Coleus Cuttings- Need the 'how to' and 'when' low-down

mmqchdygg(Z5NH)October 18, 2005

I have some nice coleus that I want to overwinter indoors and 'make more' for next year. I did pinch off all the seeds, but found out I can take ~6" cuttings and just restart them indoors over the winter.

What do I need to know, and how-the-heck do I actually accomplish this? I've never propagated anything in my life. Can more than one cutting be taken from a plant, or do you just get one from each?

Please idiot-proof your instructions for this newbie.


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Vera_EWASH(z5 EasternWA)

Coleus roots pretty quick in water...they like clean water so re-change every other day. Pot up in 4" pots when roots are no more than 2"..don't be-afraid to bury a little stem..these nodes will send out roots as well... may have to pot up to 6" before spring.
Indoors is the only place I can grow my Coleus for lack of shade. I have one that is on it's 3rd year :)


    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 5:17PM
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I have kept my inky fingers coleus going for the last 6 years from cuttings. In fact I just potted up many alabama cuttings and some hurricane that I had had in water for about 4 days. I am also getting ready to take the cuttings from the inky fingers and another duck's foot that i just forgot the name of. I have clipped 2 inch pieces from coleus plants that I really wanted bad and grown into some really big plants. I had over 20 varieties die on christmas eve because it snowed quite a bit and I did not believe the weatherman since we hardly ever get and cold days much less snow here. I am now starting again. flora

    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 2:19AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

idiot proof ... i am their king ...

go out today ... cut off a 4 inch piece of each ... take in the house ... slice with a razor ... stick in potting soil .. cover with plastic bag ... high INDIRECT light ... should root in two weeks... remove any leaves that might be under water or the soil ... roots will probably come from the nodes where the leaves attached to the stem ...


same cuttings ... stick in glass of water ... watch for roots to form ... and plant as soon as you see nice little roots ... and bag again for a bit ... change water once in a while.. dotn let it get yucky ... dont wait until the glass is full of roots... they wont grow in soil .. start over ...

if they dont root in 2 weeks .. try a few more ...

i would grow them for a month or 2 .. and when they get to leggy in the house from lack of light.. reroot new pieces and start over ...

they can be grown under a standard shop light for more light ...

your furnace and indoor humidity will be your biggest problems .... coleus like humidity...

about 6 weeks before last frost... take a dollar store alum pan .. and take about 100 cuttings from each plant .. bag for humidity ... and you will probably get 90 plants for the garden next year ...

its all pretty easy ... and the same can be done with begonias and impatiens .... not tuber begonias ... go figure ...


    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 12:25PM
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To add to the above: coleus cuttings root just fine in lightweight potting mix which is moist (but not soaked to the point of sogginess). Cover the pot with a plastic bag and remove gradually when new growth is evident.

You can get several cuttings out of an elongated stem - individual cuttings should each be at least 2-3 inches in length. Cuttings root and grow more readily if all leaves are pinched off the cutting except for the top set or two of leaves.

And there are numerous coleus varieties that do well in sun - indoors or outdoors.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 6:37PM
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LAA668984(z4/5 ny)

I always rooted my coleus in water. For some reason, I never have luck rooting in soil. There is nothing easier than coleus, begonias or impatiens to root. I am going to start some coleus from seed this winter, only because I couldn't find a nice black leaved coleus plant. Then I plan to take cuttings so I don't have to bother with the seeds again.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 8:35AM
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gladiola_oh(z5 OH)

I have been rooting coleus for years and I find that coleus cuttings propagate most successfully in warm (75-85 deg) and humid conditions.

Nearly every coleus cutting I try after October 1st is slow to root and eventually rots at the stem when planted outside or indoors.

Has anyone else experienced this?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 1:57PM
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Ok, here's what I did, and oops, I forgot about the slicing with a razor thing...

Got a cardboard soda case tray (one that holds four 6-packs)
Lined it with an open clear kitchen garbage bag.
Filled about 30 yogurt cups w/tepid water
Set those in the garbage bag in the tray
Clipped the majority of my (sniff) still beautious coleus from outside.
Each clipping I took I cut diagnally at the bottom
Stripped off all the leaves but the top ones.
Some are so short they are 'floating' on the water, not standing in it.
The rest were just 'tossed' into the water
Twist-tied the bag at the top
Set the tray near the's a north-facing slider. No room on any south-facing windows where the cat won't be nosy.

Am I good?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 7:47PM
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Well that was weird...GW evidently doesn't deal with old cookies when you change your username, so when I signed on at home, my post showed up under my old username. Weird.

That aside...So this morning I'm glad I at least did SOMETHING since we had that frost last night.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 8:55AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

sounds good enough for me... i dont know about the floaters .... but hey .... you never know.. unless you try ...

the razor is more for putting directly into the soil ...

i used to use rootone... with fungicide ... you really dont need the rooting compound .. but the fungicide always helps ...


    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 4:53PM
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romando(9b/10a , sunset 17)

I see that you've already had a frost and I'm responding pretty late, so maybe this is no issue anymore. However, (and I'm not at all suggesting to not heed the advice you've been given so far) but I just have to chime in and say that I picked up a piece of coleus off the garden center floor which had been run over with shopping carts and the whole bit...but I picked it up anyway because it was still very green and I put it in the car to take home with me. Trouble is, I forgot about it, and it hung out in my trunk for the next 3 days. When I discovered it while trying to take out the stroller (which, by the way, had been on top of the poor coleus cutting) I thought--what the heck-- and took it inside and put it in a glass of water. It actually, honest to gosh, rooted (quickly, even!) and it's now growing out on my patio. They don't give up!
Amanda 'romando'

    Bookmark   November 1, 2005 at 5:49PM
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romando(9b/10a , sunset 17)

Gosh, I'm such a mess... My point to the whole story was that I don't think you can really do it wrong.
Amanda 'romando'

    Bookmark   November 1, 2005 at 5:51PM
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