Cutting back coleus question

mboston_gwAugust 23, 2007

I planted some coleus seeds last spring and the plants have done great in the shade of my oak tree. Now they are about 3' tall and keep producing flowers that I trim off. What I am noticing now are that the lower leaves are dropping off of the plants. So far the stems look and feel nice and firm, not mushy. Even though the top leaves are large and colorful, would it be best to cut them back and let new leaves come out from the base. I think there are even new leaves wanting to sprout from the nodes about a foot and a half high. If I do cut them , where would I do it, how far down and can I root the cuttings?

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manature(9B Sanford, FL)

If they look really bad, I would probably cut them back. However, whether they will fill out again nicely isn't always a given. If they are annual coleus, which it sounds like, they may be finished for the year. In that case, not much will happen after you cut them back. If they are perennial (not likely since they were seed grown) they would fill back out again in a hurry.

I guess I'm saying, if they look lousy, cut them back and see if you can rejuvenate them. If they happen to be annuals, it MIGHT not work, but if they look bad already, it's worth a shot.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   August 23, 2007 at 7:43PM
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They don't really look that bad. The leaves are large and colorful, I just keep getting the flower spikes and have to cut them off. The bed looks fine since they are all about the same height, it appears full. Just the lower leaves are missing, I guess from the lack of light. I had never raised any from seed and was surprised at how big they grew and how the color changed as they grew. I would grow them again next yea, esp if they would come back. I think I will cut some back and see what happens. If they do, I'll trim more. Thanks

    Bookmark   August 23, 2007 at 9:20PM
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manature(9B Sanford, FL)

That's a good approach. Trim some stems in the back of the plants, root those cuttings, and see if the trimmed bits start sprouting new leaves.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2007 at 11:20PM
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