Fertilizing Coleus

Feeding or fertilizing outdoor plants like Coleus ensures the plants have the nutrients they need to be healthy and thrive. Coleus is a fast-growing plant that can quickly overflow planters or beds, and mature, established Coleus can benefit from routine fertilization. This extra boost of nutrition can promote new growth, which means more stunning, variegated foliage to enjoy.


How to Fertilize Coleus

Coleus does well when grown in rich soil that is slightly acidic to neutral, with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. You may not need to fertilize your Coleus under these conditions. You can do a soil test to determine the pH, and this will help you decide whether you need to fertilize and select the right product to use.

Thoroughly water the Coleus before applying fertilizer. The roots will better absorb the fertilizer if they are wet and this also prevents what is known as fertilizer burn. Read and follow the instructions on the packaging before applying fertilizer.

Best Time To Fertilize Coleus

You can fertilize Coleus during the spring and summer when the plant is actively growing. It is best to fertilize Coleus in the morning after watering the plant. You can re-apply fertilizer once per month. It is unnecessary to fertilize your Coleus if you bring it indoors for the winter and the plant is not actively growing.


Best Fertilizer For Coleus

We recommend a balanced all-purpose fertilizer for Coleus. Any of the 10-10-10 formulas is a good choice. Miracle Grow is good for Coleus, but make sure to follow the instructions before applying. You can use a slow-release fertilizer mixed into the soil if you find that easier.

Coleus Fertilizing Tips

  • Water the Coleus before applying fertilizer
  • Use a 10-10-10 formula fertilizer
  • Apply once per month during the growing season
  • You can use a slow-release fertilizer if you prefer


-Always wear protective gloves and a face mask when handling chemical fertilizers.

-Closely follow all directions and storage guidelines that are on the fertilizer label.

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 Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 12-09-2021

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