My Everchanging Garden

Gardening That Grows With Me

Growing Coleus From Seed and Cuttings

I waffle every year on whether or not I want to have any coleus in my containers. I prefer coleus when it’s smaller, so it acts as a foliage accent. Containers of huge overflowing coleus just don’t appeal to me. The problem is coleus likes to grow big. Cutting it back too often leads to a stubby-looking plant. I am going to try again with two sun coleus and limit them to larger containers.

FAVOURITE VARIETIES AND SOURCES

Stokes Seeds

  • Premium Sun Chocolate Covered Cherry – new 2024
  • Premium Sun Lim Delight
Hardiness 50°F or 10°C
Exposure Full sun, part shade
Deer resistant Maybe
Bloom time & length None, grow for foliage
Deadheading Remove flowers
Water/soil Medium, should not let coleus dry out
Height 14-18 inches
Width 14-18 inches
Fertilizer Every two weeks

My own notes: let these be a stand-alone in a container or mix with only a few other low-growing annuals. I tried growing some in the garden last year but they did not take off. Coleus likely needs some supplemental fertilizer in a garden.

SEED STARTING

  • start seeds 11 weeks before last frost date (March 4)
  • sow in small cell trays
  • press seed into the soil surface, do not cover, needs light to germinate
  • keep soil warm, temperature 70-75°F, germinates in 10 to 14 days
  • use warm water

In late summer, take cuttings and root in water. Start new mother plants for next year if I decide I like these varieties.

GROWING CONDITIONS

  • Initially grow at warmer temperature 72-75°F (22-24°C)
  • Cooler when they get large (day) 65-75°F (18-24°C)
  • Water early in the day or ensure leaves don’t get wet.

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