Watering Coleus

Coleus is an excellent plant to brighten up a drab corner of a garden or inject some color on a patio. Beautiful variegation and stunning colors are the trademarks of the Coleus, and the root system requires consistent watering to keep this plant looking its best. Coleus has somewhat high water needs, but it is still a very easy to care for plant.


How To Tell If Coleus Needs Watered

The easiest way to determine when Coleus needs water is to check the soil. If the top 1 inch of the soil is dry, then the plant needs water. The leaves of the Coleus will droop or wilt if the plant becomes too dry. If you notice the tips of the leaves turning yellow, then the plant is overwatered. Container plants are more likely to be overwatered. If you suspect your potted Coleus is overwatered, then check the container to make sure it has drainage holes and that the holes are unobstructed.

How Often To Water Coleus

Newly planted Coleus will need to be watered daily for the first week. Once the plant is established, it may be able to go a few days before watering, depending on the weather and humidity in your area. Coleus has high water needs and generally prefers consistently damp soil.

Potted Coleus will need to be watered regularly, especially if grown in dry climates or during dry spells. The plant will need to be watered when the top 1 inch of the soil is dry.

Best Time To Water Coleus

During the spring and summer, it is best to water Coleus in the morning. Sunlight is necessary for a plant to grow, but the light and heat from the sun will dry the plant out. Starting the day hydrated will help protect the Coleus from the peak heat of the day.

Coleus grown outside will not need to be watered during the winter. If you live in a colder region and bring your Coleus inside during the winter months, you will want to wait until the top inch of the soil is dry to the touch before watering. Plants that are not actively growing may not need to be watered as often.

How To Water Coleus

Step 1 - Feel the soil.

Coleus needs water if the top 1 inch of the soil is dry. If the soil is damp, then you can wait to water. 

Step 2 - Water the soil.

Saturate the soil at the base of the plant. You want to get the root ball wet, but try to avoid getting the foliage damp. The velvety leaves of the Coleus can develop mold or fungus if constantly wet, especially if grown in partial shade. While the roots of the Coleus like lots of water, the leaves do not.

Step 3 - Check for signs of overwatering.

It is generally rare to overwater a Coleus planted in the ground, however, do not water if the top layer of the soil is wet or if there is standing water. For potted Coleus, make sure the water drains and there is no excess water in the pot.


Coleus Watering Tips

  • Make sure the top 1 inch of soil is dry before watering.
  • Drench the root ball and try to avoid getting the foliage wet.
  • Coleus grown in bright areas or containers may dry out more quickly and need to be watered more often.

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 Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 12-07-2021

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