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5 Helpful Tips For Overwintering Coleus Indoors

5 Helpful Tips For Overwintering Coleus Indoors

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Coleus is a popular outdoor plant in zones 10-11. But did you know that you can grow it in colder climates, too?

Take your coleus indoors before the first frost and you can keep it safe until spring. But I have to warn you! This won’t be easy!

Coleus isn’t the best indoor plant and it will look a lot worse before it looks better! Prepare for this before you take it indoors!

Here are some tips that can help you keep this plant safe during the cold winter months!

Let’s get started!

#1 Check For Bugs

Checking for bugs is a crucial step before overwintering your plants indoors. That’s the first thing you should do before taking your coleus in.

Look under the leaves and into the soil. Spray the bugs off with water and repot your plant into fresh growing medium if you notice any signs of infestation.

You can also use organic insecticides, horticultural oils, and insecticidal soaps to get rid of pests.

#2 Place Them Near A Sunny Window

One reason why coleus doesn’t thrive indoors is lack of sunlight. So, place this plant near your brightest window.

If you don’t have room there, you can always supplement it with grow lights. Coleus doesn’t thrive in darkness and will become leggy if you don’t give it enough sunlight.

Yet, you shouldn’t expose it to direct sun or it will burn its foliage and lead to even more stress.

#3 Avoid Pruning 

Coleus plants will turn leggy in winter in most cases. One reason may be the lack of sunlight. Another is that your hoya is entering dormancy.

Whatever the reason, you shouldn’t prune leggy stems. This will stress out your plant and reduce its chances of survival.

What you do need to do is keep your hoya alive. Water it when necessary and give it as much sunlight as possible without burning its foliage.

You can get rid of elongated stems once your plant enters its growing season. This happens in spring and summer, so wait until the weather warms up before doing anything.

#4 Water When Necessary

The best way of keeping your coleus alive indoors over winter is to only water it when necessary.

This means checking the soil every once in a while and giving your plant something to drink whenever the top few inches are dry.

Don’t water it too often or you’ll risk overwatering. That can lead to root rot and kill your plant. It would be a shame for your coleus to die due to a fungus once you do all the hard work of keeping it safe from freezing temperatures.

#5 Harden Them Off In Spring

It is time to start thinking about moving your coleus outside as the weather begins to warm up and there’s no danger of frost anymore.

Make sure to harden your plant before taking it outdoors. It will reduce the shock and keep your plant alive.

Take it to a new spot and leave it there for about an hour before taking it back indoors. Increase the outdoor period every day until your coleus can last an entire day and night outside.

Bonus Tips: Take Cuttings

One of the tips for overwintering potted plants indoors is taking cuttings. This will ensure you still have something left even if your plant dies.

Take coleus cuttings in spring – March or April – and plant them in soil to get more plants.

And make sure to harden the cuttings off before taking them outside after the last spring frost.