Examine your cuttings carefully!

New Hyde Park, NY

Even though I said this fall I won't have the house cluttered with Coleus cuttings I did it again :) Last week I took about 100 cuttings and they are growing nicely. Today I examined them with a magnifying glass and found a couple of teeny tiny mealy bugs :( I also noticed that a couple of leaves had a lacy design and decided to look closely and found a tiny caterpillar. Okay so those cuttings were all thrown out and now I am wondering what kind of caterpillar likes Coleus?

Check out all of your cuttings before and after bringing them indoors!

Carol (daisy lee)

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Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

Probably a hungry type of caerpillar. LOL Maybe it was an inch worm that dropped from a taller plant or tree.

Everyone does something different to protect their plants. Many people use alcohol for mealy bugs or some other type of treatment. You are right to check out your cuttings before bringing them indoors. Also check your container plants before bringing them indoors. Treat them before taking cuttings, and if they are questionable, toss them or segregate. You can also leave them to root outdoors before it gets too cool at night.

Lots of plants root at different rates. It is essential to check them frequently. If you root them in water, change the water if it becomes murky or if the cuttings get mushy. I pull out rooted cuttings and separate them from those without roots. I often add perlite to give stability to less firm cuttings and to give the roots something for grabbing instead of tangling with other roots.

If you root in soil, use sterilized potting soil mix. You can lighten it up with perlite or vermiculite. You want to make certain there are no pests in the soil.

Daisy, your plants look lovely. As a result of the warm, easy winter, pests turned my plants into dinner on many fronts.

Mount Laurel, NJ

Wow, your coleus are beautiful!

When I bring in cuttings, I rinse them thoroughly under running water then swish them in a bucket of suds. I put them in water until I can get them potted up which might be anytime from an hour to a few weeks. A week or so after potting them, I will put a about 1/4 tsp of 'Bayers tree and shrub 3 in 1 protection', on them. This has cured insect problems for me in the past.

New Hyde Park, NY

Cathy and Coleuslover, thanks for the great tips and compliments! I usually do swish my cuttings in sudsy water but this time I was in a hurry! Haste makes waste for sure! I have taken more cuttings and soaked them first. I have Bayer 3 in 1 and didn't know I can use it in a week or so when the cuttings are so young and delicate. I have mine growing in yogurt cups. Is 1/4 tsp. too much?


Mount Laurel, NJ

1/4 tsp might be too much for a yogurt cup. I put it into a 2 or 3 in pot and it's a little too much for even that according to directions, tho I didn't have any problems. I think I'd make it about 1/8 tsp for the yogurt cup. And be sure to stick a toothpick in it or something, as a marker that you treated it, because it should be done ONLY ONCE!
(Until you put it in the ground outside, then you could give it some more.)

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

My last experience with cuttings was last winter. I have has earwigs and gnats.The gnats were the worst. All winter ,they never let up. I believe it was the potting soil that they came in with. We had many potted plants in several rooms so the house was filled.

I didnt take cuttings this year but DD did,she keeps them in her office window upstairs.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Three years ago I found this one on a coleus. He/she blended in with the stem so well I'd never have noticed but he crawled across the carpeting to try and escape, I guess.

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