HOW TO TAKE CUTTINGS FROM COLEUS

Coleus foliage


Coleus are without doubt one of my favourite, 'Plan B' plants. I say 'Plan B' because once I have exhausted my knowledge of colourful plants for shade (and let's be honest, there aren't that many), I can always, always rely on a Coleus cultivar to come up with the goods.

Coleus cuttings
They are inexpensive, compact, and produce foliage so ornamental and exotic that even strong flowering plants find it difficult to compete! But the very best thing about them is this. Not only do they cope with the shade, they positively thrive! They retain a better shape, the colours are far stronger, in fact they bleach in a sunny position, and their leaves become larger and more luxurious.

The trouble is that with so many good cultivars around, once you have bought your favourites there is no guarantee that you will be able to find the same ones next year. However, there is a solution, and that is to take cuttings from your existing stock. Luckily enough it is extremely easy!

How to take Coleus cuttings
You could plonk a piece of stem into a jar of water and it will root, however it will produce what are unscientifically called 'water roots'.

The problem with these is that when it comes to potting them on, most of the roots will probably break off in the process.

The remain roots will then stop growing for a week or so while the root enzymes reconfigure for the new environment - this is known as root shock.

The best and most productive thing to do is to do the job properly and strike your cuttings into a suitable compost.

The best times of year to take cuttings are August and March. Using a sharp, sterilized blade tale 3 inch long tip cuttings from non-flowering shoots, making your cut just below a leaf node. Pinch out the growing tip, and remove the bottom half of the leaves.

Rooted Coleus cuttings
Root the cuttings singularly in 2½ pots containing a good quality compost such as John Innes 'No 1'. You will not require rooting hormone, but you will require a basal heat of 16-18 degrees Celsius.

This should be fine in a warm house, but you may need to use a heated propagator in cooler climates or at colder times of the year. They should take root within a week or so.

Once they have become established in the pot then they can be re-potted into 4 inch pots. After which they can be planted outside into their final position once the threat of frost is over.

For related article click onto the following links:
COLEUS
COLEUS 'Palisandra'
HOW TO GROW COLEUS
HOW TO GROW COLEUS FROM SEED
HOW TO PROPAGATE ABUTILON FROM CUTTINGS
HOW TO TAKE CUTTINGS FROM COLEUS
HOW TO TAKE CUTTINGS FROM COLEUS
HOW TO TAKE LAVENDER CUTTINGS
HOW TO TO TAKE CUTTINGS FROM THE STRAWBERRY TREE - Arbutus unedo

No comments: