How to grow coleus plants from seeds

Welcome! Here you will find tips and recommendations on how to easily get started growing coleus plants from seeds. To succeed with your seed sowing, the seeds need plenty of light, a humid environment and an ambient temperature around 22° C.

The most common mistake is to bury the seeds in the soil, which will reduce the germination rate and if you are unlucky, no plants will come up! The seeds should be scattered on the surface without being covered, as they need direct light to trigger their growth.

To give your seeds the best conditions for germination, we recommend that you use sowing soil.

Start with a small container such as a little pot, mini greenhouse or even a plastic cup. It is important to keep the soil slightly moist, but allow for drainage to prevent the roots from developing rot. Water the soil well and scatter the seeds on the surface.

To get the small seeds out of the bag you can use a damp cotton bud. Some of the seeds are pelleted with a yellow layer of clay that needs to be kept sufficiently moist enough so it loosens and the seed can germinate. Sow the seeds a few centimetres apart to make the plants easier to repot.

Maintain a moist environment with plastic wrap with small breathing holes made in it, or with a lid that you open a few times a day. Moisten the soil with a spray bottle as needed, for example every morning and evening. If the soil is too dry, your plants will struggle to grow!

Place the seed containers in a well-lit area after sowing. You may need to use a plant or fluorescent lamp in the winter or low-light conditions. If you use an artificial light, please keep the seeds approximately 10 cm away from the light source.

Under the right conditions, the green heart leaves will emerge within 14 days. When the next set of leaves become visible, you will get a hint of what your coleus plant will look like.

If you notice the young plants appear long and fragile, it is probably because they are not receiving enough light and you will need to move the seedling container to a better lit area. The plastic wrap or lid can be removed when the plants start to reach up.

You need to repot the plant when it has grown between four and six leaves. Water the soil to help loosen it from the container and reduce the risk of damaging the roots. Gently squeeze the pot, tilt it down and hold the soil as it slides out.

On a working surface, carefully divide the plants and soil and pay special attention to protecting the roots. Then move every newly separated plant to a larger pot roughly 12 cm in diameter, filled with fresh new potting soil. Coleus plants flourish in airy, damp soils with good drainage. Clay pots with a hole and Leca balls in the bottom will give your plants the best conditions to grow. Water thoroughly and place in a well-lit area!

A few final tips. You can encourage the plants to become more bushy by trimming. To maintain the leaf colors longer, cut off the flower buds two leaf pairs down. If the plants are in the garden they prefer partially-shaded areas. And finally coleus plants do not tolerate frost.

Good luck!