My Overwintering Coleus

‘Henna’ Coleus

When the outside temperatures began to drop in the fall I knew there were a few tender plants that I wanted to preserve for next year like my coleus. I brought 2 varieties of coleus indoors in the hopes of planting them again in the Spring of 2011 and both are doing good! I put the pot near a sunny southern window and one of them is thriving while the other is just getting by – but that’s good enough to get it through the winter.

The thriving coleus is ‘Henna’ which has some really nice foliage. The underside of the leaves is a deep red color while the top side of each leaf right now is a shade of green When it receives more sunlight during the growing season the top side of each leaf gains a more reddish coloration.

‘Alabama Sunset’ Coleus

The other coleus I’m overwintering is ‘Alabama Sunset’. ‘Alabama Sunset’ has some similar coloring to Henna in the red but the green is much more of a lime green and mixes with the red on both sides of the leaves with a mottled variegation. I saved two cuttings of this coleus and planted them in the same pot for space conservation reasons. When the last frost date gets close I’ll make cuttings of the ‘Alabama Sunset’ and plant them outdoors.

The ‘Henna’ coleus will probably remain in its pot so that it can be easily moved around in the future. Coleus is a tender perennial and will stay alive as long as it isn’t killed by the frosts! From what I’ve seen of ‘Henna’, it makes an excellent houseplant!

What plants did you overwinter this year?

11 thoughts on “My Overwintering Coleus”

  1. When I was younger I always had coleus in my house. Loved it in the winter. I have some in my greenhouse but I water logged it too much and some have died:( I'm also wintering blue sage, pineapple sage, brugs, geraniums, Diamond Frost and a few other annuals. It's warming up now and more sun so hopefully less heat to the greenhouse but the plants are doing well. It'll be nice to take all of them out and plant them come spring!

  2. Dave,
    I save a couple coleus each year too. I dig them up, keep them in posts near the windows, they never look the greatest during the Winter season but they survive. Then around April I take new cuttings, root them in new pots and they are then ready to plant out doors when the time is right say, mid May. It has worked for a number of years. Either I am cheap, or as my friends tell me I should say, I am frugal!
    By the way, yes I am from Burlington. Send an email with your address and I will respond about the town and relatives whom you may know. Jack

  3. I love Henna Coleus. I have never, ever had success with overwintering Coleus, now that I have a greenhouse, we shall try again. I actually just sowed some mixed coleus seeds in there, hopefully they will poke their heads up soon.

  4. Tina,

    I should have overwintered the pineapple sage but I'll have to find anew one this year. Awesome plant!


    Nothing wrong at all with being frugal! They were transplants to WI and moved away after retirement so we have no family to speak of around there now. They liked the area though! Lake Geneva was beautiful.

  5. I had some wonderful coleus this year, but I have never had luck overwintering plants, insects, etc.

    You are so good at propagation, maybe this method would work better for me, smaller plants, less space.


  6. I overwintered geraniums and coleus last year… but not this year. It was successful (very), but I didn't feel up to it.

    In fact, a couple of my very old houseplants that usually LOVE being outdoors succumbed to "something odd" this Fall when I brought them in. So I had to do away with them.

    That's okay. I can start over.

  7. Sadly, once again I got too busy and didn't bring in the plants that I had intended to rescue, other than several zonal geraniums and my amaryllises. I did drag a few pots into the greenhouse and throw mulch over them–if they survive, so be it, and if not, well, there are always more plants. I love your coleus and am glad they've overwintered so far so good.

  8. I have coleus too. Plus, I'd seen how well my purple heart does in my yard, coming back year after year, so I put my variegated wandering jew outside last summer and it did nicely too. I'm keeping it, and several starts of it, indoors since I'm not sure if they'll come back in my yard.

  9. I do not overwinter much inside due the chewing jaws of kitty cats. I do have a Banana tree in the No No Room. In the sunroom I have 2 Asparagus ferns, 3 hanging pothos and 1 small succulent way up high out of paws range. The sunroom would be perfect for wintering many plants but my cats come first in my life so most plants remain outside and succumb to the winter days. Wow, think I could do a blog on this topic…

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