Coleus can be grown indoors and can thrive as a houseplant, though it requires special care. Coleus is a popular and very striking annual plant grown for its colorful foliage, which grows in variegated shades of green, yellow, pink, purple and red.
For best results, purchase seedlings or small coleus plants from your local nursery instead of planting from seed. Choose a potting mix specified for improved drainage and indoor planting, as well as a terra cotta pot with a drainage hole and drip tray. Plant two to three coleus seedlings per planter, spacing about three inches apart. Water thoroughly until water comes out the bottom of the pot.
Most varieties of coleus prefer partial sun or light shade, but varieties grown indoors will need a little more sun than those grown outdoors. For best results, place your coleus plants in a window that receives morning or afternoon sunlight. Avoid south- or west-facing windows, which can receive too much harsh, direct sun. Strong sunlight will bleach the leaves of coleus plants and wash out their lovely, vibrant colors. Always keep the soil moist, but don't allow the plant to stand in water. Coleus us very susceptible to root rot when overwatered. On the other hand, these plants don't like to dry out, either, and will die without sufficient moisture.
Pinch back offshoots of your coleus plant as it grows to promote full, bushy growth. When plants reach a mature height, they will begin to flower. Most people don't like the appearance of the flowers and will snip them off, which causes the plant to focus its energy toward growing more colorful leaves. For coleus plants that lack color, a fertilizer diluted to half strength can be applied sparingly, but it's important to avoid fertilizing more than once a month.