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starting coleus from seed

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by coleus69 on April 08, 2006 05:29 AM
hey I'm trying to start some coleus in a pot from seed it's been a while how long til I see a sprout?I planted like 3-4 in the same pot figuring some might not sprout.
by SpringFever on April 08, 2006 06:13 AM
It is about 12-15 froim what the pack says but mine were a little faster than that!! Welcom to the forum coleus69!!
Are you keeping the coleus indoors or out?

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by Bill on April 08, 2006 07:51 AM
[teacher] Coleus seeds require light for germination so hopefully you didn't cover them. The soil temperature should be kept between 70-75 degrees for quickest germination (10-15 days...)

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by coleus69 on April 08, 2006 08:48 AM
ok thanks.I'm keeping indoor by the window for now.Should I water them often?
by tkhooper on April 08, 2006 09:11 AM
most seed benefit from being kept moist. The problem with watering coleus seeds is that you might accidently cover them so they don't get the light they want. Do you have a mist-er you can use? Or are you using a tent or lid over the pot to hold the moisture in the soil?

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by D on April 08, 2006 10:16 AM
I started a package of seeds in one medium size pot and placed it in my green house. It did take a long time but finally they did come up and they are looking good. The little green leaves are just starting to get some of the markings. Cant wait till they are big enough to go out of the green house.......
by coleus69 on April 09, 2006 01:56 AM
well I watered them cause the soil was really dry.I did try germinating 5 seperate seeds in a tupperware container and I looked today and all 5 have white tips coming out should I plant 'em right away(I have white tip facing down in soil right?),how many should I plant per pot(should I start small and transplant?), and how big of a pot?
by coleus69 on April 14, 2006 07:49 AM
well most of 'em sprouted I got 2 pots 1 4.5(2 plants) inch one and 1 6 inch one(4 plants) I know they're supposed to be spaced out more like 12", but can I still grow them in the same spot or once they get bigger try to transplant?
by tkhooper on April 15, 2006 09:51 PM
no transplanting until they have at least 2 sets of true leaves on them. That doesn't count the seed leaves. I frequently keep several in one large pot indoors because they get leggy during the winter when the light just isn't as bright for as long as they like. Coleus don't like to dry out although they don't want to be soggy either. So I would suggest keeping an eye on the soil. Also you know that as they grow you want to pinch them back so that they are busy rather than leggy. Of course you don't have to worry about that while they are seedlings.

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by JV on April 25, 2006 02:05 PM
Can I put mine under lights and spray dailey or would it be better to not place under lights. Outside on porch would not give enough light plus still gets down to 50's here at night. Where my plants are in the Iguana room stays warm for Lcui and Rici. But light from outside is not the best only half day of a morning.

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by tkhooper on April 26, 2006 01:06 AM
mine actually sprouted sitting in a north facing window and I'm not sure that it gets any direct light over there. But the kitchen is bright all the time even when the lights are off. I certainly didn't need an artificial light for them to sprout. I would mist and use a humidity tray and if possible put a little tent around it until they sprout. Maybe use one of those chinese food trays with the little clear plastic lid if you have one. Those work great for little seedlings like these. Just be careful that you don't cover them with dirt and they stay moist and you should have seedlings. They take a while to sprout for me so patience helps lol. Not my strongest characteristic.

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by coleus69 on April 28, 2006 12:37 PM
I thought coleus was fast growing(I heard some see colors in 2 weeks), or was I wrong?I still only have first set of leaves on all I see 1 set of 2nds starting to come out everything looks fine though.Any comments on how fast inddor coleus grows?
by SpringFever on April 28, 2006 12:53 PM
Took mine about 4 weeks to show color... sounds like you are on the right track Coleus69..

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by coleus69 on April 28, 2006 01:44 PM
cool:)maybe I should start another thread, but i was looking for some seeds of rarer coleus(solar sunrise,saturn and lots others)I can't find any does anybody sell these?
by coleus69 on April 30, 2006 05:29 AM
one of the seedlings I think croaked near base of stem it's wilted it got too dry I think.Iwas wondering how long do you wait to start fertilizing and what ratio do you start with?
by tkhooper on April 30, 2006 06:26 AM
That depends on several different things. First of all what kind of soil is it planted in? Some of the miracle gro pottings soils have fertilizer in it that is enough for 3 months.

The problem I have with fertilizing coleus is that they get leggy and straggle looking rather than developing the larger leaves that I like. Plus it tries to bloom so I am constantly picking off the flower spikes. So I fertilize only when the plant begins to look alittle peaked. I know sounds funny doesn't it. But mine will get droopy when it wants some fertilizer.

As far as getting the rarer types of coleus there is a nursery that sells mostly coleus called I think you'll find every kind you could want there.

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by coleus69 on April 30, 2006 07:01 AM
it's schultz organic potting soil,it says it's got natural fertilizers that will slowly feed up to 9 months(feather meal,sulfate of potash).
by tkhooper on May 01, 2006 01:05 AM
ok nothing until after the nine months are passed. And after that follow the directions on your fertilizer only at half strength.

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by coleus69 on May 18, 2006 09:11 AM
ok I guess I wanted to update(I'm impatient lol)they've been growing for over month now and they still look the same basically.I have two in a clay pot(6 inch I think)and they look they haven't done a thing.I have 4 in green plastic pot and one has 2nd set of leaves rest look like they are starting to get their 2nd pair of leaves.How many pairs of leaves do they get before they start showing color?The variety I'm growing is rainbow mix if it's any different.
by tkhooper on May 19, 2006 01:43 PM
The "Fack" coleus that I grew from seeds have big purple centers and I could see it on the first set of true leaves when they were no more than sprouts but for some with a green edge they may have to get some size on them before you see anything.

Yes mine stayed small for a very long time too. If they have their second set of leaves you might try adding some have strength fertilizer. Also I moved mine to a sunnier window and it grew better. Within a year it was 3 feet tall. Now I have some of it's clone babies and they are two feet tall.

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by gardeningmomma on June 13, 2006 01:26 PM
Can someone please explain what is meant by pinching.
Thanks [Embarrassed]
by joclyn on June 13, 2006 06:11 PM
you pinch off the leaves/stems that you don't want...with your fingernails. you can use a small scissor or a clipping tool made specifically for trimming small plants.

the purpose is to promote growth in another area of the plant - usually to make the plant bush out (as opposed to continuing to let it grow tall) or to stop flowers from forming.

you can also pinch off a good-sized piece of stem so that you can root it - for most plants this is done by stripping any leaves from the bottom-most section of the stem and putting it in a container with water until root form - then you plant it in soil.

the above applies to most plants - not just coleus. you can prune anything to attain the shape that you prefer [Smile]

i've got a pack of coleus seeds. it's a little late for putting them outside - plus the weather hasn't been the greatest (still cool at night).

so i guess i'll just do them as indoor plants...maybe i'll take some cuttings in the spring and root them for planting outside...

do the seeds need any special treatment (hot water soak, refrig time) before putting them in the soil?

they need light to germinate...bright light? indirect? is under a grow light too much?

i've never grown anything from seed (i've always gotten plants or cuttings) so i'm a bit nervous about it...i want to do it right.
by gardeningmomma on June 14, 2006 03:26 PM
I just grew some from seeds. I put them on top of the refrigerator and today- I have little green shoots! I planted them about 10 days ago. I am also planning on keeping them as house plants. Up until this year, I haven't usually grown anything from seed, but I attempted polka dot plants and the coleous. They are both look good- so must be doing something right!!!

I didn't do anything special with the seeds- simply placed them in a container of Miracle Gro and misted them daily. They also have bright indirect sunlight, which I would imagine helped them. Sorry I can't be of more use. Maybe someone else has more advice.
Good Luck! Thank you for the advice on pinching. [Embarrassed]
by joclyn on June 14, 2006 05:55 PM
thanks, g-momma! 10 days is quick...might be able to put some outside in the beds then (on top of having some as houseplants)

top of my fridge is pretty dark tho...i'll have to find a decent spot. did you cover the container with anything (like plastic wrap) to keep the moisture in?

pinching the polka-dots back will cause them to bush out nicely!! in fact, you really need to pinch them back on a regular basis or they will get leggy (which can happen pretty fast).
by gardeningmomma on June 15, 2006 12:23 PM
I used a take out container. It had a green bottom and a clear lid with holes in it. I kept it covered until yesterday when I saw the green shoots.

Thanks for the advice on the polka dots. I've given so many cuttings away already. They are beautiful!!!
by treelove on September 01, 2006 02:58 AM
Hello, Coleus 69 and everybody who participated in this thread!

I am just curious how your plants are doing. I also grew coleus from seeds this spring. And it was my first successful experiment with growing plants on our balcony. They are doing very well, although they are not too tall. I can hardly keep up with pinching their flowers.

However, I do have a question about their coloring. I bought a packet which just said "rainbow mix" on it (the same as yours, Coleus 69)no Latin name, but all my plants are pretty much the same: dark purplish with w dark pink streak in the middle and a green edge; there are a couple just green ones, and two reddish ones. Not that they are not beautiful but it is not the same striking "rainbow" of colors that I saw in a botanical garden where I fell in love with this plant.

SO I was wondering whether this relative monotony of coloring is due to my inadequate care or if it has to do with the type of coleus.

thank you all,

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