Coleus is a beautiful spring-through-fall annual, a shade-loving plant and favorite among shade and container gardeners.
Coleus amboinicus is a species of flowering plant in the family Lamiaceae, native to southeast Asia through to Australia.
As a tropical plant, coleus can't bear a chill and will blacken and die once the weather dips much below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Although coleus is typically grown outdoors as an annual, its vibrant leaves provide many months of enjoyment indoors if growing conditions are just right.
USDA Zones: 4-11
Light Preference: Partial sun – Partial shade
Days to Maturity: 84 – 91 days
Planting Depth: Plant 2 – 3 seeds ¼” deep
Plant Spacing: 10”
Growth Habit: 12 – 14" tall creeping shrub with an 8 – 10” spread of densely packed leaves
If you are going to plant Coleus in Spring place the seeds in a paper envelope. Write the date and type of seeds on the envelope. Never store seeds in plastic, as the seeds may mold.
Store the envelope in a cool, dry, dark location until spring.
HOW TO GROW COLEUS FROM SEEDS:
- ✅ Start sowing coleus seed with a flat or container, with a damp potting soil. Lightly sprinkle the coleus seeds over the soil. Mixing the seeds with fine sand before sowing can help you to spread the seeds more evenly with a bit more of a gap between the seeds.
- ✅ After you have spread the coleus seeds, cover them with a fine layer of potting soil.
- ✅ Cover the container with plastic and place in a warm spot in bright, indirect light. You should see seedlings in about two weeks.
- ✅ When you see the coleus seedlings, remove the plastic.
- ✅ Keep the soil moist as the seedlings grow. You will find it is less damaging to the coleus seedlings to water from below.
- ✅ Once the seedlings are large enough to be handled (typically when they have two sets of true leaves), they can be transplanted to individual containers.
COLEUS PLANT CARE:
Coleus care is important in keeping the plant healthy.
- ✅ Water regularly to keep the soil slightly moist – never too dry and never soggy.
- ✅ Feed the plant once every week or two during spring and summer, using a water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half-strength.
- ✅ Place the pot on a tray with a layer of wet pebbles if the air in your home is dry. (Never let the bottom of the pot stand directly in water.) Pinch the tips of the plant frequently to keep it bushy.
- ✅ Remove up to one-third of growth if the plant becomes long and leggy.
- ✅ Remove blooms as soon as they appear, as they draw energy from the colorful foliage. If you allow blooming to continue, the plant will go to seed and die. If the plant gets too scraggly, it may be time to start fresh with a new plant.
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