Coleus Plant: Easy to grow houseplants with vibrant leaves

Coleus Plant: Easy to grow houseplants with vibrant leaves
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Image by Mike Goad from Pixabay

Vibrant Coleus Plants add beauty and color to the garden. They can be grown both outdoors and indoors and the bright leaves are a treat to watch. These plants are easy to care and does not require much maintenance.

Quick Details of Coleus Plant

Other Common Names of Coleus PlantColeus
TypeOutdoor/indoor house plant
LightFiltered light or partial shade
WaterRegular watering
TemperatureWarm humid conditions.
SoilWell draining loosely arranged acidic soil.
FertilizerWell balanced organic fertilizer
ToxicityToxic, can cause allergic reactions, vomiting, diarrhea if ingested.
Common DiseasesPowdery mildew, mealy bugs, spidermites
Scientific namePlectranthus  scutellarioides

Coleus Buying Instructions

  • There are multiple varieties and comes in different colors of leaves. So buy it accordingly.
  • Buy a bushy plant which does not have any kind of pest infection.
  • Purchase a plant whose stem does not look very old. This will help you in buying younger plant.

Overview of Coleus Plant

They are annual or perennial plants native to Asia and belong to the family Lamiaceae. They are mostly grown as an ornamental plant. The leaves are thick and brightly colored. They have varied shape, color and style. The bright colors may dull out when placed in bright direct sunlight. These are one of the best options to grow both outdoors and indoors. The plants add color and beauty to the spots they are grown in. They also bear tiny white or blue flowers.

Usage and Advantage of Coleus Plant

  • Grown as an ornamental plant.

General Care for Coleus Plant


They prefer a well draining, moist, nutrient rich loose soil with slightly acidic pH. A potting mix with a mixture of peat and soil can be used for the planting of the coleus.


They prefer their soil to be moist. Dry soil can slow down the growth of the plant and cause the plants to turn brown in color. Water the plants twice a day during summer season especially if they are left outdoors. Indoor plants can be watered ones in 2 days.


These plants prefer partial shade. The plant grown in climatic conditions where there is dry harsh summers, prefer partial to full shade whereas in cooler places they prefer to be exposed to sun.


The plants thrive best in hot humid conditions. In places with dry climatic conditions, make sure to provide enough humidity by placing a humidifier or a pebble tray. Place the plants away from harsh cold or hot drifts.

Special Care

Provide the plants with proper sunlight and water. Mulch the soil with a thick layer of organic compost. Terra cotta pots can be used to maintain moisture in the soil. Prune the plant to get a bushier plant. Pinch off the growing tip of the the plants to promote branching. If the plants become leggy, provide them with more amount of sunlight and also prune the plants.


They require a fertilize soil. If the plants are grown in ground, add a balanced all purpose fertilizer half its strength during the growing seasons. The fertilizer can be added ones a month. In case of potted plants use a slow release fertilizer. Add the fertilizer while potting the plant and also ones in two weeks.

Pests and other problems for Coleus

These plants are not prone to much diseases or pests. The plants can be attacked by pests if the plants are placed in damp highly humid conditions. Pests like scales, mealybugs ans whiteflies are the most commonly sees pests in these plants. These pests can either be removed manually or a mild pesticide or insecticide can be sprayed to get rid of them. Neem oil can also be sprayed on the plants to get rid of the pests.

If grown in excess moisture the plant can also get infected with fungal pathogens. One of the commonly seen fungal disease is powdery mildew. The disease leads to the appearance of white powdery substances on the surface of the leaves, which can further spread to the whole leaf and stem, leading to wilting and death of the infected part. Make sure to provide enough aeration to the plant. Avoid overhead watering of the plant. In case of infection, use a mild fungicide and remove the infected part immediately. Shift the plant to a warmer less humid location.

Propagation of Coleus

The propagation of coleus can be done through stem cuttings or through seeds.

Stem cutting is one of the easiest and commonly used method for propagation. Select a healthy 5-7 inch long growing stem tip. Remove the leaves at the bottom of the cutting. Dip the cut end in a rooting hormone and plant it in a well draining nutrient rich potting mix. The pot can be covered with a polybag and can be left in warm location for 3-4 weeks till the roots develop. The polybag can be removed ones the roots develop.

Propagation can also take place with the help of seeds. Sprinkle few seeds on the potting mix and cover it with soil. water them and cover the pot with the help of a polybag and leave it in a warm location for the seeds to germinate. The seeds will germinate within 7-14 days. Remove the polybag ones the seedlings starts to appear. The seedlings can be transplanted ones 2-3 true leaves starts to appear.

reema shaju

reema shaju

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