Treating Pests That Attack Your Coleus

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What You'll Need
Earth powders
Insecticidal soap
Yellow sticky trap
All-purpose houseplant or ornamental spray
Slug bait or slug traps
Copper barriers
Fine gravel

Coleus plants make a beautiful addition to any garden. However, they do attract certain pests that can cause damage. This article will get into the details of the different pests that attack this plant and what you can do about it.


Mealybugs are the most common pests of this plant. They show up as white fuzz on the stems, leaves, and leaf axils. This pest moves very slowly and can be easily removed through an application of alcohol or insecticide.


These are very tiny insects that fly out from under the leaves when you disturb the plant. These insects are attracted to the color yellow, so you can use this to your advantage when eliminating them from your garden. Purchase a yellow sticky trap from a garden center if you want to control these insects without pesticides.


Aphids are another problem when it comes to the coleus plant. You can treat these insects by spraying them with water and then wiping off the plant. Another option is to spray the plants with an insecticide.

Spider Mites

If you have a spider mite infestation, you'll notice a problem forming on the underside of leaves with little red mites. These insects tend to pop up when the humidity is low, so you can control them by watching and cleaning your leaves on a regular basis and increasing the humidity near the plants. You can also spray the leaves with an insecticide to get rid of spider mites.

Fungus Gnats

These are tiny black flies that hover around the soil and love plants that contain a lot of moisture. You can control these insects by properly watering the plants and improving air circulation issues that may be helping them thrive. Improve the health of the plant by adding a ¼ inch layer of fine gravel to the top of the soil so the bugs are prevented from laying eggs.


Slugs are another common problem. They can damage plants by eating the leaves and stems. You can get rid of slugs by purchasing a slug bait or making your own slug traps. Applying earth powder around the plants can also create a barrier for the slugs that will kill them as they crawl across it. It punctures their skin, which causes dehydration. Copper barriers are another option that can deter slugs.

If spraying pests is not something you want to do, try using a systemic insecticide that is put directly in the soil. This is a good way to control pests for a few weeks or months at a time. However, this method works best with potted plants.

Another option is insecticidal soap or even an all-purpose houseplant or ornamental spray. You can purchase these products at most garden centers. Dealing with pests and diseases is more of a concern when you have plants indoors. Keep this in mind if you plan on having a lot of potted plants in your home during the winter or all year round.