How to Take Care of a Coleus Flower


Coleus flowers, or Solenostemon scutellarioides, is part of the Lamiaceae family and often referred to as flame nettle or painted nettle. According to the University of Florida, this plant is not native to North America, but some coleus species like the coleus x hybridus coleus, will grow in all of the USDA hardiness zones. The leaves of the coleus come in a range of colors with many varieties featuring a combination of colors. Choose coleus plants suited for your location for best results. Caring for coleus begins at planting.

Step 1

Saturate your coleus with water at planting. Check the soil twice a week to a depth of 1 inch. Water your coleus as needed when the soil is dry throughout the growing season.

Step 2

Pinch off emerging shoots on the growing coleus to promote thick foliage.

Step 3

Apply a water-soluble fertilizer at half-strength each month from June through August. This encourages growth in the coleus plant.

Step 4

Use pruning shears to remove the flowers on the coleus plants, if desired to lengthen the plants performance. Many gardeners do not care for the flowers and commonly remove them.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Pruning shears


  • USDA Plants Database: Solenostemon scutellarioides
  • Flame Nettle, Painted Nettle
  • University of Florida: Coleus x hybridus Coleus
  • Clemson University: Coleus
Keywords: Solenostemon scutellarioides, caring for coleus, growing coleus

About this Author

Diane Dilov-Schultheis has been writing professionally since 2000. She is a food and travel writer who also specializes in gaming, satellites, RV repair, gardening, finances and electronics. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been published on Yahoo!, the Travel Channel and Intel.