some people have expressed interest in the steps taken in taking coleus cuttings...so here we go. Bear with me, I hope these pictures I took will be sufficient...I am not a photographer lol.
Here is the first, I am showing where i would make the first cut on the plant. Because I don't want anymore cuttings off this plant, I cut it close to the bottm so the branching starts low. If I wanted more, I would just take the tip and make the cut above the next highest node (where the side leaves come out)
here is where I make the cut for the cutting. The bottom piece I will throw away. If you were trying to get a lot of cuttings off the plant, you would have left the bottom piece on the plant until it was big enough, and formed the tips to take more cuttings
heres another plant where I can take two cuttings off one stem, the tip and then the next two nodes. I personally prefer the tips because they root faster-they have more leaves, but in the long run, a stem cutting will provide you with a plant with two tips-
here I just put them in the dirt-the reason I wanted to show this is that if you do stem cuttings and tips together-put the stem cuttings on the outside where they will get more light. The tips' leaves tend to grow faster and they will block the light of the stem cuttings
In this picture I show the plants I just took cuttings from. You can take a coleus down to practically nothing left of leaves if you want-as long as the coleus has roots and isn't allowed to dry out all the way, it will send out new leaves very soon. The plants with a lot of leaves I left that way so they would grow and produce more cuttings or just mature and be ready to plant outside.
this is the tray with all the cuttings-you can see that they are very close to each other-you don't have to spread the cuttings out. You can see the stem cuttings are somewhat apart from the tip cuttings. In the back, I showed 3 plants-on the left is a cutting that got transplanted a week or so ago and I have taken the tip off so it will start to branch. I just left one node above the dirt -I will get 2 branches from that one. The middle one, I took the tip off and left 2 nodes to get more branches ( It depends on the amt of space between the nodes as to whether I left one or two nodes-if the plant is leggy (2" or more between the nodes, then I will only leave one node-because if you have that much space now, it will only get leggier as the plant grows)
The plant on the right has been cut back several times and is low and full and ready to go.
Water the cuttings in the am every day-just once, keep in as much light as possible-I keep mine in the greenhouse in full light. The more light and warmth it gets, the faster it will root. They will go thru a wilting phase for a few days and then perk back up. On average, they should be rooted in about 10 days or so-with good bottom heat, proper moisture and light.
I personally don't use a rooting hormone. The cheap kinds that are readily available ( like Rootone) I don't think make any difference. I did some experiments this winter with dragonwing begonias, lantana, purslane and coleus where I did half the tray with and half without and I didn't see any difference at all.
The one problem you might have is if you don't remove the bottom leaves and they start to rot-that could become a problem because it will spread-but using rooting hormone won't prevent that as it is above the soil. If that happens, just clean up the rotted parts and the rest will root. Don't overwater and you should not get a fungus. I have been doing this for years and never had one.
If anyone has any questions-please ask-this is easy to do, but until you have successfully done it a few times-like anything, it can be confusing.
Oh tigerlily, thank you so much for taking the time and effort to give us this information. This is especially good because there seem to be more newbie Coleus growers all the time. I'm not a newbie, but I have always used the "pinch and poke" method without much rhyme or reason. Considering where I live it's always worked, and when it didn't there were always more Coleus to pinch. (smile) I usually end up with wild looking pots instead of nicely planned color coordinated ones.
You're welcome Pati, I wasn't sure how it would turn out-its alot easier showing and explaining in person than with a camera by yourself! I bet your pots look beautiful-coleus is great no matter how its planted. I am not a big lover of "formal" plantings myself :)
The original plants were overwintered in my greenhouse-I take cuttings in the late fall and keep them about 50 degrees and transplant them in December or January-I try to slow the growth on the small ones until January, and then I start taking cuttings more seriously. I just keep cutting back the older ones. They are usually not so great right now-they are so rootbound, and you have to keep on top on keeping them bushy or they get too leggy.
I too want to thank you tigerlily. Your coleus are so pretty! I tried doing this just the other night. I had a friend over for lunch last week and she brought me a new coleus that she had started from her plant. I was delighted! I have several coleus on my own and just the other night, I experimented (not knowing what I was doing at all) and just took some leaves and placed them in MG soil. I did notice they were wilting, but I have continued to water them. Now that you have posted instructions with awesome pictures I now think I have a new project for this weekend. :-)
You are right, Sidney, they are harder to get wet again...the key, I think, is to go over the pot 2-3 times slowly and then again the next day. But I think I would rather have a medium that stays on the dry side then one that is hard to get dry. Roots grow better in dryer soil-more oxygen, and they do most of their growing at night which is why you always try to water in the am. If I have dry plants at night-I wait until the am to water-unless they are so dry they are going to croak or suffer leave damage. Sure has happened to me lol
Would someone PLEASE educate me on these different soil mixtures. I'm hearing about MG. Then there's the vermiculite, perlite, and peat. What's that stuff they pack the bulbs in? Looks like they put styrofoam in it. It's all powdery and gets up your nose if you breathe too hard.
HELP ME! HELP ME! (say this in the tiny voice Vincent Price used in the the movie, "The Fly!")
sugarweed- i had forgotten to watch the thread so I am just now seeing your response. guess what...one of them, my Festive Dance did take root. You won't believe how I know this... I was carrying the pot to a shadier location and had about umpteen other things in my hands and dropped the little baby. after cussing at myself and picking up the pot and the plant it had made little wad of roots too. I guess it was a way to see if it had taken root or not. lol. I put it back in with the soil watered it, misted the leaves (which I have been doing everyday) and this morning I saw it had new growth. YAY!
The night that I was just experimenting and before I had seen tigerlily's excellent instructions I tried to root 3 different coleus. Only this one worked. So not bad for just playing around now knowing what you are doing.
Gymgirl- I used MG soil because that is what I had on hand. It was there when I needed it. I think probably the better stuff to use is the soil used to start plants. If you go to Home Depot, Walmart, etc you will see bags and bags of different kinds of potting soil. I think that tigerlily is suggesting you use one that is labeled to be used for cuttings or for seeds. I see some bags labeled for this use.
Good luck and have fun.
I root mine like Hap does, only I just keep containers of MG Potting Mix sitting around. Just cut one and stick it in and let 'er rip! That's one reason I don't post pictures...they have all kinds just mixed together, no rhyme or reason. Like Topsy, they just growed.
Oh Pati, I'd love to see some of your pics. Last year I was running late (can you believe that?) and I had struggled with my plans of what to plant with what. Well...I got all flustered and just started sticking things in pots. I had some beautiful pots of coleus and when they were all grown up they were smashing, just absolutely smashing!
I've mostly messed around with a couple of trailing coleus that I have & like (note to any who were hoping for cuttings of them this spring... sorry to say they got scale over the winter, and I won't risk shipping that pest to anybody!). I just root the cuttings in water and then pot them up, and they do pretty well that way. I've been doing tip cuttings rather than stem cuttings, but I often pinch the very top off the cutting even before it roots so that it will branch once it is potted up. I have also pruned back my coleus (overwintered indoors in various pots) a couple of weeks before taking cuttings so that I could take cuttings below the new branching tips and quickly have a bushy little plant once it roots.
thanks critter...If you take the tip off the cutting that is rooting, I like to wait a bit (a week) so that the cutting can utilize all the leaves to get the roots. If you take the ower leaves off when you do the cutting, and then take the tip off, there isn't many leaves left-if any. Thats why, even though stem cuttings take a bit longer in the short run, they will already be branched when older.
I agree that if you are overwintering coleus to consistently cut it back and get it bushy so that when you do wnat the cuttings, you have a lot of tips to root. Most people just let them get long and leggy over the winter and then there is not much there to cut
Hey critterologist...don't you just hate that scale stuff? My coleus got it really bad last year, or I guess that is what it was. White stuff stuck to the stalks? Is that what you're talking about??? This year I'm ready for it...someone tole me 1/2 alocohol & 1/2 water...I'm armed & ready now.
GG, sometimes you will remember an old thread from a year or so ago that has information pertaining to an ongoing discussion. Then you hunt for it, and go to the bottom as if you were going to type a message. Usually I put in "bump" so everybody will know it's an old thread. It will immediately come up to everyone that has it on their "watch thread".
Even if it has been dormant for a long time, it never drops off of your "watch thread" unless you take it off. There are some funny goodies that get "bumped" up every year.
I'm glad this was bumped, LOL. I bought a few choice coleus' last year, and was so mad at my self that 1. I didn't even try them as houseplants and 2. I didn't know how to take cuttings, the rooting in a glass doesn't work well for me, since I have few windowsills (very old house), and my kitty plays with or eats whatever I try to root that way. Sigh. I'm going to try again this year. BTW does anyone know why some of the coleus are brighter than others, of the same cultivar? I noticed an 8-pack of cutting from HD didn't have that good a color as the same pots of PW.
LaVina, this nursery is not far out of Raleigh and they have some really pretty coleus.
I'd call ahead and see about driving out to get some in person. North Carolina is beautiful this time of year.
Well our newbies are still asking so many questions I wanted to bring this back to the top.
Tigerlily123 is a seasoned professional in Raliegh, NC.
She does hundreds, if not thousands of these every year to be used in mass plantings at places like Duke University and many business parks and other places in the Triad area there.
She also has the advantage of a Green house and watering systems I don't have.
If her cuttings don't work, she doesn't eat. LOL
I have extreme heat here and sand in my garden. the water zooms thru my sand at 55mph. I therefore do use fresh potting soil and Rootone, because they work for me. If you have access to the Greenhouse and the great watering systems they come with, follow Tiger's info to the letter.
This is one of the best threads on DG.
TL pleas show us a picture of where to pinch to force more growing tips.
Thanks so much.
Thanks Sugar. This is the first year I've ever had rooting Coleus!! Of course my least favorite ones are no trouble, but the new bright/tacky ones that I love this year just WILL NOT root. Of course my beloved Flume is now in every pot I have, even in the Begonias and Hibiscus pots. LOL
I'll go over this and maybe spot something I can do better. Sheesh, you'd think after all these years I'd know all the tricks.
Sidney, in answer to your question, I left what I would leave in the way of leaves on those two cuttings in the picture. So those two cuttings would be stuck in the soil as is. The leaves help the plant absorb moisture while the plant is rooting and with photosynthesis. Thats why I always keep the coleus in light while they are rooting.
I don't really use a watering system for these-I just use a water hose and turn it on and water them once in the am :)
Thanks for the kind words everyone, I am glad that it helps. I wish I had had it when I started!
Heres a picture of my new tropical gardens with all the coleus...they really make the garden-don't they? Coleus really makes any bed.
Beautiful TL...just gorgeous! Is that a windmill palm? I think I'm gonna need one of those soon! LOL I noticed a nursery close by that has them planted out front and they do fine on the south side of their building...they come back just gorgeous every year.
Well I just wanted to drop by here and say that this is my most often referred thread that I send folks that d-mail me about coleus to.
As I tell all those I send here Tigerlily is a pro and feeds her family doing this.
She really knows her cuttings.
Tiger lily I hope you don't mind, but I used your instructions word for word in a class presentation to our master gardener meeting. Did not see how I could improve on them.
You have taught a wealth of information.
Chesapeake, I have found that the large stems can be tricky in that they take longer to root than the new stems and the tips, so be sure to root the tops at the same time so you are assured of getting some. I usually reject the old stems when I root the cuttings unless I really want them, and don't have many to cut
I put all the tops in soil less mix with bottom heat. The larger stems I'm going to try to root in water. I have some superthrive I think I'll try that in the water. I picked up these extra large hanging pots of coleus for $10.00 each thinking I could get some cuttings. I hope it works because I didn't have these types.
Can I just put the cutting in the ground in my flower bed or does it have to be started in potting soil. Also, I live in East Texas, so although we
pretty mild winters, I know they will freeze. Do you dig yours up and bring them inside, or will they come back.
Yes but make sure it gets watered doesn't wilt and keep it in the SHADE. You MAY want to take several cuttings and start a few in pots with potting soil as well. These are easy to start and given enough light do fine indoors in the winter! Impatiens can be grown indoor in winter too!
the coleus cuttings will wilt the first few days regardless of where/how you do it, but then it will perk back up. If you want the coleus in the sunny area of a garden-then that is where you are talking about starting it, I gather? A little harder than in a grhouse or in the shade-you may have to water the ground where it is a few times a day until it starts to root. Personally, I think it would turn out to be easier to root it in a pot in semi-shade that you only have to water every few days as opposed to a few times a day. Takes 2 mins to plant it after you get some nice roots on it.
I would take cuttings of it before the frosts start-but it is easy to dig the entire plant up and stick it in a gallon container-they never blink!
I have been following this thread with great interest. I have always rooted my coleus in water and was planning to do the same when my (big!) order of four coleus arrives from Rosy Dawn Gardens. I have a stretch in my small front yard that I planted last year with 12 or so coleus that came out wonderfully.
The last frost date here (Rhode Island) is mid-late May and rather than pay for 12-15 plants I decided to root cuttings while I wait to plant out. Like tigerlily123 notes, for some reason the larger stemmed coleus seem a bit more finicky so I've saved this post in case my rooting-in-water plan goes wrong. Here is what I picked from the list of combinations from RDG: Yowser! Can't wait to get outdoors!
i used to root in soilless mix, but the fungus gnats started getting on my nerves and now i root in perlite in 10x20 flats (no holes). i use a heat mat, cover with a 7" vented humidity dome. much less trouble, alot less messy. most start rooting in a couple days and have pretty strong root systems in 2 weeks. then i transplant into pots. or, i just keep cutting off the tops and re-rooting them in more perlite. they don't seem to go through much shock when transplanting... i repotted about 90 of them last month and only lost 2 tiny ones.
i was using rooting hormone liquid, but got too lazy and busy this winter to look for it in the messy basement... but rooting was no problem.
i also used to root in water but they don't always take for me. i overwinter some in water and let them grow branches, and root the branches. you should see my garden window- sad-looking overwintered coleus with barely any leaves left, just trying to get them to sprout enough new side shoots to root and lay the mother plant to rest. but that's what happens when you leave them in a dark basement neglected. i'm surprised any of those survived at all!
get a few votive candle holders
apple cidar vinegar
fill the candle holders half full with the vinegar, put a few drops of dish soap in there, place these around your plants. in a few days the gnats will be gone.
you do not want to use this in a closed off area. make sure the room you put it in is ventilated.
I hve used this and it works VERY well! I have also gotten great reports from other DGers that have used it and in no time at all they were gnat free. Once the gnats are gone try putting ground cinnamon on the soil of your house plants, it will deter the gnats from nesting in your dirt. Σ§:)
I had a couple of questions. They all got answered but one. Thanks. The unanswered question was: When starting with a spring puchased plant would you depot the plant into a larger pot and then take the cuttings as soon as growth provides suitable length to proceed. Or...would you place the new potted plant as a depotted plant into a large multi plant planting and proceed by taking cuttings as soon as the plant is large enough to be worked with? I can certainly pinch the dickens out of them because fifteen inches height would be a pot full. I ordered six to play with. I've had them some years but I never played with them like you folks seem to enjoy them.
I have a few of the now famous stacking pots and want to play with different arrangements including fallers or tumblers, lettuce, onions and who knows what creative thinking will pop up when the greenhouses open for the spring sales. I c
I'm just beginning the coleus experience and I am having such fun with it. I suppose it might be the fact that I can see the results of my efforts in just a few days, as opposed to a few weeks for some other plants.
The information in this thread has been invaluable. I have found though, that any new purchased plants should get acclimated to its environment before any cuttings are taken.
I have to pop in here to say hello, and say wow. This is my first time for growing coleus. I found a nursery in San Antonio, Texas that had them on sale a couple of months ago. I bought a bunch of little square pots, and brought them home. Then I put them all in this tub I found at a yard sale. I thought the little ornamental peppers in the middle would be a good compliment for color, but they are about to be grown over.
One question I have is, do I need to keep the flowers snipped off, or do I let them grow?
I think if you drop a cutting to a crack in the sidewalk it will root. Coleus is very forgiving. It's a good place to start learning about rooting cuttings, pinching off and such. Not to much you could do wrong...except not to pinch at all.
I gave a friends kid a box full of single stem cuttings pinched once to sell at their farm market. For a buck a piece they sold out. One happy little kid!
My mother doesn't want hers pinched--she lets them grow long and lean. I've tried to change her mind, but no luck. Anyway, the woodland critters have stripped the long lean stems of all their leaves, and tiny new leaves are sprouting along the stems. How do I make new plants with those?
You'll have to wait till those leaves grow into stems or at least have a planting node and then clip them off and root them. Pinching encourages those side shoots to grow out and the plant then becomes bushy with more stems to clip for starts. Long and leggy is the result of no pinching.
This may be known...but there are a half dozen products for specialized use. I have used the one for acid loving plants and for inside plants with good results at half the label suggestion. Our gardenia love it. The violets likewise. I alternate with various teas so I am closer to one forth the label suggestion.
Another very interesting different product along these lines is Calcium 25. I am very high on the results with this product. This one is not a fertilizer. Go to the site and read up. Here is one plant that loved it. This is a Porterhouse matter.
WOW, after an hour I feel like I really know how to grow coleous!
Thank you so much Tigerlily! I always rooted in water before and only half of them "took".
I have only these three coleous with no names on their orginal tags. They are all 6 months old and under a patio cover and doing great here. Phoenix is not a strong place to get the more exotic varieties and with this economy.
I think I will have to wait a bit before mail ordering. But I can keep these three going. I once saw one with the name ink or inky in it and it was incredible! When I lived in Oklahoma we grew coleous inside!
If anyone knows the names of these, I would sure appreciate knowing.
There are two sub-topics I believe are interesting and may have been overlooked. First and foremost is a simple good health practice between cuts. When moving from plant to plant it is always good practice to have an alcohol sterilizing dip for the cutting tool.
The best cutting tool for cutting soft stem plants is a #11 Exacto tool. It will slice and dice without smashing cells. In the garden a good razor sharp pocket knife beats all other tools hands down. Sharply cut cuttings will root eaisier and faster. Nothing else will even come close in producing a quality cut. The main reason tools are used is that they are relatively idiot proof and save on the finger cuts. If you are inclined to be a fumble fingered gardener stay with the safe tool for you.
Mycorrhizae Endo is now commonaly available. Your coleus and most garden plants will respond very nicely to the use of mycorrhizae. Growth of size, quality of plant and production are increased. Very helpfull in water stressed conditions. Mycorrhizae is a fungi supported by the host plant that goes out over hundreds of square feet of garden and lawn to pick up and deliver the precise food and amounts of water that the plant needs to supply. To a perhaps smaller degree Mycorrhizae avoids elements in the soil that may hurt the host plant. Mycorrhizae does not become root. It is a root hosted nature tool which is now and always has been in all soils. They were killed out of most lawn, garden and farm soils by the use of fungicides. These fungi are still helping to maintain our massive forrest lands where the mighty oak grows quite well without any help from man if left alone.
First I forgot my gentlemanly appreciation to lillytiger123 for a very excellent show and tell. Few of us can do that well. Thank you very much.
Mycorrhizae must be of the Endo type. I would go on line for it. If it is in the big box stores I have not seen it. Some potting soils are now showing the inclusion of it with their organic product but I do not know which ones. The Ecto types are for trees and shrubs. Some products have both and that does not matter but Endo must be present for general gardening.
Goggle will get you there. One of the best is: http://www.bio-organics.com/ however they do not have small quanities. This site is loaded with excellent information about Mycorrhizae. I use a lot so I am happy here. You will have to snoop around for smaller amounts. I am sure they are out there. ABRICO might be a good source. Check them.
Since someone else bumped this thread I have to say that because I read this thread, I saved some annuals at the end of last summer and held them over in my basement under my grow light. At the beginning of February, I took cuttings and following Tigerlily's great instructions, I started some new plants. I put the 6-packs in a plastic bag and put them on top of my cable box, which I didn't turn off for a couple weeks. I must have read somewhere else to put them in a plastic bag, because I don't see that in Tigerlily's instructions. And I'm not sure about the plastic bag, sometimes it would look too wet, so I'd open it up for a few hours, then close it, etc. I had great success with petunias:
And coleus (by the way, I had not dug the mother plant up yet last fall when we had 35-36 degree temps one night. The basil was fine, but the coleus was all black. I was so disappointed, because I had wanted to try this cutting method. But I dug it up anyway, potted it, cut it right at the base, brought it in and put it in a sunny window and within a few weeks I had nice new growth, which had grown enough to take cuttings in Feb. So, note to self: coleus is more temperamental than basil)
And I was surprised to have really good success with euphorbia diamond frost, those cuttings are already flowering (they set buds after they rooted, I was careful to remove all flowers when I took the cuttings):
Cindyeo, that's an amazing bunch of plants you've salvaged. Especially the dead coleus. Gives me hope that I can save them next fall even if an early frost does nip them. Good to hear about the Diamond Frost. I love those plants. I just pulled out half a dozen fuschia cuttings that didn't take for me. Next time I'll use rooting hormone.
You are welcome Cindyeo, I am glad that this has helped so many people...I remember when I did it, I wasn't sure how it would turn out or whether anyone would even look at it! As you figured out, the same process works with many plants. Some plants root from the node that is in the dirt, some, like lantana etc root from the bottom of the stems, so if you are not sure, then just get one node in the soil and at least one inch of stem below it. I don't think that I would use plastic bags with soft cuttings-they start to rot so fast. You were smart to open them up
docgipe-you are welcome also ( to anyone else kind enough to thank me as well!). While I agree that a sharp cut is a good thing to have, and will help, there is no way that I can take cuttings with a knife. Too many times I have to go between the new growth coming out of a node and clip the stem right in between the new leaves, a knife wouldn't fit. I usually use really long, slender clippers that are sharp.Clippers will get the job done if they are sharp. I have some Fiskars, but I use ones that I found at the dollar store of all places! I bought all they had-like 13 of them. I feel so rich!! I am constantly losing them in the grhouses-that and paintbrushes that I use to pop the plants out of the liner holes when I go to transplant them after they are rooted enough. The clippers have bright handles too so that helps.
Glad this thread came back to the top. With the aid of the above photos I took 20 cuttings or is it pinches, LOL, from some small nursery plants I recently purchased. The cuttings are doing fine.
Since I am used to propagating African Violets from leaf cutting, I just couldn't throw away all those coleus leaves I had trimmed from the cuttings. So, I stuck (crammed) all of them in a 1/2 gal paper ice cream carton filled with coconut coir and put plastic wrap over the top. So far not any of the leaves have wilted. This was on 4/3/09.
Canyon Lake, please let us know if the coleus leaves take root. I've never known of anyone to try that.
Tiger, you did a terrific job and put a lot of work into your tutorial. I've learned the last year or so that coleus root all up and down the buried stem, not just from the node(s), but I always try to have at least one node buried. I'm trying smaller and smaller cuttings since others mention doing that. A few I potted Friday had no nodes at all (to bury). I'm curious to know how that turns out.
I have never used any instrument to make coleus cuttings other than my thumbnail, and I lose maybe one out of 100 cuttings or fewer.
Cindyeo and Brinda, I love using Diamond Frost like you'd use baby's breath in floral arrangements. I was surprised how woody they eventually got late summer, so I took 5 cuttings. They got left out one night when we had a light freeze and they looked like goners. However, I kept them, treated them like they were alive, and 3 have sprouted and I have hopes for the other two. The things are expensive here- $5.00 for a little bitty one. I couldn't believe how big and tough they got before the growing season was over. And talk about non-stop blooming!
This is a great thread. I'm new to coleus and will be trying some cuttings this week, but, Tigerlily, your instructions work like a charm on Persian Shield as well. I had bought a scrawny little thing from the Lowe's sale rack three months ago, gave it a lot of water, and it perked right up and started growing. Then a morning glory trellis fell over on it and broke off/squished several stems. I followed your plan, trimmed the stems, and I now have four Shields glowing purple! Thanks so much!
I took cuttings of three plants last fall.
i had no idea what i was doing as i had only watched my grandmother root geraniums so i wanted to be frugel in case it didnt work.
IT WORKED and now i have 24 parent plantsI have learned so much from Tigerlilies demo and info from other DGers
This is last years cuttingsThese were March 2009 after being planted since January maybe.
Im going to keep better records this year.
I was scared when the new cuttings went flat for a week, I thought they had died.
After watering every 7 - 10 days they were great.
I ended up with 4 flats of the three varieties oh yeah, coleus change color in wimter and dont grow as fast in the house as they do outside.
I dashed thru the thread so if this was mentioned ,excuse it.
ge, treat the trailing coleus the same as the other coleus when taking cuttings:get a node in the soil and the tip above and they will root the same. Sometime, if the stems are skinny, I will stick more than one stem in each cutting.
Not sure if you are short on pots and thats why you put two in a pot, but one cutting of coleus will root out a pot by itself really fast, so if you have the pots, it might be better for the coleus to just put one in each pot. they all look great!!
I'm a little confused by the last post from ge, "I just took the tips out of all the cuttings as that's a part of your instructions I didn't do" What didn't you do?
Then I have a more general question to anyone who wants to answer: Last winter I kept one coleus plant all winter and then followed tiger's instructions in the spring and made several new plants. Now this summer I have several coleus plants that I really like and want to keep (last year was just a test, I didn't really like that variety all that much). So, to save a little room under the lights in my basement all winter, do you think I should take a few cuttings from each plant now, then come late fall choose one of these new smaller plants from each variety to keep and throw away the larger mother plant. Then assume the baby will get enough new growth over the winter to then take cuttings again in the spring for next summer. Is that what most people do? Or do you just keep the original, large, mother plant all winter?
Thanks Pirl That is what I meant
I take c1 cutting from each coleus I like. I let these "parents" grow from Aug until Sept. in the deck where its shady and sunny but not direct sun.
These plants develope into big parents by mid Sept when we get frosts and very cold nights.
I take them into the house for the winter.
As soon as there arestems long enough to take a cutting I do cut ,I dont remember when the first cuts were done last year ,maybe November.
I stick these cuttings in seed starter trays that have been filled with seed starter mix and some potting mix -mixed with composted manuer, what ever is handy.
I put cuttings for really large plants in Yogurt cups because it saves space in the seed trays.
I take cuttings from the parent plants all winter.
I stop in March or April because I transplant everything outside in late May and want to give the April cuttings time to develope.
I also put the parents in the ground.
Hope this isnt too long.
ge, you must have a lot of land where you live for all those mothers and babies!
I only have room in the winter for two or three cuttings, and I grow cuttings from them to plant in the spring. But I only have a balcony garden. One I especially like this year is Penny. It's awesome in the mixed planter I have it in.
Sorry revclus I didnt realize you had a space problem.
The first 2 years
when I did fine art shows I designed a display that was upright yet collapasable so it would fit into a Pinto Station wagon.
When I had enough money to buy a van to do shows I designed a taller version of the "ladders and boardss" system.
My father built the ladders with equal spaced rungs so I could use any length board depending on the space my display was in.
I kept these 4 foot ladders when I moved here 2 years ago.
I'm so glad I did because I thought it was cavalier of me to take 3 cuttings for parent plants last year and ended up with about 50 plants.
This year I have 10 times that many parents and couldnt figure out where to put parents much less babies.
The boards and ladders will be placed in my apartment livingroom.
The rest of the trays will go into the bathtub on 2 colapsable tables that just fit in there side by side.
I believe (at this point) I can only have room for 12 seed starter trays.
If they fill by Feb. I'll just stop taking cuttings ,unless something else occures to me.
My studio is in the basement of this house I share with my daughter and her husband.
I am arthritic so would not like to be up and down the stairs to the basement except for art work
This is getting long so I'll finish with
We are having a garage sale and I'm using the ladder system to display some of the stuff I've dragged around for 12 years.
As you can see it is possible to use more boards and ajust the space but only by 10 or 12 inch incraments.
There are some coleus varieties that just wont take to cutting for me.
The cuttings go past the wilt stage right to dead in a couple of days.
Goldfinch is one that looses its leaves and then the tiny leaves just poop along.\
Ahhhhhh well I cant win them all I'll just have to not include them in my combos for next years tubs and containers.
Maybe you could find another one that's close in color to replace it next year. Also, check your local nurseries now. By Labor Day they want the annuals gone to make room for mums and Halloween pumpkins and gourds. They should have coleus marked down by 50%.
Some will root right away in dirt kept fairly moist and others like water. I have found that using the filtered water from the fridg works better here because there is so much chlorine in our water. Have no idea what the city fathers are thinking. Some like bright light and others do just fine on my coffee table which is like being in a cave.
Also, try putting several different kinds of coleus in the same water. Think they like company.
Well, I broke off two pieces the other day planting so I made a clean cut and plugged them into my holding garden. They are already rooted in less than a week. Of course, it is a 100 degrees and they probably think they are in the tropics because my holding garden is mostly filtered shade.
WOW, this is an awesome thread!!! (And what a flash from the past, eh?)
So, as it happens, I am new to Coleus, and what the heck took me so long!? I really need to thank you, Tigerlily, for starting this thread, 'cause I brought home a few non-selling Coleus from work the other day (they'd have been trashed otherwise, so I got 'em for free!), and when trying to figure out what to do with them, I came here and there you were, to my rescue! =)
I had 1 empty 6-pack tray available, so I've now got 6 cuttings in peat moss/perlite mix. They're out on my back shady garden bench now. Wheeee, my first attempt at this, I sure hope it works! I got 3 (more) Defiance and one Blood Leaf. 2 of the Defiance had already begun to bolt, so I cut those stems way back and got my cuttings (for rooting) from other branches. The Blood Leaf was simply tall and gangly, but with a very thick strong main stem, so that's where I got the 2 cuttings from; one "tip" and one "cutting" from a bit farther down.
Here's what they look like now. I'll keep y'all posted on their progress.
Question: since the mix I used is half peat moss and half perlite, should I still let 'em dry out a bit between waterings? We all know what a bear it is to re-wet peat moss once it dries out. To dry, or not to dry, that is the question. =D
Oh, you're in trouble, speediebean. ;) I found this thread several years ago. When I found how easy it was to root "most" of them (I still have a few that fight me), I turned into a monster.
I mean...you pinch them to make them fuller and it kills me to throw away pinches, ya know? LOL So they end up being stuck in a pot somewhere. I have a friend coming this week to take some off my hands...
Denise, heeheeheee, I figured as much, LOL!! Was thinking to myself yesterday, "Hmmm, I'm gonna HAVE to get more 6-packs from work!" =) When DH starts wondering where on earth all the little clippings and cuttings are coming from, I'll just blame it all on Tigerlily. < =D
So, which ones are the ones that fight you? I sure hope it's not the 2 that I'm trying. I really like the Defiance (apparently, since I now have 5 of 'em, and 3 cuttings), but the Blood Leaf ones are really pretty also. I'm really going to have to try every one I can get my hands on. < =D
Arlene, I bought a new fishnet this year, but it is not doing much except getting very dark in the sun. However, I did take cuttings which I'll try to send to you of Big Red Judy, Dipt in Wine, Peter's Wonder, Red Coral, Sorcerer and Bonefish.
I have a large container with 2 Wizard Pineapples and a Golden Wizard. I had also included in that a variegated sweet potato vine. I wasn't happy with that because they colors of the coleus were not good with the pink, white and mint green of the ipomoea. While I tried to figure out what to do with that vining ipomoea, some thing or some one removed it from the pot and from my yard, solving the problem. They haven't touched the other sweet potato vines or coleus (in the photo).
I had trouble rooting White Fingers - tried cuttings in potting soil several times unsuccessfully. I have one rooting in water, but doesn't look too healthy, either. Interesting to hear Fishnet Stockings is difficult, I've never grown that variety.
Marcia - do you think a critter or a human was responsible for the missing plant? Some colors just don't go with all coleuses. It's a hit and miss issue and I do take photos of what works well for me.
I did buy Fishnet Stockings again last week because I couldn't resist the price of $2.50 for huge coleuses.
The coleus nursery was a few years ago. Now I have regained some (minor) degree of sanity but still have 10 huge 11" wide containers of coleuses. Today I fed them Super Thrive since I cut them all back last week while sitting in the shade.
Haven't tried White Fingers yet. Do you have a photo of it?
Pirl, White Fingers is on the far right of the front container(or you can check the Rosy Dawn website) . It's a small leaf duckfoot (?) - the leaves seem to dry up when rooting, even using hormone powder & keeping the soil moist.
If it's of any consolation to you, the duckfoot types have always been iffy to root for me. It's pretty but now I view those as one year plants and don't frustrate myself trying to get pieces rooted to hold over until the next year.
You could give it one more try with a cutting, some tall stakes in the pot and clear plastic over the stakes (like a dry cleaner's plastic bag) to create a mini greenhouse effect. Keep it in shade, definitely not sunshine. After three weeks you'd remove the plastic just a bit, day by day, until it's in shade without any plastic. See if it works for you.
Some, like Sedona, El Brighto or Sun Jade, seem to root if they see bare soil while others do take more time and some are just resistant to propagation without a greenhouse. Good luck, Denise.
Pirl, MY GOODNESS, you really had it bad when that picture was taken, huh? < =D Heeheeheee, so I see what I have to look forward to in the future! =) DH is gonna disown me, I just know it!
In about a week or so I'll get new pics of the cuttings to share how they are doing. So far so good, and it's been helpful that we've been getting a few showers a day since I put 'em out there. I didn't cover them or anything, just put them straight onto the bench uncovered, but they are getting only a bit of filtered sunlight, mostly bright shade. I also put that 6-pack in this little wooden "cradle" thingy that I found, I thought it was a cute display for little pots.
Your 'white fingers' one looks similar to one I have called 'butter cream', which roots very easily! A favorite of mine this year is 'jack of diamonds'. I bought it new from RD. I'll try to take some pictures later. Right now I need to get off this computer and out in the yard before it gets too hot.
Speediebean: At the time I already had many of my own. Those in the photo were sent by one person!
As for your new cuttings - you'll spot new growth and you'll see how springy the cuttings feel to your fingers.
I cannot imagine a human taking this plant as it is not along the sidewalk and actually closer to my house. Besides, I have much nicer plants to take if someone wants it. I don't know if chipmunks eat sweet potato vine, but they had been playing in the soft soil. This is the only photo I have with the missing vine in it. It is the green and white with purplish edges (not particularly color compatible with the yellows and greens). The basil you see on the lower right is in an adjacent container. I could use a few north fork foxes. We have coyotes, but not really on my street.
I guess you don't want Sorcerer or Inky Pink or Trailing Rose, but if I get a good rooting on Dipt in Wine and Big Red Judy, I'll be sending them along.
I have some garden center "bucks" which I cannot wait to spend. Every year I spend cash at the garden centers, and they give me one "buck" for credit for each $10 I spend. Usually I miss the dates they are "spendable" and I lose out because I miss the right dates. This year I'll stay on top of it. I like the "Beds and Borders" coleus. I just realized they are from Long Island (HaHa, I feel silly).
Pirl, I will be out checking on all the babies early tomorrow morning... and, **gulp** then potting up my new acquisitions that I brought home today. I COULDN'T HELP IT!!!!!!!!! < =D There'd been this one Coleus left-over, sitting outside on the table, in a 4" pot all by itself with the 4-packs of other Coleuses, and it was just YELLING at me while I was watering today, "Speeeeedieeeee, you neeeeeeeeeed to take me home with you!!!!" It sounded so sad, what else could I do!?!?! So, I brought him home, and ... **ahem** one of the 4-packs of "Wizard Mix". The tiny little guys in the 4-pack are... well, tiny, and one of 'em was missing, (no complaints here, they were free!), so I haven't got any pics of them yet, however, I did get one of the "Lime Red". =)
P.S. DH just laughed at me. =) I soooo LOVE my DH!!
Marcia - so you are convinced that it was a critter that ate or took the plant? It's such a pretty photo. We don't have coyotes and our foxes keep changing locations and obviously finding rabbits since they appear well fed when we see the photos published in the local paper. I'd love any cuttings you want to send! I'll pay the postage. Mark your calender to "spend the bucks".
How funny! Beds and Borders is where I buy my bargain coleuses! It's 20 minutes away.
Speedie - congratulations on the new coleus but more importantly for loving your husband. I've always liked the Wizard Mix and the Carefree Mix is really nice. Once you get the tiny babies potted you will almost be able to watch them grow. They will be so happy to have some foot room, good soil and attention.
Speedie, I've gotten a few of the wizard plants, and they have done well, so I am sure you'll make them into strong plants. I am looking for the hort couture in the small containers, $5 and under instead of $14 for the under the sea varieties.
Pirl, I think it's an animal because I have a lot of lovely containers with callas as well as garden conainers with coleus and dark sweet potato vines. In addition, It looks like a critter walked into the front garden bed and stepped on the spent iris leaves to steal a green tomato. When it is squirrels, they just take a bite and leave it, but this tomato was at least 4 ounces, and it is gone down to the stem. I can't help but think it is deer, and they did not even have to bend down to grab it. Quite frankly, I am so confused this year.
The missing potato vine is called Tri Colored. If you like I will have some waiting for you next spring. I had a back yard of it a few years ago and many all pink leaves.
I think the best deterrent is fox or coyote urine which is available on line. My squirrels would dig and toss my Rosy Dawn plugs last year at Okeechobee. I usually could just pick them up and replant.
Recovering from a broken back in Jacksonville, the squirrels didn't get that luxury this year.
A really terrific lady from this Forum was good enough to go get most of my plants I had left there back in April. The Snowbirds had watered them up until then.
I love being in Zone 10 during the winter and look forward to going back in November.
I will again root and over winter every cutting any of you send me in September.
Please keep me in mind and if I don't take another "Giant step" off of a 9' porch I'll mail you back fresh plants next spring. Although my gardening has waned here in Jacksonville, I will have enough to keep them going until I go south in November.
Thanks, Sidney. I liked the tricolor plant, but was hemming and hawing because the color was not right in the container with the coleus plants in there. I was considering where to replant it when I walked outside to find it missing. I have ipomoeas that I overwintered and a few more that I picked up this spring with a bit more bronze and green colors, and they are all doing well.
Coleuslover, yes, White Fingers looks very similar to Butter Cream. I'm not all that thrilled with WF, it has really tiny leaves & seems to get more green than white as it grows. Were you pleased with Butter Cream?
Marcia, Dipt in Wine is my favorite and super easy for even a newbie like me to root.
Sidney, do you have "Golda"? Looked ordinary gold as a plug from RD, but it's really matured into something special. An unusual "blush" forms on the golden leaves.
Oh that Golda is GORGEOUS!!!! Your Dipt in Wine is beautiful too, I've wanted one (or three) of those for a while now, but ended up with something more suitable to my personality: Defiance. ;P
I got the Lime Red potted up today, after taking a couple cuttings from it, of course. ;) They're now in their new home out back.
Also, got the Wizard Mix potted up into their little homes as well. While I was taking a little break from the heat, I was gazing out at the benches and grabbed my notebook... took some notes and did a bit of a rough-draft of how I want it all to look next year. Nothing but Coleus, Setcretia, and Hosta. Period. I can tell that those do well back there, and the rest of what I've got there aren't doing as well, so may as well stick with what works, right? =)
Last winter I ended up with over 400 coleus plants in the basement. I said I wasn't going to overdo it like that again this winter. Ha! It's only Sept and it's already too crowded down there. These were just supposed to be the stock plants! It's hard to cut back the coleus outside and just throw away the cuttings. I've decided not to take cuttings after mid Sept tho, as it seemed like the later ones didn't do as well.
I have to go away for a week now. I'm worried about my plants. What do some of you do to keep them moist while you are gone? A friend says she puts clear plastic sheets over them, hanging over the lights soas to give some air. I'm worried that I'll start a fire or something if I do that.
Agree with you entirely. Don't cover the lights. You can use saran wrap which is light and just lay it over the top of the plants. That should help without injuring the plants, but still keep the moisture in.
I'd be too afraid of both fire as well as suffocating the plants by having the plastic touch the coleus leaves. I'll keep watch on this thread to see what others suggest.
When we went on vacation recently, I put all my cuttings (most were rooted) in my (ugly) mini-greenhouse on the porch. They all did very well but this isn't a solution for your current circumstance. Could a friend/relative/neighbor help?
Coleuslover, if you are going to cover them with plastic, put as many of them together in one container or one are and cover the who thing with a large thin plastic bag, like a cleaner's bag use a large stick to keep the plastic off the plants, one in each pot if necessary. If it make a little hole, it is still ok.
I ended up just asking a neighbor boy to come in and water them. They survived fine but I did notice a few that looked like they got missed. Maybe their water needs were just a little greater. (No one meets the needs like 'mommy' does!). Speaking of 'Mommy', I think the grandkids were happy to see their parents return. Young kids DO miss their parents after a few days.
I have to go to FL in about 10 days as learned my ex-husband is doing poorly. I hope my neighbor is going to be available again!
Daughter is going down but I don't want her to have to deal with situation alone. Not sure what we'll do about it, but at least we can asses the situation. Are any of you here near Cocoa Beach, FL? We'll be going down Oct 9 for a few days.
Well I am finally taking cutting today. I will put them in pots but then I am going to put them in my holding garden outside. We are still in high 90s but this area is just about total shade this time of year but has great light. I think I will have better success there. Then when they are rooted I will move them into my winter garage garden, which by the way is not ready cleaned and set up yet. My biggest problem has been over watering them. Let's see how I do this year.
In missouri course we have frost and so many of the business use coleus in their landscape so we walk at lunch and take snips...rofl i know fall is not the best time to start plants but if you can get the conditions right you can get alot of starts
Did a job on Chicago's flower boxes in the street when I was up there a few weeks ago. Figured they'd be gone soon anyway. Even got Fishnet Stocking to grow. Also stuck in a few begonias too. What the heck!
Thanks, Carol. They didn't have a name in the pot. At this time of year I doubt they'll sell them.
Nancy - happy birthday, again. You're only 10 months older than I am!
I did plant a Fishnet Stockings in a pot and it lived! That is a difficult one but so far, so good. I took cuttings awhile ago and they're doing well. I couldn't resist the local sale back in May and June.