This ultimate guide on coleus plant care will help you to care for coleus plant efficiently. Get to know growing season, potting mix, sunlight, watering, fertilizers, etc.

Beautiful foliage plants make the garden more beautiful. And such is the beauty of coleus plants. If you already have them in your garden then you must have fallen in love with them. But if you don’t have them, then get coleus plants as soon as possible.

I always loves to describe about the plant. It inspires readers and wonderful plant lovers to get to know about their beloved plants. Let’s know a brief introduction on beautiful coleus plant.


Coleus is an amazing genus of annual or perennial herbs or shrubs. Depending on species and planting zones they can grow as annual or perennial. Gardeners love to grow coleus as an ornamental plant worldwide.

It is popular for its bright coloured foliage. The plant can grow up to 6 to 36 inches in height. Since many years gardeners are growing coleus but new breeder varieties made it famous. Moreover you do not need to provide full sunlight to this plant.

Coleus Plant Care

Coleus Plant, Photo by Mor Shani on Unsplash

To care for coleus plant you need to know growing season, potting mix, sunlight, watering, fertilizers, etc. Moreover knowing about pruning and pests & diseases helps to keep this plant healthy. Coleus can grow really bushy if you keep pruning from them time to time.

Growing Season

You can easily grow coleus as perennials in plant hardiness zones 10 to 11. In other planting zones you can grow them as annuals. They are tropical plants that can also grow in sub tropical climate. However, you can also grow coleus in temperate climate. But you have to protect your plants from frost.

For this purpose you can grow them under grow lights during winters. Spring season the best time for propagation of coleus. You can propagate coleus from cuttings or seeds.

I prefer propagating coleus plant from cutting as it is super easy and works every time.

Potting Mix

Coleus plant prefers moist, loose soil that is rich in organic matter and is well drained. They can grow best in loamy to sandy loam soil. You can easily grow them in such soil type. However if you want to grow them in pots then you have to prepare ideal potting mix.

Prepare potting mix with 40% garden soil + 20% cocopeat + 40% any bulky organic manure. You can use this potting mix if your soil is sandy soil. But if you have clayey soil then prefer adding river sand instead of cocopeat.

You can use this potting mix for sowing coleus seeds too. But to grow them from cutting use only river sand and then transplant them after rooting.

Selection Of Pot

For growing coleus in pots, you can select a medium sized pot of 12 inches or more. Make sure that pot should have at least 3 to 4 drainage holes at the bottom. I prefer earthen pots for growing beautiful coleus plants.

But they can also grow in cemented or plastic pots.


Providing adequate and right amount of sunlight is the key for caring for coleus plants. Depending of cultivars, coleus plant can perform well under bright indirect sunlight to partial shade. Although newly developed varieties of coleus can also grow well under direct sunlight.

You can grow main street, colour blaze, kong, fairway, superfine rainbow series of coleus under partial to full shade. However under direct sunlight you can grow wizard, versa, and marquee series of coleus.

If you are unable to identify then either you can ask the grower to tell about the specifications or you can try trial and error method. Keep the plant in all the environment for 7 days one by one. Finally select the spot where it performed very well.

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Coleus Plant, Image by Alexei Chizhov from Pixabay


Coleus plant loves moist but hates soggy soil. I prefer watering in my coleus pots only when the top layer of soil becomes dry. Excess watering or under watering can kill your coleus plant. During summers take proper care for watering coleus plant. Do not let the soil to be dry for longer spells.


Coleus are not heavy feeders and overfertilizing can really harm your coleus plant. However you can add nitrogen rich organic fertilizers once after every 45 to 60 days. Avoid fertilizing coleus during winters.

You can add tea leaf compost or vermicompost as an organic fertilizers. I also add sanjeevak as a liquid fertilizer once after every 30 days. It helps to enhance plant growth.


Time to time pruning is the secret of growing bushy coleus. Keep pruning weak and dead branches time to time. You can also practice precise pruning of coleus during spring season.

Prune long branches to maintain the shape of the plant. Pruning will help to develop new branches. This will result in bushy appearance of the plant. You can also use the pruned branches for propagation of coleus.

Pests & Diseases

Coleus plants can get affected from powdery mildew, white flies, and mealybugs. You have keep checking regularly once in every 7 days. This will help to detect and control pest and diseases in early stage of infection.

However, you can also set up sticky traps near your plants. This will help to protect them from any kind of flying pests such as white flies.

Author’s Note

I guess you are now clear on coleus plant care. I hope you loved reading and learning from this article. If you have any idea, suggestions, or queries then tell me commenting below. You can also connect with Agriculture Review on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  1. Need updates on growing creepers on the side walls , type of plants , where Maintainence is free , which grows well , has flowers too

    1. Sure, I will publish article on this topic soon. However till then you can try growing these flowering creepers on your side walls:

      Orange Flame Vines or Firecracker Vine, Morning Glory, Star Jasmine, Passion Flower Vine, Honeysuckle, and Moon flower.

      I hope this will help!

  2. I have a question about coleus ? I live in southern Missouri can I plant coleus outside year around as long as I cover it in winter.

    1. Coleus is a tropical plant that love bright indirect sunlight to grow. However they also grow in temperate regions and you can protect them during winters by bringing them indoors. You can use grow lights to replace dependency on sunlight. Moreover water less during winters to avoid root rot. Keep them in a warm room but not near a heat source. This will help to maintain the growth of coleus in extreme cold climate.
      I hope this will help!

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