Growing Coleus

With colour, vigour, and charm, what more could coloured foliage coleus ask for?

Plectranthus scutellarioides (formally known as Solenostemon scutellarioides)

Coleus create a riot of foliage flair in dull shade-loving areas. This colourful annual and in most parts of Australia perennial, will brighten any lush landscape with their variety of varied foliage patterns and colours throughout the whole year.

When growing coleus, keep in mind that these beauties can grow rapidly so it’s best to pop them into a hanging basket or plant them close together in the garden bed. Can be easily adapted to grow as an indoor plant or in patio containers. Coleus make great fast-growing gap fillers.

Coleus leaves will produce vibrant colour planted in shaded areas. They don’t particularly like direct sunlight, although some newer cultivars will give their best colour in full sun. Coleus planted in warmer climates will need more protection from the strong summer sun than ones in cooler climates.

Coleus are a short-lived perennial. To prolong their life deadhead flowering spikes which appear in summer.

Coleus ideally like fertile well drained soil. Mix in 5 IN 1 Organic Fertiliser into existing soil for garden beds or pot up with Searles Platinum Potting Mix for container and hanging baskets.

Give foliage colour a liquid boost with a half dose of Searles Flourish Green & Growth Soluble Plant Food in their active growing season, spring and summer. 

Once planted coleus love to be kept moist. Be mindful if potted in container and hanging baskets plants will need more frequent watering but not left in soggy soil.

Coleus grow easier from cuttings than sown from seed. To propagate coleus, cut a stem 10-15cm long just below a leaf node. Remove all the leaves from the lower part of the stem and submerge in a glass of water positioned in a warm, sunny spot for a couple of weeks until roots start to emerge from the leaf node, then transplant out. Alternatively, plant stems into Searles Propagating Mix and keep soil moist until roots start to develop.


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