5 Quick Coleus Growing Tips | Grow Best Coleus Plants

Ralph Astley is a retired gardener from Philadelphia who specializes in outdoor plants and trees. With years of hands-on experience, Ralph not only cares for a diverse range of outdoor flora but also shares his extensive knowledge through well-written articles and social media posts. A trusted authority in arboriculture, he's committed to helping the community grow healthier, more robust gardens.
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These 5 Quick Coleus Growing Tips are all you need to flaunt the best foliage and beautiful colors of your coleus plants like a pro.


Looking for a colorful plant for a shady or part sun place in your garden? Grow coleus! And it’s super easy to take care of them if you know these 5 Quick Coleus Growing Tips. 

5 Quick Coleus Growing Tips

1. Choose the Variety Wisely

If you want to have the best colors, then pick a variety with vibrant foliage. Coleus comes in various sizes, shapes, and hues, which makes it one of the best plants when it comes to versatility.  

There are varieties that grow tall and you can even train them to become a tree and there are varieties that remain short. Also, some coleus cultivars can tolerate shade, while some prefer more sun. So, all in all, selecting a perfect coleus variety is important.

2. Partial Sunlight is Best


Exposing the coleus plant to the right amount of sunlight is crucial for its growth and colors. Because in low light–the color fades; in too much light–the color fades. To ensure it stays in the best of its health, you have to mix and match direct and indirect sunlight.

Ensure the plant gets filtered or indirect light for the most part of the day. If you can expose it to several hours of direct sun, then nothing like it! However, avoid keeping it in a direct afternoon light if you live in a warm region (USDA Zones 10 and 11).

Ideally, partial sunlight is the best for most coleus varieties. Many types will thrive well in full shade, though the colors may not be so bright. 

3. Keep the Soil Slightly Moist

While maintaining healthy coleus, watering it right is the key. This plant loves to grow in moist soil, so do not let the growing medium dry out completely because as soon as the soil dries, this plant will droop.

However, when growing coleus indoors or in low light, be careful with watering–saturate the plant when the soil is slightly dry to the touch.

It will ensure that the soil stays a little moist while saving the plant from the dangers of overwatering, which can result in root rot. 

4. Use a Rich Soil

While growing coleus, it is best to provide a rich growing medium with a lot of organic matter. It’s not one of those plants that like poor soil. Alternatively, you can feed the plant with a balanced liquid fertilizer, diluted to half of its strength, once every 3-4 weeks.

5. Remove the Flowers

Though looking at your coleus flowering is a wonderful sight, it also makes the plant divert all its energy into blooming and keeping them alive. Almost all the coleus plants look exhaustive after flowering, so if you want them to look fresh–the moment you spot a flower on the plant, snip them away.

Key Takeaways

  • The plant does well in 3-5 hours of daily sunlight. Morning sun exposure is best. Avoid keeping the plant in a complete shade and full sun if you want the best growth.
  • Pinching the top tip when the plant is young promotes bushier growth. If you wish to prune, do not prune more than 1/3 of the plant at one time.

Learn how to coleus indoors here

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