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Growing Coleus

Botanical Name:

Coleus blumei

Life Cycle:

annual, tender perennial

Planting Time:

indoors all year; outdoors after temperatures reach at least 50ºF at night.


18" to 36"


partial shade to shade


rich, moist, well-drained soil with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH


zones 9 to 11

Bloom Time:

foliage colorful all summer


insignificant flowers; flower spikes pinched off as they form to encourage more foliage growth


variegated red, green, pink, white, purple and yellow


seeds, stem cuttings in fall


Suggested Use:

colorful borders, houseplants, and containers

Growing Hints:

When grown outdoors, Coleus plants will survive and grow in the sun, but foliage color is much more intense when grown in light shade or when grown under ultraviolet light indoors. Sow seeds in spring or purchase small seedlings and transplant to beds after temperatures reach 50ºF. Space plants 12 inches apart and pinch back when plants are 4 to 6 inches to encourage bushier growth. Apply fertilizer (10-10-10) once per month

Interesting Facts:

Seedlings are less brilliant in color when young, intensifying in color as they age.

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January 23, 20120 found this helpful

Use the pinched back portion of the coleus to make new plants. Coleus are easily rooted.

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June 13, 20170 found this helpful

What can I apply to keep bugs from eating holes in my coleus?

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