Do Coleus make good house plants?

eahamel(9a)July 12, 2012

I love coleus, but of course, they are cold tender. I grow a lot of plants under lights, and am wondering if coleus would do well as a house plant year round.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Absolutely yes. If grown with enough light to maintain color and prevent legginess, they adapt very well to normal indoor temperatures and humidity levels. Most people don't provide them with enough light.

As with those planted outside, plants benefit from frequent pinching to promote axillary branching.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 8:35AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Agreed. I've only tried to bring plants inside which have been outside all summer and that's usually gone badly. BUT I haven't tried it here where there is plenty of sun to offer during the winter, just in OH. Do you have plenty of sun in winter?

I'm not totally clear if you are trying to "save" Coleus or just like the looks of it as something you might potentially get just for the purpose of being a house plant?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 9:42AM
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Thanks for the info. Purple, I'm trying to do both - experiment with keeping them under fluorescent lights indoors, and bring some indoors so they won't freeze in winter. I'm in Houston and yes, we usually have plenty of sun, but they don't survive our freezes. I've tried to bring some indoors for the winter and they didn't do well, so I moved them back outside and they died in a freeze. It was a cultivar that I really liked, I think it was 'Sonoma', and I haven't seen it in a nursery since.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 11:01AM
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Absolutely! Just give them enough light!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 1:24PM
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I have a coleus houseplant, I forgot it's name, it's got purple stems with green and purple leaves. I trim it all the time and root them for outside container fillers, and it grows like crazy both inside and out. I also just bought a few months ago one from the 'under the sea' series called 'Red Coral', it's really neat looking. Right now I have it outside for the summer to keep it's awesome colors, but I defiently plan on bringing it inside when the weather gets cold.

I think they're neat plants to keep indoors. They have some beautiful colors and it grows like crazy so before you know it, you have a ton of cuttings to either use for outside gardens/containers, or to give away. They just need alot of sun. I have mine in a west window with a sheer curtain, and it's kept it's color pretty good and seems happy.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 2:06AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Not disagreeing with what anyone's said, but for Coleus plants outside that you want to save from frost, as an alternative to bringing in pots or digging them up, you can store them as cuttings in bottles/jars of water. Don't want to turn this thread into that discussion, so anyone interested may read more here. (Scroll down to May 31 if you want to skip the rest of the discussion.)

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 8:56AM
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Coleus make fine house plants, as long as it's cared for properly.

In most places, Coleus are grown as annuals. Annuals brought indoors requires extra care.
Sun and fresh, circulating air are important. Without, Coleus lose color, grow spindly, and house insects. Mainly Spider Mites.

Over the years I've brought in Coleus grown in the ground and taken cuttings, 'as Purple suggests.'

Sorry, not familiar with variety names, but smaller-leaf Coleus adapt better than large-leaf. Perhaps it's me or my technique but that's my opinion via experimenting w/different types. Toni

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 11:08AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

This discussion gave me the confidence to try keeping a few Coleus plants inside this winter. There are 4, and all are doing GREAT! I think it really matters how much sun is available. This is not a dark corner plant, even if it's for shade outside.

One of the plants is actually a stump. Before it frosted, I saved all Coleus branches in the yard. About a week later, I was pulling the stumps and this one had signs of life, so I potted it and brought it in. So glad!

How are people's house plant Coleus doing this winter?

Also checking in today to ask fans of Coleus to add yourself to my request for a Coleus forum if you are in agreement with the idea. TIA!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 5:48PM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

my coleus does well under low light. i pinch weekly to keep it stout and bushy. my cultivar is inky fingers, a trailing coleus. have you tried them in a hanging basket gorgeous

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 9:53AM
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i've experimented with rooting a cutting and overwintering it in west facing window - it was OK , it made it. i put it on a wick too to make sure it does not dry up (it was in a hard to reach place on the windowsill). it grew very slowly too.
i also grew a giant 4 ' bushy plant in south facing bay-window - sun all day long from dawn to sunset! it flowered ! and got scale. i had to junk it.
but it's possible, it needs lots of light and warmth. no cold windows, please, no drying up.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 7:43PM
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