Should I Cut the Flowers Off My Coleus? (Pros, Cons & How To)

By | Updated April 22, 2023

Cutting off coleus flowers is recommended to direct energy into stem and foliage growth, but some gardeners choose to let them flower. Pruning regularly controls the size and encourages bushier growth. The decision to keep flowers or pinch them off is based on individual preference and desired outcome.

When it comes to deadheading coleus, gardeners are faced with an important decision—should I cut the flowers off my Coleus or leave them be?

It can seem intimidating to decide which option is best for your plant. After all, deadheading is a delicate process that requires trial and error.

To help make this decision easier, we’ll explore the pros and cons of deadheading and how to deadhead a coleus plant.

The Pros of Pinching Off the Flowers

Cutting off the flowers of a coleus plant, also known as “deadheading,” can have several benefits.

Here are just a few of the reasons why deadheading your coleus might be a good idea:

Improving the Growth and Appearance of the Stem and Foliage

Removing dead flowers encourages the plant to put more energy into growing leaves and stems, leaving you with a healthier, bushier coleus with an impressive spread.

Deadheading can also help keep your coleus looking neat and tidy by reducing the dead or dying parts of the plant that could detract from its appearance.

By cutting the flowers off your coleus, you can get the most out of its growth and keep it looking vibrant.

Maintaining Plant Health and Vigor

By deadheading, you remove dead flowers that can sap energy from the plant, allowing it to focus on putting more energy into staying healthy. This allows for regular growth and encourages vigorous and healthy foliage.

Cutting dead flowers can also keep the Coleus plant from going to seed, which could potentially rob it of energy and nutrients.

Controlling Size and Encouraging Branching

Deadheading your coleus helps control the plant’s size and shape by preventing it from growing too large or lanky. It can also encourage branching and create a fuller, bushier look.

Pruning dead flowers can also help keep the plant from becoming overcrowded, which can further reduce its size.

Deadheading your coleus is a great way to keep it neat, tidy, and healthy while getting the most out of its growth potential.

So if you’re looking for ways to help your plant flourish, deadheading should be at the top of your list!

The Cons of Pinching Off the Flowers

Deadheading isn’t without its drawbacks. Here are some of the potential cons to consider:

Potential Loss of New Growth in the Process

Cutting dead flowers can sometimes lead to inadvertently snipping off new growth, which could stunt your coleus growth or prevent it from reaching its full potential.

By deadheading, you may unintentionally reduce the amount of foliage and leaves on your plant.

Decreased Aesthetic Appeal

Coleus flowers have an interesting shape and a bright color that can add visual interest to your garden or home.

Removing the flowers of your coleus can result in a loss of the beauty and vibrancy it adds to your space.

Letting the Coleus flowers bloom allows you to bring pollinators, like butterflies and bees, into your garden.

No Opportunity for Seed Collection

Another downside to deadheading is that it prevents you from collecting and saving the coleus seeds if you’d like to use them for propagation.

Coleus is relatively easy to propagate from seeds and cuttings, so gathering the fallen blossoms may be an option you’d like to keep open.

Growing Coleus from seeds is a fun and simple process, so you may want to consider leaving some flowers on the plant before pinching them off.

Ultimately, it’s up to you whether or not you want to remove the coleus flowers. Consider both sides of the argument carefully before making your decision.

The Alternative: Allowing the Coleus to Flower

Though deadheading has some benefits, it’s not the only option. Letting your coleus flower has its pros and cons that you should consider.

Reasons for Letting the Plant Flower

Some people choose to keep their coleus plants in bloom to enjoy the aesthetic benefits they bring.

The coleus flowers are bright and add a vibrant, cheerful touch to your garden or home.

Coleus plants are also known to attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, making them a great way to bring life into your space.

The Impact on the Plant’s Growth and Appearance

Allowing the coleus to flower may affect its growth and appearance.

As mentioned earlier, flowers can take energy away from the plant, leading to slower growth and may even cause Coleus plants to become leggy or lanky.

Coleus that is allowed to flower may look a bit unruly due to its natural tendency to spread and sprawl.

Collection and Preservation of Seeds

If you’d like to save your coleus seeds for future use, letting them flower is one way to get the job done.

Wait for the plant to go to seed, then collect and store them for future use.

This allows you to enjoy your coleus flowers in bloom while also allowing yourself to propagate new plants from seeds.

Making a Decision: Pinching or Letting Bloom?

Every gardener must decide whether to pinch off the flowers of their Coleus or let them bloom.

It all depends on what you hope to achieve with your plants and how they respond to their environment.

Evaluating personal preferences and desired outcomes is key when deciding whether to cut the flowers off your coleus.

For instance, pinching off the flowers may be the way to go if you want your Coleus to be full and lush. This will allow the plant to focus its energy on foliage growth rather than blooming.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a pop of color in your garden, letting the Coleus bloom is likely a better option.

The flowers will be short-lived, but they can add a nice splash of color and texture to your garden.

Ultimately, balancing both options’ pros and cons is important when deciding whether to pinch off the flowers on your Coleus.

Weighing these factors will help you determine which option is best for you and your garden.

Ultimately, it all comes down to personal preference and what you hope to achieve with your Coleus.

So take your time, consider all the factors, and make a decision that works best for you!

How to Pinch Off Coleus Flowers

If you want to keep your coleus looking its best, you’ll need to cut off the flowers.

It’s an easy and straightforward process that can be done with just your thumb and forefinger or a pair of scissors.

Pinching off flowers prevents them from going to seed and keeps them looking full and healthy.

To pinch off the flowers:

  1. Locate the flower at the end of a stem.
  2. Pinch or snip off the entire flower. You can pinch or snip off any spent flowers, too!
  3. Continue pinching and snipping until all the flowers are gone.
  4. Regularly prune your coleus to maintain its desired shape and size.

And there you have it: a simple method for pinching off the flowers of your coleus!

Final Thoughts

Finally, if you’re debating whether or not to cut the flowers off your coleus, it’s really up to you. Whether you pinch off the flowers or let them be is a personal preference.

Think about what would work best for your garden and decide from there.

Whichever you choose, your coleus will be just as beautiful either way! Enjoy the blooms!

Share on: