Asked on Nov 03, 2014

Coleus problem :(

Alice G
by Alice G
Can anyone tell me whats wrong with my Coleus? They were doing so good, nice and full, now the leaves are fading and falling off. I have 2 of them in pots and they do get sun the better part of the day.
  13 answers
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Nov 03, 2014
    How long have they been in that pot, Alice? How often do you water and fertilize?
  • Alice G Alice G on Nov 03, 2014
    Hi Doug, They have been in there about 2 months. I started out with small plants that came in packs of 12. They did real good. I water them when the soil is almost dry and fertilize them about once every month along with pretty much everything else.
    • See 5 previous
    • Judy Judy on Nov 04, 2014
      I live up north where they're annuals but one thing I have learned from growing them indoors as houseplants: If allowed to bloom they promptly die off. Once they decide it's time to bloom they're pretty persistent & I found it's easier to just take cuttings, root them, start a new plant & let the old one die off.
  • Audrey G Audrey G on Nov 03, 2014
    I have one also in a pot indoors(I live in central NY state so it can't be outside this time of year. I haven't fertilized or 'fed' it since it's been indoors for the past 2 months. I looks just like yours does Alice. Will keep checking this posting for any answers you get. Thanks for asking this:) 'Audrey'
  • When I have ailing plants, I turn to fish fertilizer and I no longer use fertilizer and I have brought back plants from the "dead". I have revived many plants this way and from my experience with coleus I think it looks like a root rot problem or watering with tap water with too many chemicals. I use rain barrel water or in the winter I will set out milk jugs filled with tap water for a couple days without caps to dissipate the chemicals in the tap. You may want to take it out of pot and check roots and repot. and start over. I have done this with many plants over the years. Good luck. but get some fish fertilizer from HOme Depot or Lowes or your home store.
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    • I buy from Lowe's or Home Depot. I no longer use Miracle Grow after I almost killed my orchid with it. I have cured plants with the fish fertilizer and sometimes it takes pulling out of ground or pot,shaking off the dirt and immersing in a container with water and fish fertilizer for a couple weeks.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Nov 03, 2014
    Hello there Alice G! I haven't seen you while! I had beautiful coleus in a hanging basket...but the cold got it! I just did not want to bother with it all winter. I have never planted coleus and bought this one already planted! I may put some out next year!
  • Drought Smart Plants Drought Smart Plants on Nov 03, 2014
    Coleus are usually grown as an annual plant, so keeping it for any length of time could be wasted effort. Even in areas that don't get any cold weather, they really aren't meant to grow as a perennial. One thing that you could do is take cuttings off your plant, and discard the old part. I find that growing my own cuttings is the best way to have healthy plants, because they seem to be perfectly adapted to my conditions. In addition, if they were root bound from where they were grown before or in the wrong kind of soil this prevents that issue.
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    • @Bonnie you are so knowledgeable, thank you for sharing with us. I just want to attest to the Coleus growing in Florida at least in the Tampa Bay area. We have them outside in pots all year round in the shade and they are HUGE and beautiful. We haven't even fertilized them.
  • Steve Brown Steve Brown on Nov 04, 2014
    Mine don't do well in full sun.
  • Caroni Lombard Caroni Lombard on Nov 04, 2014
    You might need to prune your coleus. Yours looks quite leggy. As Drought Smart Plants said, cuttings root easily in water and produce new, young plants. You could do that too. Or you could try repotting it.
  • DiannaLynne DiannaLynne on Nov 04, 2014
    I'd go along with the pruning and starting new. Choose healthy looking tips, cut just below a node in the stem, remove larger leaves leaving a bare stem (4-6 inches) with a few leaves on top and place cuttings in water on a shelf with light but not direct sun. Pot them up when they have good roots. I do this frequently with tender leggy plants, and it's very easy. Sometimes if you cut the entire plant back, repot the root ball with a couple of inches of stem, it will come back from roots and do well.
  • Claudia Claudia on Nov 04, 2014
    Alice, Coleus usually do better in partial shade as they tend to fade in direct sun. Also, be sure to deadhead the flowers as they appear. The variety you have is very pretty and can easily be propagated. Take cuttings, leaving 3 leaves, dip the cut stem in rooting powder, plant deeply in fresh soil. While you can enjoy coleus in water, the roots formed aren't the same.
  • Guilbault Guilbault on Nov 05, 2014
    La famille des coleus n,aime pas le froid! La plante mère ne vit pas très longtemps a l'intérieur ce qu'il faut faire est de couper les branches et de les mettre dans un contenant de verre transparent il feront des racines en 2 semaines et vous n'avez qu'a les rempoter ,il aime la lumière ,c'est ce qui leur donne de la couleur .de cette façon vous multiplier vos plants & en offrir a vos amies , puis au printemps vous pouvez les remettre a l'extérieur. voila ! Caroline
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Nov 05, 2014
    Alice, it is possible you have a cultivar that is not sun-tolerant. Look for ones that have some variation of "Sun" in their name, like "Alabama Sunset" or "Burgundy Sun." There is also a whole "Solar" series that is known for its sun tolerance. If you go to a good local nursery instead of a big box store, there is a much better chance the help will be able to guide you in the right direction.
  • Shanna C Shanna C on Nov 12, 2014
    They are annuals in Texas and do best in partial shade. The spots on the leaves could indicate a fungus problem.