Guide to Growing Coleus

Is Coleus A Perennial? Everything To Know About Coleus Plants

Last Updated on May 20, 2022 by Real Men Sow

Coleus plants are also known as Solenostemon or plectranthus. Coleus is a great perennial that are prized for their velvety leaves that come in a variety of colours, including bright red, burgundy and yellows. They’re great for summer bedding and as fillers at the border of a summer border.

Can You Grow Coleus Plants In Pots

Coleus plants also make great containers and pots. They can be used in a jungle or exotic planting scheme and you can grow them indoors or outdoors. As an ornamental mint family member, and is native to Indonesia. All species that were once part of the Coleus genus are now divided into Solenostemon or Plectranthus.

Coleus

How To Grow Coleus Plant

You can grow coleus in either a partially shaded or sunny spot to show their gorgeous leaf colors. They thrive in well-drained and moist soil. These plants are perennials that can withstand cold temperatures, but Coleus plants don’t like to be in the snow. In the UK, they are often grown as annuals and planted in May when there is no risk of frost. You can keep your plants alive year after year by bringing them inside in autumn or taking cuttings from summer to grow new plants in the spring.

Where To Grow Coleus Plant

Plant them in sunny or partially shaded areas in well-drained, moist soil. Coleus plants are very low-growing, so they work best when planted in a border with other bedding plants or in a pot on a patio. If you are growing coleus for your home, place it in a spot with direct sunlight.

How To Plant Coleus 

Coleus can be purchased as “plug plants” (young plants) in the early spring. You can grow them indoors until the weather gets warmer. Once there is no frost forecast, plant them in the garden in May. The plants should be dried for at least a week before planting.

What Compost To Use For Coleus

Mix some multipurpose compost into the soil to prepare it. Fill the hole slightly larger than the original container with the soil, then add the plant. Water in well. Dig a hole the same size as the pot and place the pot at the same height. Water in well.

Caring For Coleus

To encourage bushier plants, pinch the central stem (the growing tip) after you have planted it. If you have pots, make sure to water your plants regularly in summer.

Outdoor Caring For Coleus

If you are growing coleus outdoors in pots, bring them indoors in autumn to avoid frost damage. You can take cuttings of coleus plants that you are growing in the ground as bedding plants. This will ensure you have enough plants next year.

How To Propagate Coleus Plant

One of the easiest to propagate are coleus plants. To increase your plants’ supply, take cuttings during summer and then plant them in a greenhouse.

Growing Coleus: Problem Solving

Coleus is not susceptible to diseases when grown outdoors, but whitefly, mealybugs, and scale insects can be a problem indoors or in a conservatory.

Advice For Buying Coleus

  • You can purchase coleus plugs or young plants from many garden centers and nurseries. Many also offer online sales. Online sales may offer more variety at a lower price.
  • If you don’t have a place to store coleus before planting, it is best not to buy them until all frost risk has passed.
  • Coleus aren’t hardy, so they are considered annuals in the British Isles. Coleus should be purchased in spring to ensure that they are ready for planting after the last frosts. Do not buy them later in the season, as they will only survive until temperatures drop again

Coleus Plants Varieties To Try

  • Chocolate Mint The semi-succulent stems bear maroon, velvety leaves that are complemented by bright green and prominent, rounded, teeth. The pale blue flowers, which are not significant, can be found at any time.
  • Trusty Rusty The stems are semi-succulent and bear velvety, rust colored leaves with a serrated outer edge.
  • Olympic Torch The dark burgundy leaves have a thin yellow-green border.
  • Saturn The deep burgundy leaves have a central splash lime green of bright lime.

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