information on coleus plants
I know very little about gardening. I have a coleus that I started from a cutting in water. Your article says it is an annual. Mine has been potted for almost 3 years now. Is it a perennial? We live in Tucson, AZ and summers get hot. Questions: 1) Can this coleus be potted in the front yard that gets the sun from noon until sunset with temperatures in the shade reaching 106, sometimes hotter? 2) Can this coleus be planted and put on a patio that only morning sun until about 10 a.m.? It has been inside receiving this morning sun and doing great. I either need to cut it back because it is too big for the pot or transplant it and find another location to allow it to grow bigger. 3) Is this a hanging plant, a vine, or an upright plant? Some of the stalks are strong enough for it to grow up. Others are soft so the branches hang down. They are so soft that they break very easily. Thanks for your help.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
These plants are actually considered tender annuals since they cannot tolerate any cold - being in such a warm climate and growing yours inside would explain why yours has lasted as long as it has. I would definitely not place coleus where it will receive much sun, especially in such a hot region. Shade, or partial shade, is best for this plant. Sounds like the patio would be a good place for it but I would take cuttings of the plant just in case the warmer outdoor temps become to much for it. You'll also have to keep it pretty moist under these warmer conditions. You also have the option of simply cutting the plan back, which will not hurt it - kinda like getting a haircut. This will help keep its growth under control.
Coleus plants normally grow upright, but there are trailing types available. Stems that are quite soft and break may signal an issue, such as too much water. Check that the soil is moist but not overly wet. Also, if it's gotten quite large, it may need airing out to keep fungal issues from setting in. Again, cutting back the plant can help alleviate this.