I mistakenly snapped a piece of my Trusty Rusty Coleus and now trying to propagate it. It is a pretty long stem so I took all the leaves off except for what you see and put it in a bottle of water. I read that it should take about 2 weeks before I see roots growing. Any suggestions?
q trying to propagate a trusty rusty coleus never done this before, gardening, perennial
  36 answers
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Aug 03, 2012
    That should work, Pamela, but I think I would have cut off more of the stem. You're going to start out with a leggy plant this way.

  • Pamela F Pamela F on Aug 03, 2012
    Doug, what do you mean more of the stem? Should I cut more stems off to be rooted?

  • Susan S Susan S on Aug 03, 2012
    Pamela, he means you need to cut the stem shorter that you're trying to root - otherwise the stem is so long & skinny it won't have much strength. I always put my cuttings in a clear jar or something so it gets plenty of light and then sit it on my kitchen window sill.

  • Teri Heuer Teri Heuer on Aug 03, 2012
    During warm weather many plant cutings can be propegated outside including coleus. Sharp cut the stem and dip in rootone or some other root stimulating compound and put the cutting right in pot filled with potting soil. I have done this with sweet potato vine, coleus, geraniums and begonias. Good Luck.

  • Pamela F Pamela F on Aug 03, 2012
    Thanks Susan...I had a brain malfunction earlier, lol! Thanks Teri and Douglas...I'm on it!

  • Susan S Susan S on Aug 03, 2012
    Pamela, together, we're ALL gonna make a gardner out of you after all!!

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Aug 04, 2012
    Pamela, I do not think I have ever seen anyone more interested in gardening than you! I have always heard that different plants root in different types of containers, i.e., clear, opaque, brown glass, etc. So if something does not root in a couple of weeks, you might just have it in the wrong type container. But then some root and some don't. I stuck half a dozen vine cuttings in a small clear vase and only 2 of them rooted. It has to do with joints under the water and all sorts of things. I had a friend that was very good at this and used to be of a lot of help, but I keep forgeting all the rules! HA!

  • Liz C Liz C on Aug 04, 2012
    Call it Funny &/or Ironic....I like to call & think of it as Fate of some sort.....After reading your question post, I had to get up to answer the phone, while returning back to my computer, I accidently knocked over my Gardening (A, "Reader's Digest" Special Edition Book Titled, "CareFree Flowers"- 200 Flowers anyone can Grow) I've learned so much from it! But anyway, Lo & Behold, As the book fell, Guess what page the book fell open to.....Coleus'! It just so happened they have step by step instructions on how to increase your bounty by cuttings & I just knew that was a little more than coincidence that the book fell open to that page right after reading your question & I just knew I had to send you what was said about cuttings, so here is exactly what's quoted in the book. " Coleus are easy to grow from cuttings. Simply snip a branch long enough to have 3 sets of leaves & place the lower, leafless 2" stem in a glass of water. Roots begin to sprout within 2 weeks. Plant your cutting in a pot as soon as roots develop, set the pot in a shaded area & water it generously for several weeks until new growth appears. Then you can move the young plant into a container or into the garden into warm soil." - Reader's Digest. I have Coleus in my garden, so tonight, WE BOTH LEARNED SOMETHING! So, I'm going to try it with you! According to the book, you could use stems to increase your bounty up until the first frost! So, keep us posted on how it does & I will do the same.

  • Lori J Lori J on Aug 04, 2012
    Twice this summer I have snapped a piece and both times, I just stripped leaves leaving at least three joints and stuck it in the same pot that the parent plant is in. The first time I did it, I was so angry at myself...and then the darned thing just grew!

  • Lori J Lori J on Aug 04, 2012
    FYI--those lovely lush sweet potato vines that may need to be nipped back a bit with root in water in just days and are a hand way to fill in those spots where annuals are beginning to fade.

  • Susan S Susan S on Aug 04, 2012
    Liz, that is really an interesting thing to have happen!! Some things just seem to defy logic but who knows??? Apparently, YOU were the one who had the answers!!

  • Liz C Liz C on Aug 05, 2012
    Susan....I wish I had the answer to that question, sadly I didn't....Reader's Digest Did, however, defying Logic and/or in a Serendipty sort of way, I felt it was meant to happen! :)

  • Liz C Liz C on Aug 05, 2012
    FYI...Like Lori said as well.......My father whom has been a gardnerer for many years but a gardener that @ times, makes up his own rules and just wings it....& yet, most of the time it works for him.... :) He said, most cuttings should sit in water until roots begin to grow, but he said with Coleus.....he said, he constantly just takes the stem cuttings and puts it right back into the soil and has a flourished re-growth everytime!

  • Susan S Susan S on Aug 05, 2012
    @Liz - hey the "old timers" quite often knew the best way to propagate and when they did wing it, they usually had some basic knowledge or experience they could draw from to guide their decisions. Basically, it kinda boils down to nothing ventured, nothing gained. You experiment to see what does and doesn't work.

  • Pamela F Pamela F on Aug 06, 2012
    Jeanette, after you have had a few shrubs, flowers and a tree die on you, you'd be just as excited as I am when something grows. I even started a page of my success and failures along with information that I've learned: I'm truly loving it! Liz, that is just too funny:-D

  • Marg C Marg C on Aug 07, 2012
    so how's it doing today?

  • Lori J Lori J on Aug 07, 2012
    Just checked on my latest 'oops', a little snap during 100 degree plus weather.It looked like this for at least a week and then...yesterday it was perky and healthy. So be patient.

  • Pamela F Pamela F on Aug 07, 2012
    It appears to be doing fine. This is how it looks now. Don't know if that's a root sprouting and if it is, if it is ready to be put in my flowerpot.

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Aug 07, 2012
    Looks like you're on your way to a new coleus, Pamela.

  • Lori J Lori J on Aug 07, 2012
    Now that I know how easy they are to propagate, I will buy fewer and bigger and start lots with cuttings.

  • Susan S Susan S on Aug 07, 2012
    So did you trim it off like we told ya? I think I'd let the roots develop just a bit more before potting it. Actually, though, others said they stuck cuttings straight down in soil so shoot - I dunno!!!

  • Liz C Liz C on Aug 07, 2012
    Want to take my Garden Encyclopedia Book falling right open to the Coleus page right after reading Pamela's question & call it Fate......Well, Fate just took it to a whole other level. Long sad & yet scary story, very Short, Sunday evening, In a less than a 5 minute storm 2 of my Front tree's collapsed, luckily in the opposite direction of my home so thank god, my husband, myself, my home & MOST importantly my Son are safe and aside from losing 2 of my favorite tree's, there was no damage..... Well, here's where the twist of fate comes in....In this mini less than 2 minute tornado storm and gust of wind, NOT ONE FLOWER, regardless of height and/or staked were damaged, my containers on my steps didn't even topple over & yet, I lost my two tree's....around my both those 2 tree's I have flower beds, in which one of the biggest tree's was wrapped with coleus and out of everything that could have been damaged, aside from the 2 tree's....was my coleus.... Ironic putting the words into the universe of me also going to attempt a stem cutting, maybe played a part in that happening....(We are all going to Win Lotto.....We are all going to win Lotto......... I figured if things I was saying were starting to come true, I might as well help us all out! lol ). Lo & Behold, I took 3 of the stems, and did exactly what everyone said, cutting the stems down to about 4" & I know you have yours in Water Pamela but I figured I'd try directly putting it into soil....just so we can compare the results...growth rate, etc. I put them in small container pots and leaving them in the shade and because mine is in the soil I have to be sure to water them frequently? Would Miracle grow be too much of a shock of them, or should I give the soil a dose of food? Good Luck Pamela.....those look like roots sprouting!!!! :)

  • Susan S Susan S on Aug 07, 2012
    WOW Liz, you got some strange stuff going on there!! I'm sorry you lost your two trees -sounds like one of those microbursts that just come out of no where. Keep us posted on how your cutting do!!

  • Marg C Marg C on Aug 07, 2012
    wow Liz, you just might have super powers!!!

  • Carol S Carol S on Aug 08, 2012
    NIce to see it is thriving -- Coleous are a shade plant, though. FYI don't leave the cutting in the water too long - stem will turn to mush. I always love these plants. They cn grow in the garden in season and you can take cutting before thye get too leggy or go to seed - root and have them indoors all winter as a house plant. New plants, bushes and trees - need to harden - before planting -- set them where you want them, you can even dig a whole to put the pot in for a few days to a week. Transplanting is best done in the evening, less stess from the sun. Trees and scrubs like compost in the bottom of the hole - (retains moisture and nutrients) fill whole with H20, soil, mulch if you have it. More water, make sure the water travels to the roots, poke hole in the top soil til it drains . Water daily for a week and then once a week - then only if the leaves start to droop due to lack of rain.

  • Liz C Liz C on Aug 08, 2012
    No......Sadly no super powers here.....I wish I did.... I would still have my tree's... :( But luckily I just lost 2 tree's. MUCH worse could have happened, it could have damanged our home, our cars and most importantly it could have very well took our lives. I was under the tree on the street, barely just making my drive way just seconds before the first tree came crashing down....the worse part is my 4 yr old son was sleeping on our living room couch, direcltly underneath the main front collapsing tree so I didn't even realize what could have had just happened to me, My mind was getting to my son & securing his safety. So as long as my son is safe....i can always plant another tree....However, that was my favorite tree & it still saddens me that I lost it. My home doesn't look the same but as stated, worse could have happened, so I'm blessed. I just thought it was ironic that I didn't lose NOT ONE flower/plant and/or container in my garden and around my house....the Only thing I lost were my two tree's and my coleus that I had just said two days earlier to Pamela & the rest of the group that I was going to try stem cuttings as well that way I could learn. And strange enough, there I was FORCED to do stem cuttings on my Coleus plants!! Wish I had superpowers.... However, I do believe in fate and things happening not out of coiencidence but more or less fate! Such as my Garden encylopedia falling after I bumped into it directly to the page about Coleus stem cuttings that Pamela had just asked about! If I had Superpowers, All our Gardens would be Full & Flourishing all year long & we would all be Billionares! :)

  • Pamela F Pamela F on Aug 11, 2012
    Thank you Carol S. I appreciate the information and will keep you posted:-D

  • Gayle S Gayle S on Aug 13, 2012
    Good job, Pamela.

  • Pamela F Pamela F on Aug 30, 2012
    This s how it looks today...

  • Susan S Susan S on Aug 30, 2012
    NICELY DONE Pamela!! You've turned into a real bona fide gardner!! The coleus looks very healthy and happy!!

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Aug 31, 2012
    You did it, Pamela!

  • Pamela F Pamela F on Aug 31, 2012
    Thanks you two!

  • Liz C Liz C on Sep 02, 2012
    Great Job Pamela...& Fyi, Mine worked as well as in also thriving in a Container. So I suppose in answer to all our questions, we have come to learn we can proprogate a coleus in water waiting for roots to be established, and/or cutting of a 4" stem with only 2-3 sets of leaves directly into soil and it will emerge. (I lost a Dahlia stem so I decided to attempt to root cut it, this time like Pamela in water also very successful! So thanks everyone, for you not only helped Pamela but you also helped me. These were my first rooting cuttings! Congrats Pamela!

  • Susan S Susan S on Sep 03, 2012
    @Liz - and congratulations to you as well! Double success here using two different methods!! I'll be sending you both your 'I AM A WINNER" ribbon very soon!!

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Sep 04, 2012
    Great Job!!! Your success stories are so uplifting...particularly since you are...or should I say WERE...a novice gardner! You are going to get the "golden shovel" sticker award!!!

  • Pamela F Pamela F on Sep 04, 2012
    Thanks Jeanette. You guys were very helpful and informative! My twins and I love to watch all the butterflies that visits our backyard now...its amazing! Everything seems to be doing so well. I just added crushed eggshells and coffee grounds to my Double Red Althea and Azaleas. I am very proud of our accomplishments!