A Coleus for Christmas

img_0717.jpgThis is a gift I gave myself. Today I potted up a coleus stem-cutting that I took in November, just before the frosts killed all my coleus plants. Coleus are one of the easiest plants to grow from stem cuttings. Just snip a piece of the plant 4 to 6 inches in length, then set it in water and place it in a sunny window until roots start developing. Once it has roots, you can put it in a pot.

img_0716.jpgI took cuttings of several of my coleus this fall, but most of them did not take root. My guess is that I took the cuttings so late that the sun in my window was not strong enough to get them started, or possibly that the frost had already damaged them. It may also be due to the type of coleus from which I took the cuttings. It’s a mystery. Last year, I successfully rooted about a half-dozen plants and kept them on my kitchen window sill until spring when they were planted in pots on the front porch.

To pot the coleus, I filled the bottom of a decorative, ceramic pot with about 2 inches of sand, then filled the rest with potting mix. I watered the mix thoroughly, and made a place for the roots, placing a couple of inches of the stem in the soil as well. Then, I firmed the soil around the plant, and it was ready to go. Based on my experience from last year, the plant won’t really get growing until mid-February when the sun is higher in the sky and stronger light comes through this corner window.

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