Coleus Growing Guide

Coleus scutellarioides


Crop Rotation Group



Fertile, well-drained soil or roomy containers that hold moisture well.


Partial shade.

Frost tolerant

None. Coleus cannot tolerate cold temperatures.


Mix a light application of a balanced organic fertiliser into the soil prior to planting. In midsummer, drench plants with a liquid plant food to stimulate new growth.


Coleus steals the show with its showy foliage. It combines very well with impatiens, another warm-season annual flower.


Single Plants: 30cm (11") each way (minimum)
Rows: 30cm (11") with 30cm (11") row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Sow tiny coleus seeds atop moist seed starting mix and gently press them into the surface. Most gardeners buy coleus seedlings, many of which are grown from rooted cuttings.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


Coleus leaves are often splashed with shades of pink and red that can be used to echo the blossom colours of nearby flowers. Stem tip cuttings are easy to root in moist compost or plain water.


Pinch back plants in early summer to encourage the development of new branches. Also clip off flower spikes to prolong the life of the plants.


Whiteflies are occasional pests outdoors. When coleus are brought indoors to grow as houseplants, they may attract mealybugs.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Coleus