Coleus cuttings

I was given a plant start from a coleus plant. It has green leaves with a magenta center, the more sun it gets the deeper magenta the leaves get. I was told this is an inside plant. Aren’t coleus plants usually grown outdoors? It’s an extremely fast growing plant and I would love to know how to best care for it indoors. I would also like to make new plants to plant outdoors.

red coleus

Coleus plants grow better outdoors in the sun/shade during the summer. They do get more colorful with extra light. If the plant gets too leggy, you can pinch it back and it will develop side shoots making a nice bushy plant to suit your size. They are not cold tolerant and will die back in the winter.

How to winterover coleus

Here’s how to save your coleus over the winter:  cut off a 4-6 inch tip with a node, remove any flower stalks and place it in water. It should root within a few weeks. Once rooted, plant the cuttings in individual pots in a sunny window.

Another way is to take the cutting, remove lower leaves and insert in a moist, very well-drained potting soil. You can also dip the bottom end in rooting hormone (optional). Place the container in a plastic bag away from direct sun. Check the soil periodically, so it stays moist. It should root within 10 days. To check if your plant has rooted, lightly tug on the plant.

Indoor care
The brilliantly colored coleus also makes a nice houseplant. When indoors, provide bright filtered light, well-drained, evenly moist soil and temperatures between 70-85F. For continued vegetative growth, remove any flower spikes it produces or the plant will go to seed and decline or die. Start fertilizing in the early spring when the plant begins to show signs of new growth. You can take cuttings from the mother plant in early spring to make more plants for outdoor planting. As with any houseplant, keep them away from heating vents/air conditioners. They are easy to care for.