Coleus Care Guide

By Jessica Mcnamara

Mar 10, 2021

Lime & pink coleus garden plants

Welcome to your Coleus care guide! Here you will find all of our Growers' knowledge of how best to look after your Coleus, and what to do if you get stuck.


small plant

Plant name: Coleus
Latin name: Solenostemon scutellarioides
Varieties included: Coleus Main Street series

You need flowers to add striking colour to your garden, right? Wrong! Introducing the bold and beautiful Coleus plant… heart-shaped coloured leaves that almost look painted. Their leaf colour come in shades of greens, pinks, reds, browns and purple! Each burgundy leaf is unique and adds a mass of vibrant colour to your garden containers, beds and borders.

Coleus varieties are fantastic paired with flowering plants, or just mono-planted on their own in a container- the coloured foliage speaks for itself and that’s what makes it one of our favourites here at The Growers.

Bedding plants

Plant type: Bedding (annual)
Hardiness: Tender
What does this mean? Whilst Coleus can be nurtured over winter in a greenhouse and protected from frosts, they are best replaced the following year for optimum performance. They are very sensitive to cold temperatures.


plant in soil

Before You Start

If you are planting in a garden container, make sure it is clean and has drainage holes in the base.  You will need a good quality compost, trowel, watering-can and gloves may also be useful (although we do encourage getting your hands dirty!)


plant in pot

Planting Guide

When planting directly into a garden bed or border it is often best to lay out your plants on top of the potting soil in the pots so you can make sure you plant them in the best place to get the overall visual impact you are wanting (remember when doing this, they will grow much larger than their current size, so don’t worry too much about gaps!) 

If planting into a container or hanging basket, fill this up with compost, adding some large stones or gravel to the bottom couple of inches of the container to provide drainage (this isn’t essential, but it can help). Leave about 2cm of space at the top of the container.

Once you have decided where the plant is going dig a hole a little bit bigger than the pot size in your bed, border or container.

Next, take the plant out of the pot.  This can be done easily by squeezing the sides of the pot between your thumb and fingers, then releasing your grip on the pot. This helps the roots come away from the pot. 

Then hold the plant by the base of the stem, close as possible to the pot and remove the plastic pot. Hold your plant by the root ball and position in the middle of the hole. 

The top of the compost around the plant should be a little lower than the level of the bed / border.  If you need to dig a little deeper take the plant out and make the hole a bit deeper.

Once the Coleus plant fits in the hole you can twist it around to get the best side of the plant facing forwards.  When you are happy with the position fill the hole back in around the root ball and firm the soil back in. 

Finally give the garden plant a good water, wherever possible trying to avoid getting water on the flowers.

Avoid planting during the hottest parts of the day. They prefer to be planted during the cooler part of the day as this reduces their stress levels.

sunny garden


Coleus are easy to grow in the full sun or full shade, so find an empty spot and prepare to be dazzled by her gorgeous colours!



watering can

Watering & Feeding Guide

Water regularly throughout the Summer months, feed with a diluted liquid fertilizer every week or two as it continues to grow, especially if in a container.

On slightly cooler summer days, check the soil before watering – if it is already moist, give watering a miss for that day and come back the next day to check.

Soil type: Whilst Coleus can cope with most types of soil, as with most bedding plants, they prefer free-draining soil.


Medium plant

Top Tips

For patio containers, add large stones/gravel to the bottom before your compost, and for garden beds/borders, if your soil is particularly clay-like, we recommend using soil improver a few weeks before planting.

Coleus plants can be brought inside over winter and treated as a houseplant (best for conservatories/warm and light areas)


Try planting your coleus at the back or centre of your garden container to add height and structure, with other, shorter plants in front and to the sides.


As you go through the season, you might see some flower ‘spikes’ growing from your coleus garden plant. Whilst they can look nice, they can weaken the plant and therefore we recommend you remove them to allow the leaves to keep growing and for the plant to remain strong.

Coleus is a member of the mint family (although we don’t recommend adding these to your mojitos!). Get your Coleus plants online here today!