what's wrong with my coleus plant? Its dying?

gardengurl49(z7 MD)July 4, 2005

This is my first coleus plant.. and I thought it was doing great until I found out one of its leaves look wilted and dying.. it is very limp.. however the other leaves look okay

it does not need to be watered which I know because i can feel the soil is moist.

i thought coleus were fairly simple to take care of..

i have it indoors in an airconditioned house taking in a place a good distance from the window.

wat am i doing wrong?

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Coleus are from the tropics which means they love heat and bright light ...even under a shade tree they would get very bright light outside in summer. Some Coleus even love full sun. Could you find a place outside for your Coleus? Also, they love water but drainage must be good...then let the soil dry out a little before more watering. Outside I water almost daily but it's very hot here and my containers are almost overstuffed with plants.

If you prefer growing your Coleus inside, put it in brightest window (but perhaps not in direct sun). It will not require as much water in cool temps as it won't be growing as much. You might want to pinch out the very tip end leaves to make it branch and grow more compact. Also, you can take cuttings and root easily in soil or water for extra plants.

I 'carry over' my Coleus from cuttings inside each winter and they do fine inside but they really revel in the heat and bright light of summer outside. The colors of the leaves are much deeper, richer and I'm amazed at the faster stronger growth when I go out on watering patrol at dawn...the only time I venture out of air conditioning! Good luck...josh

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 3:30AM
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Are you sure the moistness is not just all on the top - has the whole rootball been watered? Dig a bit, because some soil mixes, with lots of peat, don't drain well and only the top stays wet.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 6:26AM
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Is it just one leaf or most/all of them? If just one just pinch it off. Also the AC may make it a bit too cold. It may also need a bit more light.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 4:09PM
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gardengurl49(z7 MD)

it is a KONG coleus and the plant tag says it needs PARTIAL SUN/SHADE

it is next to a window that only lets a partial amount of the sun in..

ive been away so the house hasn't had air conditioning for 5 days and another leaf has shriveled up a lot and another one is starting to also..

i dug into the soil and yes it is moist down there too.. I dont see how the soil is staying so moist b/c i havent watered it in days

what shoudl i do? Please help, I don't want this beautiful plant to die :(

    Bookmark   July 10, 2005 at 10:49PM
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Garden, the tags in plants are generic. Partial Sun/Shade is relavent. Coleus do best in bright light..You said it's next to a window, but which direction is it facing? North wouldn't be bright enough..east would be ok. A few feet from south or west is fine, too..in summer..In winter, give the Coleus as much sun as possoble.
If the soil's still wet, and you haven't had the ac on, then most likely the soil isn't well-draining..It's probably a heavy, black, rich soil..If you want to keep it indoors, I'd repot and add sand/perlite to the soil. A little peat helps, too..
Also, the colder a house is, the longer soil takes to dry. Toni

    Bookmark   July 13, 2005 at 12:16AM
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gardengurl49(z7 MD)

hopefulauthor- oh i SEE now. I put it outside in bright light and now I see new leaves growing! How are we supposed to care for them through the winter? im in zone 6/zone 7 and i doubt it will survive next to a window :( and artificial lights r out of the question..

    Bookmark   July 16, 2005 at 9:13PM
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Garden, sure you can keep the Coleus throughout the winter..I live in Il, z5..When I lived in Chicago, I had one about 4 yrs..(until it got spider mites, my fault)
Why wouldn't it survive in a window? If you've a south or west window, or a bright east, it should do fine..pinch flowers, they're cute, but take nutrients from the leaves..You want to keep it cooler during winter months..Pinch the tips (leaves) every month or so to keep it compact. It should do fine..oh and feed while plant is growing..Toni

    Bookmark   July 17, 2005 at 5:23PM
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I have fallen victim to the infamous garden tag. I just moved to zone 10 and instead of unpacking boxes, I rushed to the local plant nursery and bought plants for my deck. My deck receives ONLY morning light until 11-ish and then shade the rest of the day. This morning I researched how to take care of my new friend and found out it "LOVES" it hot! ugh! Are the current deck conditions ok, or should I move it to a better location, if so how much sun and from which direction? What is the first sign that my Coleus King is dying and I need to take action?

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 12:09PM
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Dmw, I know your question was asked a month ago...Since you're now in z10 the east light should be sufficient for your Coleus. Especially if it's getting some light during the day..direct summer sun in z10 may scorch a Coleus. Toni

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 2:16PM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

Direct sun will almost certainly scorch a Kong coleus. They seem to have a thinner leaf than many of the other varieties and don't take direct sun well. Just my experience in zone 4.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 4:45PM
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Recently I inherited a coleus that was very tall and stalky. Almost immediately I noticed it was dropping leaves. It was very root-bound so I repotted into a large pot using Miracle Grow Moist potting soil. The roots were so tightly bound, I really couldn't seperate them much at all. It's been a week now and it's still dropping leaves. It was in the living room opposite 2 west-facing windows but also in front of the front door. So today I moved it to a warmer location in my house on top of a file cabinet in front of a west-facing window. Is there anything else I should know???

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 9:38PM
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I know this is old but may help someone searching, coleus need humidity especialy in the winter with the heater going. set it on a large saucer, or planter base with rocks and water so it can get some moisture. a humidifier is even better

also in the warmer months, let the poor plant outside! they can handle a pretty good amount of heat and sun, they may not like direct hot sun too well but they are not born to sit in a dimmly lit room year round.

the amazingly vibrant colors they can produce require some sun

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 11:05PM
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I have a shady spot on my porch. I have been trying to think what I can put there, that will tolerate the shade. It does get about an hour of direct sun in the morning, but that's it. My mom got me a Coleus plant. The tag on it says "Tolerant, Great Indoors or Out, Low Light and High Light." After reading the posts that they need bright light, now I'm wondering if this plant will be alright? I would greatly appreciate any advice. Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 3:01PM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

jandtsmom you might get noticed if you make another thread instead of using one posted 4 years ago. I think it would need more light. I have some in pots that only get about 3 hours of indirect light through a fine curtain and they are not doing very good but the plants I have outside that get 3-4 hours of direct sun and the plants I have under lights for 14 hours are doing great. I will have many plants for trade next spring.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 6:33AM
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Well. I took stem cuttings from a coleus and rooted them in water and they seemed to be doing just fine. After the roots grew I moved them into a pot with soil and placed them in a room with distance from an east window. It gets indirect sunlight about 2-3 hours a day. Recently I've noticed that some of the leaves are turning yellow and 2 of the new plants don't look good and have started to wilt. The sun outside is pretty strong, Should I place them outside anyway? Or any other way for saving the plant?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 3:45AM
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Should I cut the whole stalk to the soil, just the leaves, or no pruning at all?

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 3:15AM
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I have gone crazy with coleus this year. They come in so many varieties, each time I see a new one, I must buy it! Anyway, they are all outside in filtered light (zone 9) and doing beautifully, except that something likes them besides me. The leaves are getting huge hole in them where some insect has had a field day. Some of the leaves are being eaten right down to the stems. I must stop this trespasser. I can't find anything on the leaves and I'm using slug bate. HELP!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 1:51PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Sarah, you have a valid question but have asked it in a discussion that started years ago. Next time you're welcome to start your own discussion for a new question. If you come back, here's an answer for you...

This discussion may answer your question. Every time I bring coleus inside, there's always a green caterpillar or two. They blend in, and are usually on the bottom of the leaves. You may find some black specks around your plants - that's caterpillar poo.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 9:51AM
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to gardengurl49
I live in the tropics and had exactly and precisely the same problem which I solved by bringing the coleus into the house.

It was in bright light outside and simply did not like it. Each evening when I went to water it already had some but was very wilted. So I brought it in doors and presto.. it does not wilt now.

When instructions for plants say 'full sun', or bright light then here in the tropics it does not apply because the sun is hotter. The same for any country, full sun in the North is far weaker than in the south.

Let any plant tell you what it is happy with. If it wilts it needs more shade.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 8:49AM
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I have an unknown variety of coleus; spent last summer in partial shade and did fine. Brought indoors for winter (zone 5) and seemed to thrive. I had to trim it several times. Often had several 'flower stalks'. By February I noticed random leaves (small and large, etc.) turning yellow and dropping. Flower stalks have dried up with no new ones. From this forum, I picked up issues such as root bound and humidity. I keep the humidity at around 30%. The plant is in a southern window and gets a thorough watering once a week. Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2015 at 9:53AM
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