plant?

Excellent, evenly moist, well-drained soil is ideal for Coleus. Water should be consistent, but too much moisture can promote root disease. Therefore, watering should complement the amount of sunshine available. Coleus varieties thrive in full sun, but most grow best when dapples with shade and the direct sun are limited to the morning.

4. What is the best place to plant Coleus?

You can plant Coleus in containers or add it to beds for interest. It thrives best in fertile, well-draining soil, though many varieties can also tolerate partial shade. However, Coleus overgrows easily, so keep that in mind when growing them.

5. Do coleus plants make good houseplants?

Coleus make great houseplants, and in the spring (if you want), you can put them out in the garden. Other than cutting them off at the ground, they would have re-emerged in the spring if they were left on the ground.

6. Do you know how to keep Coleus alive indoors?

Care for Coleus plants indoors Provide bright indirect sunlight, temperatures between 65- and 75-degrees Fahrenheit, and moderate to high humidity levels. Keep the soil slightly moist during active growth but drier during the winter.

7. How long does Coleus survive indoors in winter?

The Coleus overwinters easily indoors when given adequate light. Take advantage of the cooler weather in the fall to dig healthy plants up. Take care to preserve the root system. Water your plants thoroughly after placing them in suitable containers.

8. Can Coleus be grown indoors?

Coleus provides many months of enjoyment indoors when grown in the right conditions, although it is typically grown outdoors annually. Coleus plants also thrive in pots.

9. What are some of the benefits of the coleus plant?

It is used for allergies, dry eye, skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, obesity, painful menstrual periods, urinary tract infections (UTI), bladder infections, advanced cancer, blood clots, and trouble sleeping in men.


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