Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Extending the Lives of Coleus

I always look forward to the beginning of Autumn and the crisp chill in the air. But the part of fall that I enjoy least is that most of the outdoor plants die for the season. What if I could tell you that this doesn't have to happen. (Writing that sounds like I am in an infomercial.) But it's true. There are a few plants that you can take clippings from and overwinter inside your home. This means that you will have to buy less next spring and having them inside your home will cheer you up all winter. WIN WIN!

As usual, I planted lots of coleus in the spring. And a couple of these plants were from the summer of 2014 that I prorogated last fall.

The plants that did the absolute best throughout the year were from the Temple Ambler plant sale. I'm not sure what they do to make these, but they went wild! They were huge. The main 4 plants in the following picture are all from them and they are one plant each!

What you will want to do is snip several stems from each plant. If you only have a slightly green thumb like me, only about half of them will make it through the fall/winter/spring to replant. Keep this in mind and prepare as much as you have space for.

First you will need the following:
  • plants to cut (so far I have only tried coleus, but there are others you can try)
  • scissors
  • vases
  • water

And after a few weeks you will need the following:
  • planters (use whatever you have for this)
  • potting soil

  • Here are the directions:
    • Take cuttings from your plants. They should be around 4-6 inches each.
    • Snip off the bottom leaves of each stem
    • Place in a vase with water to cover the leaf nodes that you just cut
    • Once the roots are established you can replant into soil
    • To root into soil take potting soil and place into your pot
    • Make an indentation for the stem/roots with your finger or a pencil
    • Place the plant into the hole and gently push the soil around it
    • Keep moist and keep in bright indirect sunlight

    I started with 13 varieties of coleus. Yes, you could say I am obsessed with this plant. Here is a pic of each plant together.

    While the roots are establishing themselves you can arrange them like you would any other flower. Mix and Match or use all of one type in each vase.

    I foresee this being this years Thanksgiving arrangements. They look splendid, especially lit by candlelight.

    1 comment:

    Resham said...

    lovely and helpful.. By any chance you can tell the names of these coleus? Especially the smallest two toned one.
    Thank you.