How to Grow a Coleus from Seeds

Coleus seeds are fairly inexpensive and may be purchased from almost any nursery or harvested from a plant that has gone to seed. Propagating coleus from seed is a fairly easy process and within two weeks of germination, coleus seeds will have sprouted and began to show their colors. This article will accurately describe how to grow coleus from seeds in three simple steps.


Step 1 - Purchasing Viable Seeds

Purchase your coleus seeds from a reputable nursery. One of the advantages of growing coleus from seed is the fact that each seed packet you buy will yield several different colors of plants. This fact allows you to pick which ones are your favorite—enabling you to clone the best plants and propagate new coleus from cuttings in the future.


Step 2 - Properly Sow the Coleus Seeds

Refrigerating seeds for one week before sowing them will increase each of the seeds probability of reaching adulthood. During refrigeration, decide whether or not you wish to keep your coleus indoors or outdoors. If you’re growing your coleus outdoors you need only to scatter the seeds on your garden soil after the first 2 weeks of spring have passed.

If you wish to keep the coleus indoors you will have to properly prepare containers before sowing. Prepare several containers—at least 6inches deep and equipped with drainage holes—by filling the bottom inch of the container with gravel. Fill the remaining space in the containers with a well drained organic potting soil. It is a good idea to purchase a potting soil that has time release fertilizer; removing the fertilization guesswork for the first six months of the plants life.

Plant your coleus seeds into moist potting soil and cover the pot with a layer of plastic wrap. The plastic wrap increases humidity for the seeds which encourages them to grow quicker. At the first sign of emerging seedlings, the plastic wrap should be removed.


Step 3 - Thin Coleus and Provide Proper Care

When your coleus seedlings are approximately 2 inches tall, you will need to thin them by plucking out the weakest seedlings. Follow the directions prescribed on the back of your coleus seed packet during this task. Thinning your seedlings frees up space for the stronger seedlings to grow their root system. If you did not thin your crop, you would be left with numerous underdeveloped coleus plants.

After you have properly thinned your coleus plants all you have left to do is maintain the coleus’ lives by providing proper care. Coleus (especially indoor coleus) benefits from weekly supplemental watering; especially during the summer months when the sun dries soil much faster than in the spring.

Fertilize your plants once every 2 weeks with a liquid fertilizer. Dilute the fertilizer in the liquid you use to water your plants in the proportions described by the manufacturer.

Other than weekly watering and fertilization, you need not worry about caring for your coleus too much. The plants should be cared for naturally by their environment.