How to Root Coleus
Written by: Dottie Baltz
Coleus cuttings can be rooted at any time of year. I do it in the Spring to get more plants for the garden and I do it in the Fall to overwinter the plants indoors.
- Cut 4"-5" pieces of coleus off each plant you want to propagate. Choose the healthiest looking plants that don't have a disease or a pest problem. Remove any flower stalks that may be on the plants.
- Remove the leaves from the stem leaving 1-2 small leaves at the top of the stem. If the leaves are very large, cut the leaves in half. Since the coleus plant does not have roots, it cannot sustain a large leaf, but it needs a few small leaves for photosynthesis which creates energy to grow roots.
- Make a fresh cut just under a leaf node and put the stem immediately in a small glass of room temperature water. Make sure about 2" of the stem remains in water. Roots will usually grow from the leaf node areas. A leaf node is just the term used for the area where a leaf grows from the stem.
- Change the water every couple of days to keep it clean and fresh. You should begin to see roots growing in 1-2 weeks.
- Once you have several roots that are about 3" long, it's safe to pot up your coleus cuttings. To do that, simply add moistened potting soil mix to a small pot, make a hole with a pencil in the soil, and put the cutting inside the hole. Make sure all the roots are underneath the soil and then gently pack the soil around the stem.
- Water the pot lightly and cover with a clear plastic bag to help retain moisture. Sit the pot in a sunny window.
- After 1-2 weeks, your coleus plant should be showing signs of growth by sprouting new leaves. At this time, it is OK to remove the plastic bag. Check the soil once a week and water if the top inch of soil feels dry. Do not allow the pot to sit in water as the roots may rot.
- Enjoy your free plants!
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