The Beautiful & Reliable Houseplant Beginners Can Grow From Seed

Growing your own can be extremely rewarding, but you may feel stuck finding a houseplant that even beginners can grow. From small greenery that's perfect for a desk to options that will brighten up your bathroom, the choices can overwhelm you with knowing where to start. If this sounds like you, there's one plant that is sure to delight both new and experienced plant growers alike: the Coleus scutellarioides, which belongs to the mint family and is native to Asia.

It can reach up to 3 feet tall, though some stay around a foot, making it a suitable windowsill plant. The strikingly colorful appearance of a coleus, composed of green, yellow, pink, or red leaves,  makes it an incredible standout. We recommend looking to this gorgeous plant to inject more color into your home. Here's everything you need to know about getting your coleus to flourish so that you can be a proud parent of a thriving houseplant from the beginning.

How to ensure your coleus is getting the best start

To grow and care for your coleus plant, you should place it in a room that never goes below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. If you're starting from seed, always put your pot in the room of your house with the highest temperature, as this will help the coleus to germinate and ultimately thrive. A plastic bag or plastic wrap is also useful in helping keep the plant moist until your seedlings have sprouted. This should take between 12 and 21 days. You can remove the plastic covering once the seeds have sprung.

Place the planter in an area that gets regular direct light but primarily indirect sunlight. A partially shady windowsill is a good idea. Water your plant regularly and make sure the soil is always moist, both when your coleus is growing and also when it is fully grown. When watering, ensure that the soil is only damp — not saturated. Overwatering could be detrimental to the health of a coleus plant.

What to know about the coleus plant

Once your coleus is fully grown, simply focus on watering it consistently and always maintaining the correct light levels in the room so that this beloved houseplant stays healthy and strong. Light is important for the growth of coleus, and the sun will make the color of its leaves even more vivid (though be careful not to flood it with bright direct light). 

One important thing to note with this plant species is that it is toxic to dogs, cats, and horses, so if your pet munches on a coleus leaf, they may require emergency care. Signs to watch out for include an upset stomach, vomiting, and a low mood. We recommend choosing another plant if you are concerned about keeping a pet around while growing your coleus. Aside from this, the coleus is the perfect plant choice if you're branching out into growing your own after years of buying fake plants. It requires minimal maintenance and is easy to kickstart, making it a great all-around option if you don't feel confident in your plant-growing skills but still want something that makes an impact.