Coleus Starter Kit Guide: The Perfect Plant For Your Shade Garden

Growing guides

Congratulations! You’ve got everything you need to start growing coleus. This Rainbow Mix will add stunning color to the shady areas of your garden. Coleus is an excellent choice for borders, containers, and even as an indoor houseplant. 

Coleus starter kit

Coleus plants are easy to grow and simple to start from seed. Our Coleus growing guide has all the steps to get you started. 

Coleus Starter Kit Growing Guide

How to instructions for garden kit

Growing Coleus From Seed

  • Start by following the instructions for hydrating the soil discs. Once the soil is expanded and in pots, you are ready to start planting.
  • Plant the coleus seeds 1/16 inch deep. This is pretty much just laying them on top of the soil.
  • The optimal soil temperature for germinating coleus is 70º to 75ºF, which is easy to control indoors.
  • Seeds will start sprouting in 10 to 14 days.

Knowing how and when to water is vital:

  • Water by misting until the seeds start to sprout.

  • Take care that the seeds don’t dry out too quickly - seeds need to stay moist but not waterlogged to sprout.

  • A dome can help retain moisture. Keep the dome on until they begin to sprout, around 10 to 14 days.

  • Once the seedlings are growing, continue to keep the soil moist. Less frequent but deep watering will encourage root growth.

  • The pot should not dry out completely between waterings, just the top layer of soil.

  • As the plants grow, water only the soil, keeping the plants dry.

Now that you’ve got your coleus growing and the watering down, you’ll want to consider the other thing that plants need – food. The soil that comes in your kit has added amendments that create a fertile growing environment. When you transplant to a garden or larger pots, you may need to add fertilizer. 

Adding organic matter (compost and/or leaves) to your garden beds before transplanting can help supplement the additional nutrients your plants need as they grow.  

The included pots can easily be planted directly into the garden if you’d like to grow outdoors instead. When soil and outside temperatures are above 60ºF, follow the directions on transplanting the biodegradable pots.

How to Transplant Coleus Seedlings Outdoors

Tender coleus seedlings need time to adjust to outdoor conditions. Over the course of a week or two, harden off the coleus plants by placing them outside. Start with just a few hours a day and gradually increase the exposure time—no need to rush. Take your time and make sure the weather is over 60ºF before transplanting.

  • Thin out your seedlings early on once they have sprouted. Remove some sprouts to make room for the largest and strongest of them to grow without competition. 

  • When transplanting, the included biodegradable pot allows for easy planting with minimal root disturbance.

  • Soak the pot in water to soften the fibers.

  • Break open the sides of the pot with your hands and bury the pot completely in the soil.

  • Water the newly transplanted seedling.

Growing Coleus Indoors

Coleus makes an excellent container plant and can be grown indoors.

  • Once the seedlings have outgrown their starter pots, they’ll need to be transplanted into bigger containers.
  • You’ll need a sunny window location. And remember to rotate your plants occasionally so they get even light exposure. 
  • Give Coleus regular watering and fertilizing for healthy plants.
  • You can increase humidity around the indoor plant by setting the pot on a tray of rocks and adding water to the tray. 

Additional coleus growing tips:

  • Coleus doesn’t tolerate cold at all and will die from frost. 

  • Prefers moist soil, but not waterlogged, as that will cause root rot.

  • Cut off flower buds to encourage the leaves to continue growing all season.

  • Pinching off top growth will result in bushier side growth.

  • Coleus can be propagated from cuttings.

Coleus are such an interesting plant to add to your landscaping. The variety of colors adds a dash of interest, and it grows well in shady spots. Now that you've got all the supplies in your Coleus Starter Kit, you can start growing Coleus today.

Have more growing questions? At Sow Right Seeds, we love gardening and want your experience to be successful. Explore our Planter’s Library for more gardening tips, and check out our selection of herb, flower, and vegetable varieties to see what you’d like to grow next!

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