Skip to Content

Can Coleus Survive Frost? How Cold Can Coleus Tolerate?

Sharing is caring!

Taking care of plants is not always as easy as it may seem. This is because you have to think about caring extra well for them during winter. Especially when it comes to coleus plants you might be wondering if they are capable of surviving winter and winter frost or not. 

Knowing more about it will allow you to take better care of them. 

Can coleus survive frost? 

Coleus is somewhat tolerant of cold temperatures in general. However, it will never survive winter frost. There are very specific guidelines to follow when it comes to protecting them during winter. When the first wave of frost hits them, they will not survive if not protected well.  

There are precautionary methods you must follow to protect your coleus plants in winter and especially from frost. Even though they are mostly tolerant of winter, a wave of frost will instantly make them weak and thus hard to survive anymore. 

You must always keep in mind to winterize your coleus so that they can survive the cold and the frost.  

A sudden change of temperature is never good for your coleus plant. Especially when it comes to frost. This is because the sudden hit of frost hurts the plant. Once it hurts the plant, it is not able to carry out basic functions to live. 

When that happens, your plant will significantly weaken and the petals will start drooping and falling. The leaves will also shrivel up and brown in color until eventually, the entire plant is not able to survive anymore.

How cold can coleus tolerate?

Coleus is a tropical plant which means they tend to thrive in higher temperatures. Any low temperature or even temperatures resulting in light frost is enough to weaken them until they cannot survive anymore. Any temperature below 60 degrees is quite harmful to them. 

Coleus plants are known to love warm and humid conditions. They thrive the best in temperatures above 80 degrees with 90 degrees being the optimal temperature for them to live in. 

They are tolerant of slightly lower temperatures but if it is any weather that creates light frost, they will not survive in that.  

It can survive up to a temperature of 40 degrees as long as there is no frost harming them. Any temperature below that will not be ideal for them and they will eventually start to get weak and shrivel up. 

If you are living in an environment where the temperature drops below 40 or has a tendency of creating frost even in low temperatures then it is very important that you are winterizing your coleus plant.  

Winterizing your coleus plant means you are finding alternative ways to protect your coleus plant from the cold. This will give them the best chance at thriving and surviving through the harsh winter months as they are too tender to survive through it. 

Will Coleus come back after a frost?

Coleus is not necessarily a permanent plant. If they survive or not depends on the severity of the frost and the precautions taken. Generally speaking, they are very tender plants and even the lightest of frost is enough to destroy it entirely.  

However, you must look out for their crowns and roots. Even after being affected by the frost, if your plant has a strong and surviving root base then it is possible to regrow a plant from it. You will have to be patient and cater to it for several months for that to happen. 

Weakened and damaged plants are stubborn and take a very long period of time to recover. 

What to do when a coleus plant gets frostbitten?

If your coleus has gotten frostbitten then there are certain tips you must follow to give it the best chance at survival.  

Be patient:

You might want to start taking care of your plant immediately but that is a bad idea. Any new growth will be affected by the remaining frost. Instead, wait and assess the damage. It takes a while for the frost damage to completely show up. 

Wait for spring:

Cover your coleus up and take care of it like you usually would. Wait until spring arrives before indulging in recovering your plant. 


Once spring has arrived prune away all the slimy and mushy parts of the coleus that might start to smell a bit. Do not over-prune it as it may stress out the plant too much. 

Take good care:

Provide your coleus with ideal conditions for it to thrive in. This includes watering it properly, giving it proper temperature and sunlight, and a little bit of fertilizer. Waiting for a few months will allow the plant to regrow from its surviving base. 

Can coleus survive winter?

It is important to be aware of how to protect coleus for it to survive during winter.  


Coleus has a better chance at surviving indoors during winter as they will not come into any contact with frost. Even a little bit of frost can damage them entirely. You must, however, ensure to give them enough life indoors and take good care of their watering. 

The indoor temperature change can shock them so ensure to prune them a little bit to help them adjust.  


If the winter is harsh and very cold then np, your coleus plant will not survive winter outdoors. They are tender plants 

and thrive in warmer weather conditions. Even being in contact with a wave of frost is enough to damage them. It is important to winterize them to protect them from the cold outdoors. 

How to prepare coleus for winter?

To prepare your coleus plant for winter there are certain tips that you must ensure to follow. This will help you take better care of your coleus plant and as a result prevent irreversibly damaging them during the harsh and cold winter months.  

Precautionary step:

The most important step is to bring your plant indoors right before winter and during fall. It is hard to predict when the frost might hit so it is best to take precautions beforehand to avoid hurting your plant.

Bring your coleus inside:

Carefully dig up your coleus plant and ensure to get as much of the roots as possible. You can keep them in a small pot or a container and bring your plant inside. 


The sudden temperature difference may hurt your plant. To prevent it from halting growth you can prune the top half of your plant to reduce the shock level as well as give it space to grow.


Giving it adequate sunlight can be a challenge indoors. You must make sure that your plant is facing a window from which it gets adequate sunlight for growth. If you realize that your plant is not getting enough plants it might have droopy leaves. 

In that case, leave your plant outside every day in the sunlight for a few hours in the day when it is not frosty or too cold. 

How to care for and protect coleus in winter?

For tender plants like coleus, winter can be quite a rough time. It is very important that you take proper care of your plant and baby it during winter to help them survive and prevent it from fading away in the harsh winter conditions. 

Other than keeping your coleus indoors for winter you must also follow other tips.

Pruning off flowers:

Even though this might not seem usual, it is a very good idea to in fact cut off any flowers your coleus might grow. This is because cutting off the flower will give your coleus the ground to use the extra energy to focus on itself. 

It will thus converse a lot of energy and keep itself protected in winter. 

Soil and water:

You must not overwater your coleus plant in the winter as it can get prone to root rot. Instead, keep it fairly dry. Only water it when the top half of the soil is dry. This will prevent any root from rotting and keep your plant thriving throughout the winter. 

Other conditions:

You must also make sure to give your plant other optimal conditions. This includes giving it a little bit of fertilizer from time to time to help stimulate growth. You must also give it a relatively warmer environment inside the house. 

Anywhere between 60 to 70 degrees works perfectly for them. And also ensure to keep it in partial shade and give it proper sunlight. 

Final thoughts: 

Coleus is not winter plants and they are tender enough to not be friendly with harsh weather conditions. Even in light winter conditions, if there is frost, your coleus is likely to not survive. To give your coleus the best chance at surviving winter you must bring it indoors during the fall season.

Sharing is caring!