How to Propagate Coleus

Coleus, shade loving, come in many varieties all partial to shade. So they will grow well a little farther from the side of a window. Despite the name they will do well in filtered light for several hours daily. They can adapt to lower temperatures but fair best between 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

They need a good well drained potting soil. Keep the soil moist watering only when the top layer become dry. The Coleus may be fertilized once a month with a fertilizer for houseplants diluted to at least 40 percent. Prune then regularly pinching off flower buds as soon as they pop up. If they are allowed to go to seed the plant will die. So they are somewhat high maintenance. Pruning will help make the plant bushy. The Coleus is grown for it’s colorful leaves, not its flowers.

Coleus may be propagated from seed, but if you seed it the mother plant will die. The usual way to propagate Coleus is through leaf cutting. Take leaf cuttings about 4 inches long cut at 45 degree angles. Strip off any lower leaves. It is helpful, but not necessary to use root growth hormone. Coleus cuttings will root easily. Place the cuttings in small pots of potting soil. Keep the soil moist and keep them in moderate filtered light until they show signs of new growth. Transplant them about five weeks later to larger containers.

If you obtain Coleus seeds they are easy to grow as well. Seedling can be diverse in color, leaf forms, and design. If seeding a Coleus on your own. The seed pods need to be removed as soon as they begin to yellow. Dry then out and and free the seeds from the pods by rubbing them between your hands. Plant the tiny seeds in moist soil in flats or propagation domes in indirect filtered light. Do not fertilize. It is best to filter the top layer of soil through a screen and mist it with room temperature water. Be sure to fill the soil close to the top of non-translucent containers or the seedlings will become leggy as they reach out toward the light.

Sprinkle the seeds out on to the top layer of moist soil and sift through the screen a fine layer of soil on top of them. Keep the temperature above 60 degrees and mist lightly to prevent them from drying out if not using a sealed propagation dome. The seeds may sprout in as little as five days. Once they sprout place them in bright indirect sunlight.

Coleus, sun loving, is not much different from the shade loving varieties. The main difference other than appearance is that they are more partial to bright light that shade loving Coleus. See above information of shade loving Coleus for growing and propagating.

Leave a Comment