Jim G
Jim G
  • Hometalker
  • Suffolk, VA
Asked on Aug 20, 2012

HOW to use the SEED from this plant to grow NEW plants for next year? The Purple Flowers on top of Caladium / Coleous?

Nay9324474JanetteyMerry
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Answered

I THINK there is a way to get the seed after the flowers start to die, and use that seed to grow NEW plants for next year. How do I do this? (MY guess would have been as the flower starts to die, take teh whole flower and seed and let it dry for approx 2 weeks, then plant inito new soil, kept moist, but not too wet. ????)
LOVE this plant and it does SOOOOOOOO well, but what do I do with the flowers now?  Prune them off and keep them in a jar??
LOVE this plant and it does SOOOOOOOO well, but what do I do with the flowers now? Prune them off and keep them in a jar??
q how to use the seed from this plant to grow new plants for next year the purple, flowers, gardening
32 answers
  • Becky H
    on Aug 20, 2012

    Jim, it's Coleous. Wish I could help w/the seed question, but I've never been one to gather seeds for propagation. I'm more the "let Mother Nature do it" and then I transplant the new offspring.

    • Barbara P
      on Jun 4, 2014

      @Becky H I used to root these coleus in water , never thought about the seeds!!!

  • Becky (J) P
    on Aug 20, 2012

    I would just leave them in the ground and hope they reseed themselves. I do this with a vinca plant that comes up every year now. Your plant looks very nice.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Aug 20, 2012

    You can collect the seed, save it in a cool, dry place for the winter, then plant indoors 10 weeks before your last frost date. But you will not necessarily get coleus that looks like the ones you have. If you want clones of what you have, you need to take cuttings, but you'll have to have somewhere to keep them going during the winter.

  • Jim G
    on Aug 20, 2012

    Thanks Doug. and assume the seed is on this same stem of purple flowers? I was thinking about cutting them all off now and putting in a vase to look nice (??MAYBE??), then as they brown, putting them in another vase i use for saving seed till they are ready to put in soil. I have NO IDEA, but it is fun learning!

    • Jim G
      on Jan 24, 2015

      @Donna looking forward to this spring/summer to cut a few! so many are growing now, it should be easy, EVEN if only a few take! :)

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Aug 20, 2012

    I can't see the purple flower well enough to know what it is. You have nothing to lose by trying!

  • Z
    on Aug 20, 2012

    I think I have a close up picture of the purple flowers. Let me check....Yep I sure do. I remember this was the first time I'd ever seen a Coleus bloom.

    q how to use the seed from this plant to grow new plants for next year the purple, flowers, gardening, You can not only see the purple flowers in this picture but the buds just before they bloom too I hope this helps
  • Jennifer rizzo
    on Aug 20, 2012

    I actually pinch back the flowers and in the fall, root the cutting in water and put it in a planter for winter. They do great indoors as long as you don't let them dry out. The in the spring, replant. Coleus is a great annual because it roots easily in water and you can propagate it all summer.This works great in my Zone 5a yard!

  • Jim G
    on Sep 3, 2012

    @ Jennifer: in water, like water ONLY? so is it taking the flower stem and sitting that in water? (I tried that with flower stems to get the seeds..... BTW Doug: The seeds were obvious once the flowers died and I took them out of the water and let them all dry out for 2-3 weeks. seeds are small/tiny black little things...... ) ?Should the flower stems root? I guess I'm trying to understand what the "cuttings" are. Not any of the leaves, right?

    • Jim G
      on Jan 11, 2015

      @Judy stems 5-6 inches long.... Ok, I tried that with some Honeysuckle as an experiment and placed the stem in water only and that seemed to work well! roots grew like crazy! (Use a Milk jug, half full of water..... and in indirect sunlight behind house..... ) Thank you.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Sep 4, 2012

    Yes, the stems should root.

  • Linda T
    on Jun 17, 2014

    As far as I know, no one saves the coleus seeds (except the nurseries that sell packets) If you want to have brighter, larger leaves, you should 'pinch' out the flowers as soon as they show. They do not smell good and are not showy, as this plant is bred for it's foliage. Common name, 'Flame Nettle'. Whenever they get 'leggy', like mine do in a bright winter window, simply cut or break off the stems to shape the original plant as small as you want it, and put them in a vase of water. I would normally rinse out the jar and put fresh water for a photograph, but left it for you to see how the roots will reach for as little water as you give them.

    q how to use the seed from this plant to grow new plants for next year the purple, flowers, gardening
    • Jim G
      on Jun 17, 2014

      @Linda T Thank you! Seems the plant propagates on it's own well enough too! I have a WHOLE ROW of these growing along the front! BUT did note and agree your comment to cut the flowers (thus seeds) tp keep only the foliage. Thanks much for the reply!

  • Lori Jackson
    on Jun 24, 2014

    A couple of years ago I mishandled a hose and knocked a branch off a potted coleus. Operating in what the heck mode, I stripped the lower stem of leaves (big branch, involved a bit of cursing at myself) and simply stuck it into the pot. Looked wilty and icky and then suddenly it did not. Easy rooters.

  • Dorothy
    on Jul 2, 2014

    Coleus is bred for the colorful foliage. The flower stalks aren't particularly pretty, sometimes have a vaguely unpleasant scent. Pinch off the flower stalks as this will encourage the plant to become more bushy. In the fall, before the first frost, cut or break off branches that are about 6 inches long, strip most of the leaves off and put into a glass or other container of just plain old water. Set in bright but not direct light and within a few days to a week you will see roots beginning to form. Let the roots grow to several inches long and then pot up in potting soil that is kept moist. Grow as an indoor plant in bright light through the winter. In the spring, depending on how big it has grown, transfer to an outdoor site or cut off more cuttings and root the same way and plant those outdoors. You can also dip cuttings into a rooting hormone (either powdered or liquid form) and stick into either potting soil or a rooting medium (mostly sand) and keep moist and shaded until roots are well formed (usually a couple weeks). This is the ONLY way to get exactly the same color/pattern that you have now as seeds won't grow true.

    • Jim G
      on Jul 2, 2014

      @Dorothy Thank you Dorothy. I posted this last season and at the end of fall, cut down all the plants and stripped the seeds and dropped them in the ground, covering with dirt and mulch. I'm not sure if the plant itself propagates easily or the seeds took, but there double what was there last year, AND as you say, it seems hardly ANY are growing Burgundy leaves and most seem to be green leaf plants. - thank you for the propagating tip, I'll do that with the burgundy plants this year.

  • Dorothy
    on Jul 2, 2014

    You're quite welcome. As you discovered the plants growing from seed often revert back to the pretty plain jane originals. Check at nurseries for widely varying types....a few do well in moderate dappled sun but most are shade lovers with just bright diffuse light making them happy. There are colors ranging from deep burgundy/purple to bright green/yellow with lots of different color patterns on leaves. I have some pots with lime green, burgundy and russet colors planted along with a rex begonia that picks up the burgundy, has a medium green with a bit of a gray/silver tone and the most interesting whirligig shaped leaves....and a lime green creeping jenny to trail down over the pot edges. Pinch out any buds and go back to the leaf pair below the flower spike....new sprouts will come from the joint of leaf and stem the next couple of leave pairs down the leaf...making for a more bushy plant. I just pinch all growing tips about every two weeks to make them spread out and be thickly leaved and not get leggy.

    • Judy
      on Jan 11, 2015

      @Jim G It's great that the seeds bred true. In my experience cross pollination is the rule rather than the exception. I suspect you only had one color of coleus to begin with. If the seeds work for you then go with it! They'll produce a lot more plants than cuttings would & you won't have to tend a bunch of plants all winter long. They do make nice, colorful houseplants in the dead of winter though. A spot of color when nothing is blooming. Have fun with your gardening!

  • Jeannine
    on Jul 13, 2014

    just cut piece but in soil in house for the winter give bright light will grow d all the time. with coleus plants.

    • Dolores
      on Nov 21, 2014

      @Jeannine agree, just plant cuttings indoors in plenty of light, and you will have enough to plant outdoors in the spring, much easier than growing from seed

  • Sheryl
    on Jul 13, 2014

    yes that's exactly what I do and sit it in a bright room till the spring .Just don't let it get too cold.

  • Pepsigirl13
    on Jul 18, 2014

    For coleus, pluck off those funky stems to prolong your plants life. before frost, either cut plant way back and bring in OR take lots of cuttings, take off low lying leaves and immerse in water. if you are in southern clime, just use take root medium to root, although coleus is one of the easiest plants to generate roots in water. caledium grow from rhizones (sp) like begonias, so you have to dig up and treat before saving, like you would a dahlia bulb. my hubs has prolonged lives of both, digging up, cleaning, dipping in mild water/bleach solution, drying and storing in cool, dry location.

    • Jim G
      on Jul 19, 2014

      @ so what is the difference from Coleus and Caledium? GOOGLED it..... we didn't really know the difference for years, so 10 minutes and I learned so much!

  • Jim G
    on Jul 18, 2014

    ahhhhh, so dahlia's have to be dug up? we JUST planted them this year..... nice flowers, but I THINK my wife thought we can just cut them down like we do the other bulbs....

    • Jim G
      on Dec 28, 2014

      @Judy 6' would be awesome! and I am assuming the loose soil / mulch mix is what is helping them grow so well then. I'll make sure where I plant the seeds is direct sun, soft/deep soil. (and we have plenty of DE for our pool, so putting a ring around them will be easy enough. Thank you!

  • Tobbie Burkhardt
    on Jul 19, 2014

    From time to time I will find and plant a beautiful coleus. When I hear the first frost is coming, I clip off the top 4 inches of some of the branches, strip off the last row of leaves on the stem and put them in some "rooting" vases I have. The cuttings will get new roots on them and live most of the winter in just water, however if they get so big, I go ahead and put them in a pot with soil. By the time spring comes around, I can take a few cuttings from the winter starts and root them and plant them all! Try it!

  • Barbara P
    on Jul 21, 2014

    I had Coleus at least 4 ft high and beautiful until the winds knocked them down, I was in KeyWest at that time........ Barbara P

  • Myrna Engle
    on Sep 3, 2014

    If you( all of you) have not tried Perilla in place of Coleus, give it a chance. Grows to huge proportions. Doesn't break. Starts and re-starts same as coleus. Costs more, worth more.

    • Jim G
      on Sep 3, 2014

      @Myrna Engle I definitely will Myrna! Thank you for the tip!

  • Dorothy
    on Sep 3, 2014

    @Myrna Engle , interesting info on perilla. Did some research and found it is related to both coleus and basil. Have not seen it (or didn't notice it) in nursery stock. Does it come in the variety or near the variety of colors of coleus? I know that coleus didn't used to have the colors it does today so perhaps this is early in the breeding for color?

  • Dorothy
    on Dec 26, 2014

    Did a little digging and sounds like a pretty good plant to incorporate into the garden for some purple color. Mint family related......any scent?

    • Jim G
      on Dec 26, 2014

      @Dorothy if there is a scent, it's not very noticeable for me, though does provide awesome color!

  • Tami penney
    on Jan 10, 2015

    Perilla is in the mint family, commonly used in Asian countries for cooking. Haven't done much research but usually have to be careful when planting anything in the mint family- can be very invasive. Plant in pots &then out in the ground. I also dig in plastic borders under the soil to create border so it cannot escape.

  • Elizabeth mya
    on Jan 20, 2015

    I have these colourful lot.. you just cut and plant. That's it .no need to worry about seeds..

    • Jim G
      on Jan 20, 2015

      @Elizabeth mya Thank you Elizabeth mya. Appreciate your reply!

  • JMBecker
    on Jan 22, 2015

    They are coleus and you cannot believe how many different kinds there are. Check them out and see all the variations.

  • JMBecker
    on Jan 22, 2015

    Jim: Another favorite plant that is wonderful and some come up year after year...are call Dianthus another plant with many different kinds. Let us know how you make out.

  • Jennifer Whitticker
    on Jan 23, 2015

    I love Perilla, but it's more invasive than mint! Once you plant it, the following year, it will be in your grass and the neighbor's yard even if potted. I control it by controling the flowers in fall.

    • Jim G
      on Jan 23, 2015

      @Jennifer Whitticker WOW.... interesting, glad you shared that! neighbor might not be thrilled! Have a good weekend Jennnifer.

  • Terrie Neudorf
    on Jan 24, 2015

    You can grow coleus from both plant cutting with rooting powder of from leaf cuttings . I have done both . I found they take too long to grow from seed . But if you do then soak the seed over night . It helps them germinate .

  • Nan
    on Jun 28, 2015

    Coleus can be grown indoors or outside in the garden or in containers. They need to be planted in a partially shaded area with early morning or late afternoon sun. Pinterest has many sites that tell you exactly how to grow them. There are many, many different types and colours. They are gorgeous plants.

  • Merry
    on Jul 7, 2015

    The way I have done is when the bloom on coleus is starting to fade cut all boom off. Gather them together the stems put in paper bag upside down gather sack around an fasten with rubber band let set in cool place it takes a few months. I shake the bag you can hear the seed then plant seed after frost about in late April or May in Okla. happy seeding

  • Janettey
    on Aug 17, 2015

    I love my coleus too. Such pretty leaves. Nice to know you need to soak the leaves. Did not know that.

  • Nay9324474
    on Aug 31, 2016

    Personally, I would dig up the entire ( or a small portion of) the plant and take it indoors during the cold season, and back out in warmer season...... LOVE COLEOUS

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