How to grow Coleus from cuttings and seeds

How to grow Coleus from cuttings and seeds

Grow coleus in a sunny or partially shaded location to bring out their beautiful leaf colors. They thrive best in moist but well-drained soil. Coleus plants are tender perennials, meaning they will not survive cold weather. They are usually grown as annuals in the UK, planted out in May when there is no threat of frost. To keep plants from year to year, bring them indoors in the fall, or take cuttings in the summer that can be grown on for new plants the following spring.

Plant coleus in a sunny or partially shaded location, in moist but well-drained soil. Coleus are low-growing, so they look best at the front of a border, in combination with other bedding plants, or in pots on a patio. If you are growing coleus as a houseplant, grow it in a bright spot that gets some direct sun.
How to plant coleus
You can buy coleus as ‘plug plants’ (young plants) in early spring. Grow them indoors until the weather warms. Plant them out in the garden in May, when no more frost is expected. Harden them (acclimatize them to outdoor conditions) for a week beforehand.

Prepare the soil by mixing in some multi-purpose compost. Dig a hole slightly larger than the original pot, add the plant and fill around it with soil. Water in well.

If planting in a pot, dig a hole the same size and depth as the original pot, and plant at the same level. Water in well.

Caring for coleus
After planting, pinch out the growing tip (the central stem) to encourage a bushy plant. Keep the plants well watered in the summer, especially if they are growing in pots.

If you grow coleus in pots outdoors, move them indoors in the fall before the first frost. If you grow them as bedding plants in the ground, you can take cuttings in the summer to ensure some plants for next year.

How to propagate coleus
Coleus plants are easy to propagate. Take cuttings in the summer to increase your supply of plants and then grow them for the next season in a greenhouse or conservatory.

How to take cuttings
Coleus have no problems with diseases if grown outdoors, but if grown in a conservatory or indoors, watch out for pests such as whitefly, mealybugs and scale insects.