I was just looking at some of the Coleus in the garden and was wondering if
keeping some of the seed or flower stems over the winter, if they can be put
in potting soil in the spring in the house to start new plants. If this is
possible, how would be the best to treat these seeds for future planting? I
don't have the room to take cuttings now and pot and try to grow thru the
winter in the house. Thanks.
You can save the seeds, however this is not usually done because you
may get an entirely different coleus plants with other properties. I
overwinter my coleus by taking cuttings and grow them in a glass of
water in a basement window (not much space at all). If your winter is
long, you can take cuttings from the rooted cuttings 6 weeks before
you plan to transplant into the garden. You'll get stronger roots if
a rooting medium is used. I found that Vermiculite works best.
Cuttings will root and grow very easily and this is the usual method of
propagation. They will grow as a house plant if kept in bright light.
Without sunlight they may "bleach".
There was a much admired plant in an office where I worked, it was large and
healthy but bright green, without the varigated colours that are so common.
Several people took cuttings and grew them but were disappointed when they
reverted to the standard colouring!
I don't know where you live, but here in Western NY, we get just one chance
to grow most things from seed. Plants like coleus have very tiny seeds and
they require quite a long time to grow to the stage where you can transplant
them. If your seed collection and storage procedures aren't up to par
(whatever that means), you won't know until you have a big germination
failure, and you'll end up having to buy plants.
Try saving some seeds if you like, but I'd also buy some and plant them as
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