Archive for October 27th, 2010


How to Propagate Coleus

October 27, 2010

One of my favorite plants is coleus. As annuals, coleus die after one season, usually from the first frost. However, coleus are easy to propagate. With a few simple steps and little care, you can have a whole flat of coleus to plant outdoors next spring. Here are two methods to propagate coleus, and most any type of cutting.

Material for First Method:

  • Pony packs or 1” pots
  • Sharp snips or razor blade
  • Rooting hormone
  • Starter soil
  • Drip trays 

Note:  If you are reusing nursery pots, be sure to sterilize them inside, and out with a stiff brush dipped in one-part bleach to nine-parts water, rinse thoroughly with water. Always sterilize cutting tools before trimming. This will help eliminate any possibility of transferring diseases. 

  1. Fill pots with starter soil, wet thoroughly. You may have to stir the soil like cake batter to ensure that all of it gets wet.
  2. Select only healthy stems and cut them just above the soil.
  3. Cut stems into sections making sure each has two leaf nodes. Leave 2 inches of stem below the lower node.
  4. Remove all leaves except the top two. Do not leave any flower shoots.
  5. Dip the cuttings in rooting hormone just above the bottom node.
  6. Place the cuttings in pots filled with wet starter soil. You can plant 2-3 cuttings per pot about half-an-inch apart.
  7. Lightly push soil around cuttings just enough to secure it.
  8. Water well.
  9. Place indoors near a window with filtered sunlight.
  10. Keep cuttings moist, not soggy.


 Material for Second Method:

  • Sharp snips or razor blade
  • Room-temperature water
  • 3-inch pots
  • Jars  
  1. Fill each jar with water.
  2. Follow steps 2-4 in the first propagation method above.
  3. Place in jars by a window with filtered sunlight. Change the water daily.
  4. Once the cuttings have 3-inch roots (this takes about two weeks), transplant to 3-inch pots.
  5. Keep moist, and place in a sunny window.
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