Propagating Coleus

Propagation from Seed

  • Sow seeds 10 weeks prior to planting out
  • Seeds require light to germinate
  • to ensure proper light amounts, sow seeds .25-.5cm depth, or sprinkle on media surface and press lightly into media
  • ideal air temperature in week 1 is 21-27 C,
    in week 2 is 18 C

Propagation from cuttings

  • 6 cm shoot cuttings with 2 pairs of leaves taken from fast growing shoot tips will give maximun rooting
  • hormone treatments are usually not needed
  • root in a warm (>20 C) moist, sterile medium, but will also root in water
  • air temperature 21-27 C for best rooting
  • transplant after 3-4 weeks
  • take cuttings in summer or fall for houseplants or overwintering

Growing Coleus

  • Plants can be set outside after the outdoor temperature has reached 50 F
  • Transplants should be placed 6-12 inches apart
  • Soil should be a well drained neutral or slightly alkaline pH soil
  • Plants should be feed monthly with an all purpose fertilizer (10-10-10)
  • Pinch the center stems of the plants to induce bushier plant growth
  • Pinch off the flower spikes as they form to induce bushier growth as well as to continue the life of the plant (once a plant is allowed to set seed it's life cycle is complete)
  • Plants should be watered thoroughly at planting time
  • Use mulch around plants to conserve moisture and to keep the soil warm
  • Take cuttings of your favorite plants in the fall prior to a killing frost and grow your coleus as a house plant
  • In February or March, take cuttings of your house plant for transplant into the garden


The name coleus is derived from the Greek word koleos, meaning sheath