I have 3 coleus plants and a friend said I could root them and keep
them in the house over the winter. Can you tell me when I should take
cuttings and how do I root them? Do I put the cuttings in water or do
I put them straight into a pot with soil after using rooting hormone?
Take cuttings ANY time. Remove lower 1/3 of leaves and stick in potting
soil. Keep moist. You can also start them in water and when the roots
get about an inch long transplant into potting soil. Hormone is NOT
How fancy do you want to get with this? Chances are, you can root them in
water, but I have better luck with rooting in sand or perlite.
Make some cuttings about 4-6" long, with at least 3 nodes (areas where
leaves are/were attached). Make the cut just below the node.
Pinch out the terminal bud (which is tiny).
Remove the leaves from the lowest two nodes. Push the stems into some
moist sand or perlite (make a hole with a pencil in the sand for the stem
-- you can just shove the stems into perlite). Keep the rooting medium
moist and you might spray the cuttings with water a few times a day.
In about three weeks, the cuttings shouldn't want to pop out when you
tug on them lightly... they're ready to pot up.
One of the slightly fancier things to do to help the rooting process along
(if you're slightly absent minded, as I can be) is to get a small clay
pot, unglazed, and put a cork in the hole in the bottom. Fill up a bigger
glazed pot with sand or perlite, and sink the unglazed pot up to its rim
in the sand or perlite. Fill the unglazed pot with water; poke your cuttings
into the sand or perlite between the two pots for rooting. The unglazed
pot will act as a water reservoir for the rooting medium.
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