How long do coleus plants live for at gardens, is a worry, because coleus plants aren’t long-living. Thanks to their beautiful and vibrant foliage, coleus plants of the Lamiaceae family are the show-stoppers in most gardens.

Maximizing the Life Span of Coleus Plants

So, It becomes crucial to know why because it has different lifespans in indoor and outdoor conditions. We will discuss it along with its care guideline to increase the living possibility.

How Long Do Coleus Plants Live?

💥 Coleus plants live for approximately one year in outdoor conditions such as nurseries, however, in indoor setups, coleus plants in pots will easily thrive for three to four years. This means that they will thrive indoors when you follow the proper plant care requirements.


Coleus plants with the vibrant deep magenta impression right in the middle of their leaves look fantastic. Naturally, it has become a popular choice for indoor and outdoor conditions. Surprisingly, coleus has a different lifespan in different scenarios.

When you are growing them, you need to maintain proper lighting, watering, fertilizer, and pest control techniques. Which means that you must also make sure to have placed it in a suitable soil and giving food when you plant coleus in pots and raised beds.

In addition to this, the cultivation region also affects the lifespan of the coleus. Usually, it is a perennial plant in warmer conditions and an annual plant in a colder region. You need to ensure proper heating to prolong the lifespan of the coleus plants.

– Colder Regions

In colder regions of North America and Europe, coleus is mainly an annual plant, as a result to this the region is colder. It only thrives in the warmer seasons, including spring and summer. It will offer vibrant and attractive foliage only in warmer conditions.

When the temperature goes below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the plant starts suffering from overwintering issues. Basically, it will eventually die as the temperature drops further. That’s why growing coleus in cold regions becomes challenging. You need to ensure proper lighting to help the plant receive the required heat and survive.

Growing Vining Cucumbers

As colder seasons approach, the plant will start dying, which means that when winter is in full swing, it will die. Overall, you need to replant coleus next season. Also, the lifespan will depend on the severity of the winter in your region.

For instance, coleus in the USDA zones nine through 11 will be primarily an annual plant. It will thrive in the summer and fall seasons but die during winter. Also, its hardiness level is between nine and 11. 

As a result, it has a reasonably good chance of surviving the winter, but its vibrancy will not be as attractive as we expect. Conversely, coleus will easily thrive in warmer regions because it is a tropical plant. Basically, coleus indoors can live for an extended period as it receives warmth inside the home.

– Warmer Regions

You will see coleus in tropical and warmer regions across Asia and Australia, and these are the regions that see more heat, and in these regions, growing coleus is valuable as it is usually a perennial plant. The warmth helps the plant to strive better without any problems, as these plants would be more at peace and live longer.

When specifying that these plants need a warmer region, it means that that coleus would thrive when they are in a temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit and surviving healthily. As the temperature starts dropping, it starts losing energy.

Also, the temperature will affect its leaf color and vibrancy. According to their testing, most coleus varieties will thrive between 60-degree to 95-degree Fahrenheit.

That’s why it is ideal to grow coleus in indoors when it is in a warmer condition, as you can use incandescent bulbs to increase the heat artificially. You can grow it in hanging baskets and containers to help it grow. Maintaining the plant in such conditions becomes more manageable as you can control its heat, moisture, and food.

What are the Reasons for Shortened Lifespan Of Coleus?

Reasons to shorten lifespan of coleus are being overwatered, having a root rot, and being attacked by pests. These reasons will leave your plant to be in a critical stage in its life, where it will not function better, but will weaken its life.

– Overwatering 

Outdoors, coleus is a water-hungry plant, however, taking this into consideration, people often weaken its life by over doing the irrigation process. 

Best Season for Cucumber Cultivation

Nonetheless, the opposite is true for indoor coleus plants, because the indoor ones don’t require so much watering as the ones that stay outside would. 

When they are placed outdoors, you may need to water the plant twice daily, depending on the outside temperature, which means that it is prone to be dry much quicker, as a result, you should water it more frequently as the soil feels more dry than moist.

– Root Rot

The result of overwatering will lead to development of fungi in the soil, and this is because if you overwater the indoor pots, they will drain slowly, and when they do so, they will start developing different molds, and roots will become weak and rotten.

As the root rot problem prevails, its stem will also get damaged, because they don’t function as well as they used to. The plant will then fail to survive even the summer days, let alone in the days of winter too.

– Pest Attacks

Common garden pests such as whiteflies, mealy bugs, and aphids mostly attack the coleus leaves. As the temperature drops, these pests will find the leaves a perfect hiding place, and they start to lay eggs and even multiply. As a result of their multiplication the larvae will suck the saps to live on them as they stay on the leaves.

Watering for Healthier Cucumber Plants

Therefore, it drains the nutrients from the leaves and stems, and slowly, but surely the pests will increase, causing the coleus plants to die. The bigger part is you can hardly notice the infestation of mealy bugs and aphids. Which means that, it becomes even tougher to manage and control these pests, as they have increased.

How To Increase Coleus Plant Lifespan?

To increase coleus plant lifespan, you should choose the suitable variety to the region, adjust the right temperature. In addition, you should also keep the pests away, and place it in the right soil. Make sure to be carefully adjust the water, light and humidity.

– Choose the Suitable Variety

Different coleus varieties will grow in different weather and regions. Also, their variation will bring a difference in their foliage appearance and the stripe colors right in the middle of the leaves. Which means that, depending on your shade zone, select the right coleus type. For instance, coleus will darker leaves can live happily in direct sunlight, but lighter leaves will need less sunlight.

You must check for the right variety in accordance to your region through the veins, the margins, the splashes, and the color intensity, as these could also indicate the health of your plant. Thus, you may decide of multiple varieties to give your garden or indoor plant a unique look.

– Adjust the Temperature

When growing coleus, determine where you wish to grow it. It will directly affect its lifespan. If you want it to survive for multiple years, you should grow coleus plants in pots indoors or even in raised beds which would help you to manage the sunlight and heat properly. 

Ideally, the room temperature should be above 60-degree. But, 50-degree temperature maintenance is a bare minimum, too, which means that you must be aware of the manner. 

Overall, make sure that you maintain the indoor temperature over 60 degrees Fahrenheit to help the plant survive in winter. Thus, in winter, you may move it close to your furnace.

– Keeping Pests Away

Since this plant is one that is prone to have pest attack, then the only solution is to observe the plants constantly, and to keep these pests away you can always inspect underneath the leaves to find mealy bugs, white flies, and aphids. If you see their infestation, you may use a homemade solution of soap and vinegar to trap them. For larger infestations, you should use commercial pesticides.

– Soil Type

Coleus soil should be nutrient-rich and moist. It also needs to be loose and have proper drainage, the reason behind this is that doing so, the plant won’t be prone to have any rotted roots, because the soil will not let water get trapped in the soil. 

How to Keep Them Standing Tall

Moreover, you may add perlite to increase the draining facility of the soil when growing it in pots and containers. It improves the drainage system and keeps the soil in perfect condition. Moreover, you may also add some slow-releasing fertilizer in the soil, and as a result they will also be more stable in the place where they are growing. 

Plus, maintain the pH level between six and seven. It won’t grow in acidic soil. Also, nutrient-rich soil will yield better blooming with more vibrancy in its flower and leaf colors.

– Specific Water and Humidity

At Indoors, water the coleus only when the top one inch of the soil becomes dry. It helps the root to remain free from rotting due to too much moisture and water, also, ensures the plant stays in hot and humid areas as these are tropical plants. 

Thus, you mustn’t keep it close to the dehumidifier and air conditioner. Keep it closer to your room heater, furnace, and humidifier during winter. Also, ensure the humidity doesn’t fall below 40 percent. Finally, ensure it receives four to five hours of sunlight. On the other hand, during winter, you may use artificial incandescent bulbs.

– Propagation 

In order to save your plant, you may propagate coleus plants to help them survive next year. For this, choose a healthy coleus and get three to four inches cut from it. You need to remove the leaves from its end.

Water Can Be Harmful to Plants

Also, as you plant coleus cuts, dipping it in the rooting hormone will increase its propagation chance.


1. Will Coleus Plants Keep Coming Back Every Year?

No, coleus in outdoor conditions won’t come back year after year. You can expect it to return to full bloom only in the following year. However, in indoor conditions with proper maintenance, you may grow coleus plants for multiple years.


Coleus is usually a tropical and perennial plant in warmer regions. However, it will survive up to two winters in colder regions:

  • Coleus plants live longer in warmer regions than colder ones. So, you can’t grow it outdoors in North America, or it will return the following year.
  • In indoor conditons, ensure proper lighting and humidity for the plant. When the temperature falls, keep it close to a heating source. Also, you may use a humidifier to increase humidity and warmth and get better foliage.
  • Add a slow-releasing fertilizer if you want more vibrancy in its leaves and flowers. It will trigger the blooms and bring more colors. You should use the fertilizer before summer to help it bloom better.

Coleus should primarily grow indoor. Thus, you will enjoy three to four years of blooming along with its beautiful foliage and patterns. If you have your Coleus in your garden and live in a deer area, you should protect them because deers love them!

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