Let me ask the obvious: Coleus surviving outdoors in winter

homey_birdJune 11, 2010


This might be just too obvious to most gardeners -- and therefore never been discussed. But since I did not find a thread on this topic in my search, let me ask:

In Bay Area weather (my zone is SS 15-16), is there any way I can get coleus to survive in winter?

I have put them under the canopy of New Zealand Flax in a container and plan to place it facing south-west, under an eave. Would that be sufficient to make it survive?

Thanks in advance -- I guess I am hoping that someone will share with me a secret to perform a miracle.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you have it in a container and plan on keeping it in a container, you can put it pretty much anywhere right now.

Come next winter, when your local news station forecast a frost or freeze warning, then move the container to wherever you think is totally frostproof -- for the night. Move it back into the ideal location in the morning.

If you have a huge container that isn't so mobile, just hope that you don't have any seriously cold weather come winter.

Something else I've noticed about coleus in winter: sometimes they just wither away when the weather is not necessarily cold but a combination of cold and wet.

Good luck.


    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 8:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My unheated greenhouse gets down to an average nighttime temperature of about 50 degrees. I have not been able to keep coleus over the winter. I tried three years in a row, and gave up. Al

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 8:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
iris_gal(z9 CA)

I gave up too. I thought perhaps a rooted cutting done in September may have had a better chance?

    Bookmark   June 12, 2010 at 1:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

iris gal That is the way I tried them. They lasted longer, but not long enough. Al

    Bookmark   June 12, 2010 at 9:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tropical_thought(San Francisco)

I am not even sure coleus can live indoors in the winter. The air inside the house is too dry. The best way is a heated green house like for orchids.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2010 at 11:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
erela(z9 SCal)

I take cuttings and leave them in water (in the house) over the winter. In early spring, I'll plant the rooted cuttings in containers and then plant them in the ground in the late spring. Its been working for me for several years.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2010 at 2:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
iris_gal(z9 CA)

Ok callistoga. That will save me a futile experiment!

do you change the water regularly, or top it off? How many months are they in water? Do you add diluted fertilizer? TIA

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 2:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The last two years I have grown my coleus from seed. Half of them I start too early and cannot keep them alive, the rest do fine. They are in four inch pots right now, having been transplanted from the cell packs where the seed was planted. I bought about 6 varieties from Hazzard Wholesale Seeds two years ago and they seem to be as viable as ever. I have plenty for next year, so will see how well they hold up in storage. Al

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 8:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks everyone. I never imagined there would be so much interest in getting them to make it across winter!

I guess that is what I'd do : take a cutting and get it to survive indoors. I would also try several places like bathroom window and kitchen etc; let me check if I can get them to survive.

Keep up the discussion! It has been very interesting and enlightening!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 4:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
erela(z9 SCal)

I usually change the water but sometimes I just top it off. They can be in water for many months. I don't add any fertilizer to the water. They don't seem to be very finicky.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 1:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have wintered over my Coleus the last two years in an unheated greenhouse, the trick being to have them in 4" pots on a heat mat.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 8:25PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Container Gardening in Zone 9a
Hi everyone, I am pretty new to gardening and would...
New home owner... looking for gardening ideas...
Hey everyone. I am a new home owner... there is currently...
Joseph Wind
You can look up your water company on this site
Here's an interesting site where you can look up your...
Growing canker on plum and nectarine trunks
I have a small back yard orchard, most of which was...
Aaron Davidsson
Please Help: Sheet Mulching leads to Bermuda Grass Nightmare!
Ok so we decided to lose our lawn "The Bay Friendly...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™