What's wrong with my coleus ?

Cuyahoga Falls, OH(Zone 5a)

This coleus was outside during the summer. It was in a spot which received shade almost all day. Believe it or not, it was a gorgeous deep maroon color. I brought it in before frost, and potted it in brand new potting soil. It sits in a western exposure, and because I thought it needed filtered sunlight, I only open the blinds a little bit. After two months indoors, it turned green. And now, two months later, the new growth is light cream. What can I do to bring back it's original beauty ? Thanks.

Thumbnail by Countrymom
Brewster, MN(Zone 4b)

In my experience coleus usually lose their vibrant colors over winter in the house. Even the shade ones do fine for me in a South window in the winter. Try giving it more light and see what happens. It should color up again just fine in the spring. Good luck.

Cuyahoga Falls, OH(Zone 5a)

ghopper - Thank you ! I didn't know they faded in the winter. I'll open the blinds and see what happens.

Mount Laurel, NJ

I've found the coleus differ in color greatly with light, temperature, soil, and any other conditions. It's interesting to watch them change color. Indoor lights are not same as sunlight. Winter sunlight is not same as summer sunlight. Amazing how temperature is also a factor. Some though, are pretty consistant, like 'lime frills' and 'inky toes' and 'inky fingers'.
Interesting plants!

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Its been my experience they dont do much indoors for winter.Some varieties need lables because they change so much.
Wait until March,they will start to grow faster and begin to color up.It takes a week outside when temps permit,for them to return to original glory.
Its winter ,be patient,everything is hybernating

Cuyahoga Falls, OH(Zone 5a)

Thanks everyone. So, mine might regain it's original color this spring and summer. This is what it looked like outdoors. This was taken early, and by the end of the summer it had quadrupled in size. Beautiful plant in September.

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Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Ohhhhh yes and it will look like that again.

Cuyahoga Falls, OH(Zone 5a)

ge1836 - That is so encouraging ! I am giving it more sunshine, what little we get in Ohio in the winter. Moving it to where the sun is. It looks a little better already. Thanks !

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

I went overboard with cuttings one year. I took so many different varieties I needed to put some in the bath tub. 2010.
I ended up with 300 plants.Not all were viable but they had to be watered anyway.
I had a terrible infestation of knats so only took a few last year and now I have about 6.

This is the setup in my livingroom window 2010.

Thumbnail by ge1836
Cuyahoga Falls, OH(Zone 5a)

ge1836 - I hope you have a second bathroom - lol ! You have a great exposure. My windows are small, and Ohio tends to stay cloudy much of the time - especially in winter. I've debated about a grow light. What do you think ?

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

I have no room for grolites. Windows is it here.

Vista, CA

I live just north of San Diego, near the coast, no colder than a zone 9, most years a zone 10 (I've had only 3 freezes in the 35 years I've lived here). Coleus are overwintered in an unheated greenhouse (in case there's a freeze, at which point it is easy to put a heater in there). Even in this near year-round growing climate most coleus cultivars have an incredible change in color--the descriptions of them I am gathering include winter color and summer color. Some cultivars go through the winter with good color, though, so winter color change is not written in stone. Interestingly, a few years ago a coleus friend in LA left some on his mother's patio in Palm Springs. I went out on an August day to look at them. She had had to water 3 times a day to keep the ones in the sun alive (it was 116 the day I was there), but they were robust. The color change was even more dramatic than winter shift--one plant was half in the sun, half in the shade of the building. Near normal colors in the shade in the dry heat, purple and green in the sun, just like I've noted here near the coast--some cultivars optimum summer color is in the sun, some in bright shade, with a continuum of possibilities. It's part of what makes them so interesting.

Cuyahoga Falls, OH(Zone 5a)

scalplantmaniac - Two different colors on the same plant ? Fascinating ! I had no idea that exposure made that much of a difference. I'm always California dreamin', btw...

Mount Laurel, NJ

I went over to a friends house yesterday to look at her coleus in the basement. They were so covered with mealy bugs I couldn't believe it! I think her eyesight must be failing her. We threw out most of them (and probably should have thrown out ALL). She had been spraying with 'pyola' or something like that, but I told her: WELL IT'S NOT WORKING!!
I had the problem last year, but this year I used a systemic and so far have been bug free.
The ones in pictures are 'city lights' and 'crimson velvet'.
the white dots on 'crimson velvet' are NOT bugs!! Just some perlite.

This message was edited Feb 12, 2012 2:12 PM

Thumbnail by coleuslover123 Thumbnail by coleuslover123
Denville, NJ(Zone 6b)

I used the granular systemic .. no bugs at all :::knock on wood:::

Mount Laurel, NJ

Is your grandular systemic a Bayer product too, onewish1? If not, what is the brand and how much of it do you use?

Denville, NJ(Zone 6b)

Yes the houseplant one

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

Countrymom, open the blinds WIDE and if you have a better light in an eastern exposure, move the coleus. Despite their thin leaves, they are pretty hardy, but dappled sunlight outdoors still has a much greater spectrum than anything else. The coleus under fluorescents have lots of color, so I know yours will come back. In order to get that color, the lights are on about 16 hours a day, and the plants are directly beneath. They lights also raise the temperature a few degrees. If you get a warm day or two, stick that plant outside for a couple of hours. Plants get a lot of sunlight on a cloudy day. It just doesn't get as warm.

I don't use a gro-lite, just a fluorescent fixture with 2 different bulbs as I recall one is daylight and the other is cool light.

Now might be a good time to start some new cuttings. Make sure the plant does not get too cold (below 60 degrees).

Taylor Creek, FL(Zone 10a)

A small breeze is good too.

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