Keeping a coleus tree healthy and thriving is a matter of knowing how to care for it properly. Here are some tips to help you take care of your tree. Learn about feeding, pruning, sun scalding, and overwintering. And remember to always prune the stems of your tree if you want to keep it looking beautiful.


Coleus trees thrive in rich, well-draining soil, so feeding them well is crucial to their health and growth. For optimum growth, use a soil-aerating fertilizer that contains plenty of perlite. Also, mulch them with gravel to retain moisture and prevent the spread of disease. Poor soil will not support your coleus’s growth, so choose a soil rich in nutrients and free of excess weeds.

During cooler months, protect your coleus tree from cold by bringing it indoors or providing indirect light. Depending on your zone, you may not need protection. In USDA zones 10 and 11, coleus trees are perennials, so they are not typically subject to frost damage. In colder climates, however, they are considered tender annuals.

A good soil mixture that contains sand and manure is important for maintaining coleus’s brilliant colors. Regular feeding of high nitrogen liquid fertilizer will also keep the foliage looking healthy. Carefully inspect your coleus for mealybug infestations. If you notice mealybugs or other insects, use a forceful water spray to clear them out. Alternatively, you can use a soft brush dipped in alcohol to remove any cottony masses.


Pruning a coleus tree requires an understanding of the plant’s needs. A coleus tree needs some maintenance, but it can live for several years in a frost-free climate. While some varieties are ready to be pruned sooner, it takes a few years before a coleus tree looks its best. For optimal growth, fertilize your coleus tree with a 10-10-10 liquid fertilizer once every 10 to 21 days during its active growing season.

When pruning a coleus, you should first prune the main stem, which will grow into the woody trunk. Continue pruning the additional stems that come from the main stem. Ideally, a coleus should have two-thirds bare stem and one-third full head. For example, a coleus with a 36-inch stem should have a head that measures about 12 inches in diameter. Additionally, each branch should have two or three nodes between the stem and branch.

Pruning a coleus tree is not difficult. Using clean gardening shears, cut the branch ends as close to the base of the tree as possible. Don’t prune too hard, as this could lead to a leggy plant.


There are several tips for overwintering your coleus tree. First, make sure your plant gets a good amount of light. This will keep its roots happy and keep it from drying out. It will also benefit from fast-draining soil. As the weather begins to cool down, you can begin transitioning your coleus to a brighter area of your house. If you plan to bring your coleus indoors, you’ll want to move it gradually, rather than moving it outside overnight.

Taking cuttings is also a great way to preserve your coleus plant. Take three to four-inch cuttings from your coleus and move them indoors. They can survive the cold of winter in a pot or window box. Place them in a sunny window or under a grow light. You can also water them often and fertilize them with a half-strength fertilizer once a week. Then, wait until spring and they should come back to life.

If you can’t wait until spring to replant your coleus, try rooting cuttings from the cold season. Ideally, they are three to four inches long, and should be dipped in rooting hormone to promote rooting. Once the cuttings have roots, they should be planted in individual pots in a sunny window. You can also prune them regularly to promote a full shape.

Avoiding sun scalding

Avoiding sun scalding on your coleus tree is an important part of caring for your plant. This type of damage occurs when temperatures rise above freezing and the sun shines directly on the tree. It usually affects the southwestern side of the tree trunk, but the damage can be compounded by snow cover. To prevent this damage, block as much sunlight as possible from reaching the tree.

Another important factor to keep in mind when caring for a coleus tree is its preferred light conditions. Most coleus prefer partial shade or morning sunlight. However, this can result in the plant experiencing sunscalding in the afternoon. Keeping the plant well-watered is also important.

During the summer months, bright sunlight may break the chlorophyll in the leaves of the coleus tree. This can cause the leaves to become pale and wilted. If this happens, you may need to shift the plant to a shadier location or try indirect light. If you have a coleus that has turned limp and wilted, check whether it is over-watered or too cold outside.

Growing from seed

Coleus trees grow well in areas of USDA hardiness zone 10 and above. They require moist soil that has a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0. The soil should also be well-drained. In areas with very low temperatures, it is better to grow coleus trees in containers indoors or in a sheltered outdoor area.

The easiest way to propagate coleus is from cuttings. To take cuttings, you need to cut off a vigorous tip of the stem, about six inches below the leaf node. The cuttings should be placed in water, freshened daily, and placed in indirect light. Within a week, the cuttings should develop roots. Afterward, you can transplant the cuttings into potting soil.

After the danger of frost has passed, you can plant coleus. It is best to plant it in an area that receives morning sun or partial shade, but is protected from wind. Dig a planting hole at least twice the size of the root ball. Make sure to water it deeply, and keep the soil moist for the first week.

Taking cuttings

The first step in propagating a coleus tree is to take stem cuttings. To do this, you will need a healthy, disease-free coleus plant. After cuttings have been taken, you will need to place them in moist potting soil or sterile media. The cuttings are then ready to be planted in the landscape. If your climate isn’t too cold, you can also overwinter them.

The process of taking cuttings from a coleus tree is easy, but it is important to be careful. It’s best to wait until the coleus has reached maturity before taking cuttings. Around fall, the plant will have lost its petals and developed brown seed pods. You can collect the seeds from the coleus after two weeks of drying.

To make coleus cuttings, first cut off a 4 to six-inch leaf segment. The cut should be made right above the leaf node. This ensures a healthy stem, as cuttings that are too large won’t root properly and will be tall and lanky.

Planting in a ball basket

When you want to add color to a ball basket, you may want to consider growing a coleus tree in it. This plant grows quickly and will add color to an otherwise plain container. It is a bedding plant, and will do well in a container containing other warm season annuals. It is also a good choice for tabletop plants, too.

Coleus trees are easy to grow and maintain, but they can be susceptible to a variety of pests and diseases. Some common problems include aphids, mealy bugs, and slugs. To prevent these problems, you can treat your Coleus trees with rubbing alcohol or insecticide soap. You can also use beer to treat slugs.

Choosing a good location for your coleus tree is essential for its health and growth. Choose a location that is easy to water and doesn’t get extremely dry. Make sure you choose a location that receives morning sun and afternoon shade. Coleus trees grow best in average to moist soil with adequate drainage. Avoid planting them in poor soil because they will suffer from root rot and leaf drop.

Overwintering in a pot

If you’ve recently planted your coleus tree, there are a few tips that can help it survive the winter months in a pot. To begin, you need to make sure it’s protected from frost. This way, the cold won’t kill it. You can also keep it in a cool place until it’s ready to go outdoors in the spring.

One of the most important things you can do to keep your coleus alive over the winter is to water it regularly. If you’re planning to leave the plant outdoors, you’ll need to water it once a week or so. However, during the winter, you should only water it when the soil is dry. You should also avoid fertilizing it during the winter.

Another tip for overwintering your coleus in a pot is to cut it back before the first spring frost. Remember, coleus stems are fragile and can snap under their own weight. Therefore, it’s best to prune the stems back to just a few nodes instead of a full tree. This will encourage the plant to concentrate on its foliage.