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rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

Posted by gardengurl49 z7 MD (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 24, 05 at 0:43

I recently bought a coleus plant. It is a bit sparse in its foliage. i would like to remove the top two leaves (which also have smaller leaves growing on top) to make a new coelus plant.

i also think this will help my original coleus to become bushier as it is not too bushy and as attractive right now. Will doing this make a succesful new plant and also encourage bushyness on the plant i have now?

also i thought i would just stick the cutting into a pot ofmiraclegro garden soil.. but ive heard it does well in water too.. which option should i choose? i would prefer to have it form roots quickly and have a new plant as soon as possible! :D

thank you!!!!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

The cuttings will root FASTER in water, but be STRONGER if rooted in slightly moist soil.


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

slice with a razor .. sharp and new ... dip in rootone ... and stick it in some soil ...

and figure out how to elevate the humidity for a few weeks.. plastic bag ...

i used to do it in winter under flourescent lights ...

it easy ... ken


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

can it be done easily without rootone?
i dont think that will be available to me...

thank you for your help uve given me so far


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

I have always just pinched off the tops & put them in water for a few weeks. They root very easily & it does make the original plant bushier. They are annuals here in Maine but we grow them as houseplants all winter.


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

rootone is easily available at any garden store ...

its not so much that i wanted the rooting hormone .. as i wanted the included fungicide ...

working in winter, in the house ... i thought such was a plus .. plus i had it laying around ...

ken


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

I just potted a coleous 2 days ago. A friend gave me a clipping that I put in water to root. The plant seems no worse for the wear.


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

Because they will root easily in ordinary potting soil, why go through the water rooting when they will need to be transplanted into soil soon anyway. Al


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RE: Coleous rooting: do it in soil

Coleous is probably the easiest plant to root I have ever seen in my life. I wish many other plants were that easy. No rooting hormone needed here.

Just stick a cutting in a pot with soil place a dish with water beneath to keep the soil moist. It will start sending roots in about a week.


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

I have a coleous cutting that I set in water a while back (about 7 weeks). Roots did come out and have grown to about in inch. When do I transplant this to soil? Does the length of the roots matter? Thanks!


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

From my own and others' experience, it's best not to let the roots get too long on water-rooted coleus. They don't adapt as well as when they are quite small. Perhaps by now they are quite long. Pot them up, and you will find out for yourself how it works.


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

I root all of my cuttings, hard and soft stems, in sand.
Go to your local building supply and purchase a 5 gal. plastic bucket and a bag of play box or builder sand.
Drill some drain holes in the bucket and pour in the sand.
Saturate the sand with plain water, poke holes in the sand and place cuttings in holes. Water again and place bucket in a partially shaded area. DO NOT let the sand dry out. You can cover with clear plastic but I don't.


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

they've always rooted for me no matter what I try. I've even pinched the plant outside with my hands and just stuck it in the ground and watered it with success. I think rooting in water just wastes time. Roots faster in the ground.


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

Both work equally well but I find that cuttings in water are a great way to keep coleus through winter. Smaller, cleaner, no risk of underwatering/overwatering.

drafter101 and maroruben, welcome to gardenweb. Always good to find other coleus lovers!


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

As described above, rooting and holding is easier (no regular water changes, not yucky mold on the sides of the water container, no special treatment needed to adapt roots to soil later on, etc) and better for the plant (much superior root system, no transplant shock when moved to soil, etc) if done in soil.


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

You're certainly entitled to your opinion but in the decades I've been doing this with coleus, I've never needed to change water, had any mold growing in bottled cuttings, or done anything special when I put them in my yard in the spring. These bottled cuttings are also bigger than 6-pack plants available in stores. Personally, it would not be easier for me to maintain cuttings in soil over the winter. That luxury is reserved for the houseplants that have been outside all summer. This is a way I save plants that I otherwise would not have room to keep, and to ensure I have the same coleus next year when I get one I really like. You never know if the stores will have your fav coleus, or even any you like, from year to year.


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

Are you trying to say that you leave the cutting in the same glass of water all winter long!?!? The water turning yucky after a pretty short time is a universal issue that you can read about in hundreds of posts on Gardenweb. Just about any thread, that mentions rooting in water, will mention all the extra work and specifically having to change the water. This is obviously not just one person's opinion.

Even if you started out with sterilized cuttings and kept them in a sterilized environment, you'd still need to change the water on a regular basis or include some way to aerate it. Water sitting in a glass will soon loose much of its extra oxygen (that the new roots desperately need) and further downgrade the condition of the plant's roots. This is also frequently discussed in related threads. Many of these can be found in this forum with a quick search.


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

Please allow me to totally rewrite the above post...

If rooting in water is easier for YOU, then by all means stay with that method. From my own experience (quite a few decades, like you, working with plants), I find rooting in soil much much easier as well as much more reliable with almost all types of plants that can be rooted by cuttings. Commercially, very few plants are rooted in water, and there are clear reasons for that. Most people, familiar with both methods, seem to choose some type of potting medium over water (except maybe for hydroponics-a whole different thing). Multiple factors, not just the deoxygenation and decrease in water quality, make growing in water more difficult.

A pretty well known GardenWeb contributor, Al Tapla, concentrating mainly on root development, puts it this way:
"Though roots form readily and often seemingly more quickly on many plants propagated in water, the roots produced are quite different from those produced in a soil-like, highly aerated medium (perlite - fine gravel - seed starting mix, e.g.). Physiologically, you will find these roots to be much more brittle than normal roots due to a much higher percentage of aerenchyma (a tissue with a greater percentage of intercellular air spaces than normal parenchyma). If you wish to eventually plant your rooted cuttings in soil, it is probably best not to root them in water because of the frequent difficulty in transplanting them to soil. The "water-formed" roots often break during transplant & those that don't break are very poor at water absorption and often die. The effect is equivalent to beginning the cutting process over again with a cutting in which vitality has likely been reduced.
If you do a side by side comparison of cuttings rooted in water & cuttings rooted in soil, the cuttings in soil will always (for an extremely high percentage of plants) have a leg up in development on those moved from water to a soil medium for the reasons outlined above."


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

Sorry, I thought I clearly stated in both of my previous posts that I was talking only about coleus. I guess I didn't so I'll say it again. I'm only talking about coleus.

When a leaf falls into the water, that is when you will get yucky water. Unless that happens, I never have any problems with yucky water while overwintering coleus cuttings. I also did not advocate this as the best way to propagate coleus or any other plant, just an option for saving pieces of coleus if you don't have room for any more potted plants. The water gets used/evaporates/topped off so fast, I don't worry about lack of oxygen. I've been much more successful anyway with the water bottles than trying to keep potted coleus alive inside over winter.

And yes, I've been reading Al for years. He's the bomb! However, there are issues that different gardeners face that can make it possible or necessary for different methods, and their various possibilities of success or failure are the basis for some very interesting discussions. My experience exists, whether or not you belittle it or disagree. Not everyone has a big fancy greenhouse, conservatory, or a bunch of big windows for overwintering plants, or other factors, so some alternatives can be necessary for some people.


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

"I also did not advocate this as the best way to propagate coleus"

Hmmm, the title of the thread is "rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?", so I think that the OP and most others posting to the thread were discussing which medium is best to root (propagate) coleus. Since holding a cutting over winter is done for propagation, I don't really understand your point.

But, like I said, whatever works for you is what you should stick with. Rapidly/frequently topping off used/evaporated water and worrying about leaves falling into that water isn't the easiest way for me.


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

Ok Brandon, you're always right and anyone who has another way is always wrong.


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

Purpleinopp,
Are you suggesting that the rest of us should only use the method that you like, just because it works for you? Personally, I prefer to do it the way that saves me work and makes for a healthier plant. As I've said, if your way works for you, use it, but please don't expect others not to have their ways of doing it.


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

No, I feel like you're saying what I said is untrue.

Were my goal to quickly grow a number of coleus plants, I would not use bottles of water for more than a few days to get started (like to hold them if I wasn't ready to pot/plant them yet.) But, like I said, if you've brought all of your plants back inside for the winter and don't have room for coleus, you can cut a stem, stick it in water, and start all over again next spring. I never said they would grow, I said they would stay alive. Suspended animation would be a good description. The growing-healthy-plants part is what you do when you put them in the ground or pots in the spring. I must just not be expressing myself well in previous posts and hope what I just said is more clear.

Although this thread had been hibernating for 5 years, two people thought enough of it to add something. I thought it would be nice to say hi and noticed that nobody had mentioned wintering in water yet in this coleus discussion. Seems like a good time of year to throw it out there for folks who might like to try it. I see no harm in trying this if your alternative is for all of your coleus to freeze. Another cool thing about it is that kids love this fun experiment and doesn't deserved to be bashed so stringently.

As to the topic of the thread, it asks for a discussion of the methods. Although a subtle distinction, I thought my use of the phrase "keep through winter" as opposed to the word "propagate" was sufficient to differentiate what I said from an advocation of a preferred method of propagation, which infers increase. Six years ago, when the OP asked their question, the best method was requested. But if you read the entire discussion, it's true to the subject line = a discussion of both methods. This would be a good place for anyone to tell us what they tried and their results for everyone's consideration.

I'm inspired to take pics of the whole process and to have a much larger quantity of test subjects in number and species. So I guess thanks would be in order. So thank you, Brandon. :+)

If this was an old movie, I'd stand up and say, "Good day, sir!" Then we would cross paths again somewhere down the road and end up saving the whole town. I guess saving a few coleus is good enough for the internet.


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

That's a good idea about the experiment/test. It would be interesting for someone to take two or more cuttings of the same coleus and hold half in water and half in a good potting medium overwinter. Doing both at the same time and in the same conditions would provide more reliable data. Keeping track of the necessary maintenance (water additions, water changes, pruning, etc) would be a pain, but would provide some interesting results. I've done both, but not side by side (with coleus). If you decide to do it, please take pics and let us know the results.

I understand the lack of growing space thing. I have the same problem. Actually, I have a decent amount of room, but it's always filled with a ton of plants. If one had room, it would also be interesting to do the experiment with different types of potting mediums and maybe even with aerated water (very small fish tank pump).


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

Hmm. Thanks for your thoughts. The idea is growing in my mind, pun intended. I happen to have 2 fish tank pumps doing nothing but luxuriating in my shed. I'm kicking the idea around of using the aquarium, too, maybe with some type of mesh or plastic pots full of holes, maybe a rock in the botom of each to keep them from cruising around the aquarium. If that sparks any further inspiring ideas on your side, please share. I don't need much enabling, I'm always on the verge of plant insanity.

Would your opinion be that one would want to use only cuttings from the exact same plant, or would cuttings from technically separate plants which were recently cuttings themselves from the same mama plant be as scientifically sound?

Whatever I am able to do, I will take pics and notes and share the good, the bad, and the ugly. I like the way this discussion has evolved and inspired me, and you're dead right. Don't just yak about it, do it and take pics and notes. After all, each one is worth 1000 words. I might even end up with... twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each
one explaining what each one was to be used as evidence against us.


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

I think cuttings from separate but equal plants would work fine. I believe the differences (labor, growth rate, pruning required to maintain smaller plants, maybe how quickly they "going to seed", etc) will be noticeably different.

My plant insanity is kept somewhat in check by my imitations of time and space. I get so far behind on my plant-related tasks that it actually gets depressing, which is not what gardening is supposed to be about.


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

Was searching for someone to continue a different coleus discussion and got this thread, too. Awesome since I still have one unplanted coleus plant in a bottle.

Notes and step-by-step photos, a good thought but it didn't happen. But I did do that to which I am compelled every year on panic night - the frost is coming! I cut off every decent branch of every plant I could and stuck them in every available receptacle saved for the past few months. These were put 2-deep in east, south and west windowsills. I did nothing to care for them except to add water when it got low, a task requiring an average of half an hour per month.

I lost about 10% of about 110 receptacles (some had doubles and triples) and am extremely happy with the results. I ended up with about a dozen persian shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus,) a couple sweet potato vine, and the rest were various coleus. So this year my yard is starting with more coleus plants than I had at the end of last year, and now I have more money to devote to... MORE (different) coleus, and the spotted elephant ear bulb I spied at L's the other day.

No matter what method people chose to try this time, I hope everyone's efforts have been rewarded with some saved plants to enjoy again!


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

I was a bit irritated first that an old fight was dredged up. Because these things are 'do it my way' discussions and usually void of information. There was a surprise picture at the end that made me laugh.
"every available receptacle saved for the past few months."
That looks like a beer bottle to me. So instantly I am thinking what a good time the months of producing beer bottle receptacles must have been. And I have an image of your house with window sills deep in beer bottles. I have no natural light for plants in the house since the window replacement. I hate running a light all winter. Coleus in beer bottles is an option I am willing to try. So give me the details. You don't empty and refresh the water in these bottles just top them off, right? And do you plant that old coleus sprig or do you cut off parts to make starts? When I have tried saving plants in water after a while it starts looking like a science project. A dark bottle might be the thing. Thanks for the post.


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

I never felt like this discussion was a fight. It's good when people disagree if they can calmly and respectfully state their position and why they think that way, which is what transpired. I think Brandon has a vast amount of knowledge and he makes excellent points. I really did want to have some cuttings in soil for comparison but just couldn't get around to moving furniture, necessary to accommodate that kind of setup. I'm not trying to advocate one method over another, just relating my experiences with coleus, what works for me. I consider it an experiment every time, nothing more. Not everyone would be satisfied with their windowsills full of beer (or other) bottles. But if it's something you would like to try, it's basically free and not at all time-consuming.

I don't drink beer but when I told my friends I needed bottles, there were plenty willing to "drink for the cause!" These plants were going 2 b killed by winter, so any piece that still lives is just a bonus. You do bring up a good point. I used green bottles, brown, and clear ones. The plants in the green and brown bottles did seem to do better in general.

Correct, I never dumped the old water out, just add new so they don't dry out. To get them back out into the yard, I just dug holes in the ground and in containers and buried the roots. These plants need to be watched closely for wilting/getting too dry until they get their roots growing into the soil.

It's also probably worth noting that when I lived in OH and tried this, my success rate was not as high, probably 30% loss each year. I attribute this to the weaker rays at higher latitudes and the length of the cold (amount of time plants spend in bottles instead of growing properly in soil).


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

if you are trying to root pieces as big as the one in the beer bottle.. and having a failure rate.. its because that piece is too big ...

you should get about 10 pieces that can be rooted from that one piece ..

with a razor .. slice just above a leaf set ... every time on the branch ...

the problem with the large size .. is that there is too much leaf in the root to leaf ratio .. and the leaves may dry and fail.. before a set of roots can develop ...

and since there are no roots .. the ratio can fail ..

but the fact that you had success at all.. and at a high level ... shows how easy the coleus is to root ..

ken

was the beer the inspiration.. lol ..


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

I also don't drink beer but "drink for the cause" would appeal to DH and friends. Roots like the dark so beer bottles would seem to be a good choice. It is amazing that you can just bury the roots in the yard and the plant will make the transition. I don't need the experiment with the same plant in dirt to compare. I have been propagating coleus many years so that path is well worn. I was interested in the other side. I use aeroponics cloning so my little plants make the transition from water to soil without a problem. But I have read that letting them stay too long in the cloner cuts down the success rate so I never allow the roots to get too big. Going for months in a bottle, 30% success rate isn't bad at all. I have so many other plants that have to come in for the winter this would be just another option for me. We are probable all the same, we don't want to give up our full grown garden and at the 11th hour just before frost we are trying to drag it in. OH and AL would be a factor but also house heating and windows also play a roll. We have the gas filled window panes which cut a lot of sun rays. I will have to give this a try before winter. I have a pot of last year's coleus that I will be cloning soon. I will save some in a beer bottle on my best window sill and give this a try. A ribbon on the bottle doesn't seem appropriate, maybe I can paint something on it. Thanks for the info. Ooooou Isn't there a new beer in blue bottles?


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

...if you are trying to root pieces as big as the one in the beer bottle.

Ken, the plant pictured a few days ago has been in the beer bottle since November and was much smaller when I put it in, removed all but about 4 leaves. I would have needed hundreds more bottles to chop all of the branches down to their smallest potential. I want big coleus plants this year, not the babies I started with last year. It's an "after" pic, not a "before."

Peggie, the blue beer bottles I've seen are aluminum, which I would absolutely use if I had any. And they ARE much more attractive. Glad to put enabling thoughts into your head! (evil giggle!)


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

I would have needed hundreds more bottles to chop all of the branches down to their smallest potential.

==>>> so get to work.. whats the problem with that plan.. lol ...

my point was.. that coleus is easy and nearly bulletproof ...

but in general.. other things may not root with a piece that big ..

and if you want volume .. there is no reason to use that big of a cutting ..

regardless.. i think this process is fully wrapped into the process of generating the containers used .. so get at it.. lol .. all is fully approved, from my end ...

ken


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

Oh man, aluminum? Gezzo gezzz.. and I found a learned paper on blue bottles as compared to brown bottles and beer skunking. I was going to be the Garden Web expert on unfiltered tungsten light. It was to be my moment!

Here is a link that might be useful: Learned Paper


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

Peggie - LMAO! Thanks!

I don't think Ken believes I don't drink beer. That's OK, I guess I look pretty guilty at this point.


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

I rooted one piece of my favorite coleus in the fall in a clear vase...It got tons of roots and the tip got quite long, so I pinched it off and wound up with two more rooting plants, also in clear vases that are going crazy making roots...I do change the water sometimes, but not because it's funky, just because I figured it couldn't hurt...

I do have a question though; when I plant these out, should I just put them in a whole and put soil around them or should I trim the roots up some like you would with a pot bound specimen?

Thanks all :-)


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

Hi anni. Welcome to GardenWeb & congrats on your coleus babies!

Most people with formal "plant educations" tell us water roots are different from soil roots so the plants will have to grow new (or adjust the existing?) roots to get growing in soil again. I don't know how all of that works. If Brandon is still around, he might have some input.

Since I've never trimmed mine, I can't say which is the ideal for coleus, no basis for comparison. I can tell you it's rare that a plant dies after being put back into soil as long as it is not allowed to dry out (like any coleus in any situation), like not even 1 lost per year.


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

Hi :-)

Thanks for the welcome!

The babies I have are from my "Ruby Ruffles" the I bought last year. I couldn't stand the thought of not being able to find it this year (or paying for it again if I could have it for free LOL).

I'm pretty diligent about keeping my gardens watered, so it should have a long and happy life ;-)

The thing I liked about rooting it in the clear glass was that I got to watch the roots grow. I guess it could be considered old hat, but it never ceases to amaze me to see things like that.


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

Some of the "cuttings" back in the garden...

Yes, I know I have a lot of Oxalis. When I was digging up grass for new beds, I put the Oxalis back and, sure enough, I have solid pink flowers this spring. As I acquire plants for these beds and pots, I will remove Oxalis and put it in less prominent spots.


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

This shows the 2 washtub pots from my last post, as of a couple weeks ago.


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

This area is all cuttings saved from 2011.


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

Most of these plants are also from saved cuttings.


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

And the process of saving plants for next year has begun again. This is a start, around 100 individual pieces, about 25% of what I want to save. They have been placed in various windowsills since I took this pic. Some of these jars with many individuals need to be separated soon, before roots tangle into a single mass.


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

The photos are great and I enjoyed the lively discussion. Thanks for sharing.


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

Hey, chervil, Thanks! I have a blast with Coleus, and you may have noticed other types of cuttings in that last pic also. That's fun stuff!


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

Hi Purple & all,Just happened on this about rooting coleus .Coleus is a plant passion of mine. I have saved over & rooted many,many cuttings for many,many years. I probably root more in water partly because I can do it in the house rather than greenhouse & it takes less space.I do transfer cuttings to soil after they are rooted.I always see it said that roots shouldn't be long when you put in soil. That is no problem.Just take scissors & trim long tangled roots to half inch or an inch & pot.Purple is right,the water doesn't get fouled unless leaves get in it.I like to fuss around with my plants anyway so if water looks funky , I change it.
I see this soil vs water discussion a lot but I don't think it makes you any less a gardener if you root in water.I root lots of other things in water,too.Nicotiana,Snapdragons,Salvia & anything with a square stem will root easily.One 4 or 6 pack can make a bunch.

Starting your coleus & others is a blast.

Rose AKA sNs


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

Hi Rose! Good to hear from you. Hope all goes well this winter!


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

Very impressive pics, purp. Now, Brandon, er, you want to "show us your stuff"?
Love the pic of cutting in beer bottle, and I don't drink beer, either, but hey, can you use a wine bottle for the same results?
Like you, purp, I stick cuttings in water when I have no other space. I always have 3 or 4 depression glasses with cuttings on my window sills. They do FINE.
Brandon, I beg to differ with your explanation about the title of the thread- "rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?". You suggest that, "the OP and most others posting to the thread were discussing which medium is best to root (propagate) coleus". In none of the title is a best method requested. It's my understanding that the author is simply asking for the results of propagating in different mediums.
Purp, your March 2012 reference to, "Most people with formal 'plant educations' tell us", scares me. I am only a retired French teacher & Second Language Specialist. I have no formal plant education, but I thought this was a fun, learning forum for all plant lovers; so can I still post here? LOL!
@ken, I just recently started using the razor blade (on Angel Wing begonias). That's the best!
Joyeux Noel, everyone!


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

Heythere, Vintage. Good to hear from you! You can absolutely use a wine bottle, or BBQ sauce bottle, coffee can, whatever you have that is clean and will hold water.

I quit using glass I want to keep because our water is so full of lime. After a few weeks, glass items are etched with lime deposits, a caveat to others who might have lime-y water.

Brandon has some excellent info (gleaned from experience) to share about propagating in general. I don't blame him for sticking to his general view that water propagation is the red-headed step-child of propagation. His objections inspired me to share more of what I've experienced and I look forward to doing a better job with taking more pictures this coming spring. His warnings that most plants won't yield the same results with this method are valid, and his contributions to this discussion are appreciated, at least by me. I don't know if the person who started this discussion imagined it becoming so "big."

My description of my last picture added did prove to be true. There are at least 4x as many cuttings as what is pictured Nov. 19. Some have been separated more, other jars with large openings still have up to 10 cuttings in them.

Ken, you might be interested to know that the accumulation of your comments about the size of cuttings in general inspired me to stick the tiny tip of a Coleus plant next to the mama when I accidentally broke it off. It's been at least 3 weeks so I think it's safe to say that it's going to live since it's not crispy brown yet. You have to look closely at the very bottom of the pic to see that it's a separate, tiny piece, just a couple leaves. (The mama is a cutting I appropriated from a giant overgrown planter in Sept.) It was already well-rooted by the time "panic night" rolled around, and partly due to this discussion, and partly due to testimonials I've read from others who do have success keeping potted Coleus alive for winter, I potted it up at the same time as taking the other cuttings. Don't know if the soil purists will consider this a good comparison since it had "water roots" before going into a pot.

Someone above mentioned newer style windows with UV protections and that definitely could have and probably did contribute to my failures in OH. My dwellings all had at least double-pane windows and at my last one, where I really went nuts and failed miserably the last winter I tried, I had the windows replaced in January with all of those fancy options. Great for furniture and carpet, really can have disastrous effects on plants. Become more honest with myself about the vast difference in light for a plant right on a windowsill vs. one 4 ft. from the window also.


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

Well here we are, on the cusp of spring. Happy to report that there are a ton of Coleus cuttings doing well in their bottles, jars, and vases of water, anxiously awaiting their deployment into the garden soon, some pictured below.

Also checking in today to ask fans of Coleus to add yourself to my request for a Coleus forum if you are in agreement with the idea. TIA!

Will be back soon with pics of the cuttings being planted..


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

Hi I am new here and I was hoping to get some help with regards to my coleus cuttings. I had just made some cuttings on two mother coleus plants last night and placed them in water. I had just bought the mother plants from a store and they are relatively small and definitely not bushy.

Anyway, when I checked on my cuttings this afternoon, I noticed that the stems were all curling back upwards and seem to be trying to get out of the water. The leaves also are starting to curl. Does anyone know what's happening to my cuttings? Are they dying? If so, is there anything I can do to save the cuttings?

Please help! And thanks in advance for any help.


 o
RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

Hi I am new here and I was hoping to get some help with regards to my coleus cuttings. I had just made some cuttings on two mother coleus plants last night and placed them in water. I had just bought the mother plants from a store and they are relatively small and definitely not bushy.

Anyway, when I checked on my cuttings this afternoon, I noticed that the stems were all curling back upwards and seem to be trying to get out of the water. The leaves also are starting to curl. Does anyone know what's happening to my cuttings? Are they dying? If so, is there anything I can do to save the cuttings?

Please help! And thanks in advance for any help.


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

Hi Gardeningmaybe, welcome to Gardenweb! What you've described is unfortunately not something I could picture in my mind. If you could show a pic, that would help people see what is going on.

Just to get started, your cuttings should be standing up in the water, with the cut end submerged and any leaves out of the water...


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

I LOVE coleus and recently saw how you can grow coleus as a "standard" - like a topiary.

When I saw this thread I just had to share it for you coleus lovers...and ask...have any of you ever done this? I would love to see your examples if so! I was so excited when I found this I could hardly sleep that night, I started my cuttings today. Will try to remember to update my experience.

I'm including links to the tutorials and a photo of a beautiful example for you to see!

Here is a link that might be useful: How to Grow a Coleus Standard, Garden Gate Mag.

This post was edited by happy_me_ald on Tue, Jul 9, 13 at 21:52


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RE: rooting a coleus plant- do it in water or soil?

  • Posted by janezee Sunset 5, 8b, Whidbe (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 4, 13 at 3:25

Wow! I've never seen anything like that, and it gives me hope that I might be able to grow coleus here. I have slugs here the way that I used to have Japanese beetles back east. An entire 6"x6" black ruffled coleus plant disappeared overnight due to slugs the first year I tried to grow them here. All that was left was the trunk stem. With an aluminum collar, I might get away with this!


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