It is quite easy to do cutting propagation for coleus. Last month, I took four cuttings from my coleuses, and three of them have survived. I guess this wasn’t too bad for someone who propagated plant from cutting for the first time, and I have already started propagating my second batch of coleus cuttings a few days ago.
So here, let me show you how I do cutting propagation with my coleus.
Step 1 Collect Coleus Cuttings
Choose coleus plants that are healthy and disease free. Then, with a cleaned razor blade (you can clean your razor blade with rubbing alcohol), take the cuttings from the stem tip such that the cuttings are approximately 3-4 inches long.
Step 2 Prepare the Cuttings
Remove any flower stalks, as flower stalks can take energy away from the new plant and prevent new growth. Remove the leaves that arise from the bottom nodes and keep only the top 2-3 pairs of leaves. Then, with a cleaned razor blade, make a slanted cut at the bottom, leaving around 3 inches of the cutting.
Step 3 Prepare the Container
While any small, well-drained container will do, I would recommend you to use a plastic strainer basket as the container for coleus propagation. It is not only well-drained (no container has better drainage than a strainer 🙂 ), but it also helps in aeration.
Step 4 Prepare the Medium
Any well drained medium should be fine. Ensure that the medium is free from disease and pest.
Step 5 Plant the Cuttings
Use a chopstick and make a hole in the medium. Stick the coleus cutting into the hole and gently press the surrounding medium. Plant the cuttings deep enough to not let the stem cutting fall off. If you have problem keeping the stem cuttings from falling, you can wet the medium first before planting in the cuttings. Wet medium can hold up the coleus cuttings better.
Step 6 Use Rooting Hormone
Rooting hormone speeds up the development of the root system a bit. There are many different types of rooting hormone. Some are in powder form, while others are concentrated solutions. Read the instructions clearly before use.
Step 7 Water the Coleus Cuttings
Water the plant medium till the medium is fully wet and water starts dripping from the drainage holes. If you use rooting hormone that is a concentrated solution, you can dissolve the hormone in water and use it to water the coleus cuttings now.
Step 8 Keep a Warm & Humid Growing Environment
Because Hong Kong is quite warm and humid in spring, I don’t put my coleus cuttings in a greenhouse. But if you are living in a colder or dryer place, you may need to keep your coleus cuttings in a clear plastic bag.
Once the root systems of the cuttings have developed, the coleus cuttings are ready for repotting into their individual pots. This usually takes around 2-3 weeks (I repotted mine after 16 days). In these 2-3 weeks, the plant medium must be kept moist. A greenhouse keeps the air warm and humid, so if you use a greenhouse, you may not need to water your cuttings in the coming 2-3 weeks of time before repotting them individually into bigger containers. But, nevertheless, you always keep an eye on them.
As for me, since I don’t use a greenhouse, I water my cuttings with rooting hormones solution whenever the medium gets dry to the touch.
Once we have repotted the new coleus plants, we must thoroughly water the planting medium till there is water dripping from the drainage holes.