This winter I found out just how easy it is to grow coleus from cuttings and overwinter these cuttings as a starter plant for spring.
It all started with a beautiful coleus I had growing in a pot in my front entrance – Coleus ColorBlaze ‘Sedona’. What I love about this particular coleus is it’s huge, rust and orange coloured leaves combined with delicate purple-blue flowers. I thought that it’s colours would blend beautifully in my garden and really wanted to try a mass planting. But how to do so without having to spend more money on annuals in spring? The solution was to try and create my own starts in spring.
Before the frosts came last fall, around mid-October, I took 5 cuttings from my potted plant. I removed a couple of leaf nodes from the lower part of the stems, and put them in a clear vase in my south and west facing kitchen window sill until they rooted, which took only a couple of weeks. I left them in the water for another couple of weeks to grow a strong root system and then potted them in a large indoor pot with potting soil. I put the pot in a sunny winter and they immediately took off, requiring only watering, a little fertilizer and regular pinching back to keep them in size and stop them from flowering (the flower petals drop and make a mess in the house).
I am finding my indoor coleus are now getting a bit leggy — perhaps outgrowing the pots they are in but as it is now time to take more cuttings I’m not concerned. I will take 20-30 cuttings and repeat the process. This time I plan to pot them in four inch pots and pinch them back mercilessly then plant them outdoors as soon as the risk of frost has past. The whole process should take about 2 months.