Indoor Coleus Care: How To Grow A Coleus House Plant
The following are some interesting facts about the Colyx genus.
Colyx species are commonly known as “Coleus”. They come in many colors including white, pink, purple, green, yellow and red.
Some have stripes or spots while others don’t. All coleus are carnivorous plants that eat insects, spiders, slugs and other small animals.
Calyx species grow best in well drained soil with good drainage. They prefer full sun but will tolerate partial shade if it’s not too hot outside.
They like moist conditions so make sure your room isn’t constantly wet!
They’re very drought tolerant and can survive dry spells without problems. They’re also hardy and can withstand freezing temperatures.
How to Grow a Coleus Houseplant: How To Start An Indoor Coleus House Plant From Seed?
1) Purchase a potting mix suitable for growing coleus indoors.
You’ll need at least 4 cups per gallon of water. Make sure it contains peat moss or vermiculite (a clay based material).
If not, use sand instead.
2) Place the potting mix in a large container.
Make sure it has drainage holes in the bottom.
3) Moisten the potting mix and lightly squeeze it with your fingers.
This will ensure it’s evenly moist and ready to plant.
4) Use a pencil to poke a hole in the potting mix.
The hole should be at least 2 inches deep.
5) Place one coleus seed in the hole.
Lightly cover it with potting mix. Don’t compact it or you won’t be able to see if it’s sprouted.
6) Place the container where it gets a lot of sunlight.
If you live in a dorm or have privacy concerns, place the container in a sunny window sill.
7) Water the soil whenever it feels dry an inch below the surface.
Don’t let the potting mix dry out or the seeds won’t sprout.
8) Let nature take its course.
Coleus takes about 2 to 4 weeks to sprout, sometimes longer. You might not get results the first time so be patient!
Coleus Houseplants For Sale: Where Can I Buy Coleus?
You can buy coleus plants online or at your local nursery. Some grocery stores also sell them during the spring and summer months. If you buy your plant at a nursery, bring a plastic cup with you so you can take the plant home.
When you get the plant home, place it in a sunny spot and water it whenever the potting mix dries out. Coleus plants enjoy being indoors all year round so you can keep yours in a container and move it inside once cold weather arrives.
Coleus are beautiful plants that are perfect for people who don’t have a green thumb or a lot of time to take care of a plant. They’re low maintenance and can tolerate less than ideal conditions such as low light or dry soil.
You can use them to add a little color to your home or give them to someone as a gift.
Propagating Coleus Plants: How To Make A Coleus Cutting
Coleus plants are easy to make into cuttings. They root quickly and grow just as well as the parent plant.
All you need is a sharp knife, a glass of water and a little patience.
Things you’ll need:
Sharp knife (such as a box cutter)
A glass of water
1. Fill a glass halfway with water.
2. Remove a leaf from the coleus plant.
It should be long and skinny such as a stem.
3. Place the leaf into the glass of water.
The top inch or so of the leaf should be under water.
4. Place the glass in a windowsill where it gets sunlight or place it on a sunny countertop.
If you’re growing it indoors, place it next to a sunny window or under a grow light.
5. Add water to the glass whenever it evaporates.
Leaves will eventually start growing out of the top of the cutting. This means it has taken root and you can plant it in soil.
6. Plant the coleus cutting once there are several leaves on the cutting.
Fill a pot with potting mix then place the cutting in the pot. The roots should be covered by potting mix.
Water it after planting and place it in a sunny spot.
Things to Consider Before Taking Coleus Cuttings
• Keep in mind that coleus cuttings won’t grow as large as the parent plant. They’re small plants to start with so don’t expect the cutting to fill out the way the parent plant did.
• Coleus plants can tolerate low light but they really thrive in bright sunlight. The more sun they get, the brighter their colors will be.
• Coleus grow slowly. It can take months for a cutting to root and form new leaves.
Be patient, it will grow!
• Coleus plants enjoy warmer temperatures. Don’t expose the cuttings to temperatures under 60 degrees or they might get sick.
Tips For Growing Coleus From Seed
Coleus seeds need to be exposed to soil temperatures of at least 80 degrees before they will sprout. You can speed up this process by placing the container on top of a heat mat that’s set to 80 degrees.
Use a thermometer to monitor the mat and keep it away from any open flames.
Once the seeds have sprouted, you can grow them in soil or in container such as a pot or plastic cup. Coleus plants prefer bright sunlight but not scorching hot temperatures.
Provide enough light to keep the leaves colorful but not so much that the plant gets sunburned. The leaves will turn brown and crispy if they get too much direct sunlight.
Be sure to keep the soil moist but not soaking wet. Waterlogged soil will cause the roots to rot and kill the plant.
The container or pot should have holes in the bottom to allow excess water to drain out.
Coleus plants grown from seeds are fairly small when they first start growing. Give them a few weeks before removing them from their starter container.
Use a ruler to measure the height of the plant. Once they reach 2 or more inches in height, they’re ready to be planted in soil.
Sources & references used in this article:
Coleus species: Solenostemon scutellarioides by MA Suva, AM Patel, N Sharma – Inventi Rapid Planta Activa, 2015 – researchgate.net
Effect of commercially available plant-derived essential oil products on arthropod pests by RA Cloyd, CL Galle, SR Keith… – Journal of Economic …, 2009 – academic.oup.com
Microtubules and fibrils in the cytoplasm of Coleus cells undergoing secondary wall deposition by PK Hepler, EH Newcomb – The Journal of Cell Biology, 1964 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov