4.4 out of 5 (107 experiences)
Also known as
Painted Nettle, Plectranthus scutellarioides, Solenostemon scutellarioides, Coleus bluemei, Kiwi Fern Plant and Rodeo drive coleus
How to care for Coleus
How often to water your Coleus
Coleus needs 0.5 cups of water every 9 when it doesn’t get direct sunlight and is potted in a 5" pot located in Portland, Oregon.
Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.
Water 0.5 cups every
Check the growing potential in your area
A plant's growing potential is determined from its location, the time of year, and current local weather.
Finding light for Coleus in your home
Coleus may have difficulty thriving, and will drop leaves 🍃, without ample sunlight.
Place it less than 3 feet from a south-facing window to keep it happy during this time of reduced sunlight intensity in Portland, Oregon ⛅.
How to fertilize Coleus
Most potting soils come with ample nutrients which plants use to produce new growth.
By the time your plant has depleted the nutrients in its soil it’s likely grown enough to need a larger pot anyway.
To replenish this plant's nutrients, repot your Coleus after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.
Coleus is generally easy to care for, though some plant parents report facing challenges with growing it. Check out the reviews down below to read more about their experiences!
Coleus prefers for the soil to dry out between waterings and should be watered regularly. Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.
Coleus may have difficulty thriving and will drop leaves 🍃 without ample sunlight. Place it less than 3 feet from a window to maximize the potential for growth. Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement in your home 🏡.
Coleus is not safe to consume. If you, a family member, or a pet has ingested any amount of plant material contact Poison Control, US (800) 222-1222, or your veterinarian. If you have children, cats, or dogs in the home, we suggest keeping this plant out of reach.
Coleus doesn’t require additional humidity. Plants absorb most water through their root system rather than their leaves, so the best way to provide humidity for your plants is through watering the soil.
Coleus does best in well-draining soil. A good soil will contain lots of organic matter such as coco coir as well as perlite or vermiculite to help with drainage. Adding a handful of perlite to regular store-bought potting soil should do the trick!
Coleus should be repotted after it doubles in size or once a year, whichever comes first. Fresh potting soil has all the nutrients your plant needs, so as long as it’s refreshed yearly, you shouldn’t need to use fertilizer. Remember, plants get their energy from sunlight, not fertilizer!
Coleus is native to Old World Tropics and Subtropics.
Yes, you may see your Coleus bloom with the right amount of sunlight and water.
Coleus grows vertically and new growth will emerge from the top of the plant.
USDA Hardiness Zone
Coleus can be grown outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 10a-11b. Find your local hardiness zone here.
Coleus can be propagated by the stem method. To propagate:
- Make a cut just above the node. The node is the break in the stem where the leaf emerges.
- To get the cutting to root, you can either:
- Place the cutting in water until roots emerge and are ~2” long and then transplant into well-draining soil, or
- Place the cutting directly into well-draining soil and water when dry.
Yellow leaves aren’t always a reason to panic, and can be a normal part of a plant’s life cycle. Unless brand new leaves are turning yellow or all the leaves change color at once, it’s likely just your plant shedding old leaves.
Overwatering and root rot are the most likely cause of problems in Coleus, since they are sensitive to wet soil. The leaves may also appear to be curling or drooping. Less often, yellow leaves are caused by underwatering, nutrient deficiencies, or pests.
Replace soggy soil with fresh, dry soil and download Greg to make sure your plant never gets overwatered again!
Care Summary for Coleus
0.5 cups every 9 days
< 3ft from a window
Repot after 2x growth
Based on your location in Portland, Oregon, the 4” pot your plant is in, and that it doesn’t get direct sunlight.
What other plant parents say
Hard to kill this plant. Its not too fond of direct sunlight and will droop when its too hot from sunrays.
So easy to propagate by cuttings. Make a cut below a node with 6-8 leaves. Remove leaves from lower nodes leaving 4 leaves (can be more but probably best to trim some of the leaves in half so that the propagation doesnt struggle much to survive) Add rooting hormone (optional) to nodes then stick it in soil. Moisten soil with water and place in shaded area (direct sunlight stressed the plant). Wait for a week for plant to root then its good to go.
Some coleus can grow leaves up to 12 inches… prob more if i transferred it to a bigger pot or planted it directly to soil.