January 14, 2017

Gardening Tip: Coleus Propagation -- Take One

Hi! I hope your new year is off to a good start. It's snowing here, so I thought I'd take a moment to dream of the garden. At the end of last summer, our friend Tracy was at our house and saw some of our window boxes planted with annuals. She asked me if I over-winter the coleus. I had never thought about trying! Here's what Tracy told me to do:
  1. While the plants are still going strong, snip about 6" sprigs from each plant.
  2. Strip the leaves from the bottom 3" of the stem.
  3. Plunk them in a small glass of water then put the glass on a sunny windowsill. 
  4. Periodically, refresh the water.
I did this and lo' and behold after a few weeks, roots started to appear! I'll probably have to put them in a bigger glass soon, but by spring these will be ready to plant! It's exciting to learn something new, and a bonus when it also happens to be beautiful.


  1. I did this with coleus several times during the usual growing season. Sometimes a branch would break off so I'd stick it in water until there were lots of roots. Then I'd put it in dirt and wait patiently. It might not look like it's growing but suddenly it looks healthy and I'd have a new plant. In southern CA we can hace these growing most of the year.

  2. In Fl. they grow like weeds....but I still manage to kill them. Oh, for a green thumb!

  3. Regarding your indoor coleus:Cuttings started in water then transferred to soil have weak roots. after taking cutting dip cut end into a rooting hormone, plant directly in soft soil. Keep moist. Stronger roots = stronger plants. Starting cuttings is always fun.