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Planting coleus seeds: When and how to do it

Planting coleus seeds: When and how to do it

Coleus seedlings

Are you looking for a fun and interesting plant project? Coleus seeds are a great option for those looking to start an indoor plant project. They come in many different colors, shapes, and sizes that make them perfect for any space. Plus they can provide you with the color you’ve been missing in your life!


Growing plants from seeds can seem like a daunting process for any new indoor gardener. However, with the right type of plant and advice, it’s truly a fun, educational, and rewarding experience.

In this post, I’ll be covering how to grow coleus from seeds. Why? Because coleus plants are some of the easiest plants to grow and maintain. They make great houseplants because they require very little care, have interesting colors and patterns that will stand out in your home. What better place to start?

First thing first: Getting coleus seeds

The first thing you need to do is to either harvest seeds from an existing coleus plant, or buy/order seeds for planting online. You can use the same kind of seeds for indoor and outdoor growing.

Not sure which coleus seeds to get? You can purchase the seeds online, but they are also sold at many indoor gardening shops and home improvement stores. You may find some nice varieties at a local nursery or through a gardening friend. Be on the lookout for varieties with interesting leaf shapes and unique colors.

You may find a limited selection in your local stores, so I’d recommend you to head online for a bigger variety of colors and patterns. I would recommend buying specific varieties instead of mixed colors. From my experience, the mixed color packages tend to be a lot of the same and very common varieties.

Be careful about ordering seeds from places like Amazon and eBay, as there are a lot of seed scammers out there. Just consider all the people trying to sell Blue coleus.

All seeds have an expiration date

How long do coleus seeds stay viable? You can say that the seeds are alive, and their viability decreases over time. This means that your coleus seeds will only remain viable for a certain amount of time, and should therefore be planted before the expiration date.

On each seed packet, there will be a statement regarding how long indoor coleus seeds are viable. If you were to plant seeds that have expired, they likely won’t sprout or grow at all.

Is coleus easy to grow from seed?

Compared to other plants such as some pepper plants or cacti, coleus is incredibly easy to grow from seed.

As with any type of seed you grow, you can of course experience difficulties with germination.

If your coleus seeds are not germinating you can consider either starting over with new seeds as they could simply be a bad batch, or try to plant them in different indoor conditions.  If they still don’t germinate after trying both of these things you should consider waiting until spring when the weather gets warmer and there are more hours of sunlight.

Small Coleus seedlings

Growing coleus from seed indoors

As mentioned earlier, coleus seeds are easy to grow and do not have any special or extraordinary requirements when it comes to planting them in a container.

You can grow coleus from seed indoors all year round, and even in the winter months, but be prepared to provide it with lots of light and warmth. For the seeds to germinate, the ideal temperature should be around 20-25 degrees Celsius / 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit.

4 simple steps for growing coleus seeds:

  • Put your coleus seeds in a plastic container with normal potting soil
  • Make sure to mist the soil, this can be done either before or after putting the seeds in
  • Drizzle the seeds on the surface of the soil, and cover them with an extra thin layer of soil
  • Place a see-through plastic bag to keep the pot warm and moist, preferably in a spot with light, but not too much direct sun

It’s important that you don’t let your coleus seedlings get too hot by placing them near appliances or vents. If you live in hot, dry climates it may be a good idea to keep your seedlings slightly protected for the first few weeks, while they establish themselves.

How long does it take to grow coleus from seed?

Although coleus is generally a fast-growing plant, growing it from seed will require a bit of patience. Germination will typically take a few weeks, and the time required to grow from a tiny seedling to a “normal” size plant can take up to a year, depending on the season you’ve planted them in.

All plants need some light to germinate, but some plants do better with more or less. The seed packets will usually provide instructions for indoor planting, so have a look at the instructions for your coleus variety.

Ideally, you should start your seeds indoors in early spring if you want the best chance at seeing flowers within their first year of life.

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