Coleus are great mixers. Who can’t use more. So when my little sister gave me these cuttings last month, I couldn’t wait to root them.

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The cuttings will keep in water for a few days. In fact, they’ll even sprout roots in water. But when it comes time to transition them to soil, I always have too many causalities. That’s why I like to root all my cuttings in professional growers medium. It should be moist, but not soggy. Pack it in pots and use a stick to make a deep hole for each cutting. Don’t crowd. The leaves shouldn’t touch.

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Rotting hormone speeds the process. Just remember, dump the power out and roll stems. Dipping stems in the container will contaminate your powder.

Note (in the photo below) that I’ve stripped off many lower leaves. Those spots on the stem are where new roots will grow.

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Next I’m going to knock off the excess power and put the stem in the pot. Press the soil around it well so there are no air pockets.

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Finally, I put my cuttings in pots to protect them, and put my pots in a shady place. These are under a large, open shrub. Don’t let them dry out and in a few weeks, voila–free plants!

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This is also a great method for rooting begonias, hydrangeas and other soft stems. Just remember to take more cuttings than you think you’ll need. Even the greenest thumbs lose some cuttings along the way.

So what’s up with your green thumb these days????

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