Taking My Coleus Outdoors


We’ve been growing this coleus inside since last fall. It was a seedling growing on our terrace from a large potted coleus we had 2 years ago. We have not fertilized it at all. We have 2 questions. 1) The lower leaves are drooping and some are dying. I’ve transplanted to a larger pot and at first that helped but it seems to be drooping even more. What can we do to help this? 2) we want to transplant it to a larger pot outside. How do we transition it to the outside?


Thank you for your question to Toronto Master Gardeners

Here is a link to our Gardening Guide about houseplants such as Coleus. It contains links to even more specific Guides as well as a list of recommended reference books on the topic. https://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/gardeningguides/beginners-guide-to-growing-houseplants-a-toronto-master-gardeners-guide/

I agree that it could use an even larger pot than the one it is in. This might help with the drooping problem. However, drooping is usually an indication of dry soil or high temperatures. Cutting it back significantly before taking it outdoors will allow more fresh leaves and branches to develop so that it becomes the bushy plant you most likely want it to be.

Like you, houseplants enjoy a summer vacation outdoors … but don’t rush. Wait until night time temperatures are consistently above 10°C. You can begin exposing your plants to higher light levels while waiting, moving them from an east window to a south one, for example. When it’s warm enough for them to go outdoors, harden them off by putting them in a protected, shady location for 10 to 14 days before moving them to their final location. Some people even bring them indoors at night during the hardening off period.

Enjoy your tropical Coleus!