Coleus or cretonne care

It is, even if you don’t realize it, one of those plants that has always been present in homes. And we say that, perhaps, you have not been able to identify it because it plays the mistake. The range of colors of its leaves makes it difficult, on many occasions, to identify one of the most popular and grateful indoor plants that exist. It will be, really, the only complication that will arise because the care of the coleus or cretonne is manageable even for the most inexperienced hands. One of the reasons why it is one of the essential plants.

Although we might think so, the fact that its cultivation is simple is not the only thing that makes it irresistible. The greatest attraction of the coleus lies in its unique leaves, both in terms of their design and in terms of their colors. And it is that its variety of tones is precisely what makes this plant play absentmindedness. Because, far from having an established color, we can enjoy it in a wide range that ranges between green, fuchsia and black.

So let’s discover the care of the coleus. A plant capable of decorating any space with its mere presence.


As important as being clear about the care of the coleus is knowing a little more about this plant. Since we will not be able to recognize it at first because of its color, there are other details that will allow us to identify it. To begin with, one of its most peculiar features is its beautiful velvety leaves. In addition to this, these are characterized by being variegated. A term that refers to the fact that this part of the plant has different shades.

The little care of the coleus far outweighs its beauty. Get this amazing plant here

That said, let’s find out what are the care of the coleus or cretonne. A delicious tropical plant from Southeast Asia that, with the necessary care and even grown in a pot, can reach half a meter in height.

1. Give it a good light, essential for its well-being and beauty

Taking into account that it is a tropical plant, we could make the mistake of believing that it needs direct light. And anything farter from the reality. Coleus demands very good light, but always indirectly. And it is not something negotiable: both the health of the plant and the color of its leaves depend largely on the amount of light it receives.

Both the excess and the defect of light can take a serious toll on our coleus. If we expose it to direct sun, its leaves will burn. If it is in a dimly lit space, they will lose color and intensity; and can even fall off.

2. Finding the right location, vital

As much as we think that the coleus can be placed anywhere, it is not. We are talking about a highly sensitive plant, so we will have to prevent it from being exposed to air currents, both natural and artificial, typical of air conditioners.

But beware: because as harmful as the cold is the heat. So if we decide to place our plant next to the window, an ideal place for it, be careful with the radiator. The extra degrees won’t do you any good.

3. Water correctly, the most delicate of coleus care

We come to the point of coleus care that we will have to monitor closely. Because, although we think that being tropical requires a lot of water, it is not like that: it only needs to have the substrate always slightly moist. During the winter months, the ideal is to reduce the irrigation pattern. However, in the summer months we will have to increase it.

Due to its composition, an acidic substrate is beneficial for coleus. Discover its composition

Be very careful with flooding our coleus. Doing so is likely to cause root rot. For this reason, and in addition to choosing a substrate that favors the evacuation of water and is rich in organic matter, it is essential to choose correctly between the different types of pots. The ideal for coleus: a clay one.

4. Provide good environmental humidity, crucial in the cold months

During the cold months and since the coleus is grown indoors, it is important that it has a good degree of environmental humidity. Only in this way can its leaves be hydrated and therefore maintain their color.

5. Fertilize regularly and at the right time, important for its growth

Coleus is demanding when it comes to nutrients. Although it does not need a rich substrate, it does require regular fertilization.

A regular dose of fertilizer in the months of good weather will promote the growth of our coleus. Buy our universal liquid fertilizer here

To promote both its growth and the vigor of its colors, it is essential to apply a liquid fertilizer in the irrigation every fifteen days during the spring and summer months.

6. Prune once a year, engine for its development

Autumn is the ideal time to carry out this task. Pruning makes it easier to give it that striking leafy appearance of the coleus. The ideal is to pinch those leaves that we see spiky and that are at least between 15 and 20 centimeters.

And by the way: when your coleus blooms, remove the flowers. They do not have much aesthetic value and reduce the vigor of the plant.

7. Control pests, the last care for coleus

Although we grow plants indoors, we must know that this does not exempt them from attacks by pests. However, we must not lose sight of one detail: on many occasions, the best way to eliminate pests from the garden or inside the house is to prevent their appearance. Something that, on many occasions, is in our hands.

Stopping the advance of pests is essential for the well-being of the coleus. Discover the characteristics of this triple action

All you have to know is that two of the natural enemies of coleus, the red spider and the white fly, appear when the environment is too dry. If we detect its presence in our plant, we will have to stop it as soon as possible with an insecticide.

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