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Self-Rooting Coleus In My Garden

Rooting Coleus Plants, Popular Garden AnnualSix days ago I noticed my black Coleus had started to rot in a few places up the main stem. I cut off the pieces that were rotting and just dumped the scraps in the garden among other plants. Today before the big storms hit us I was in the garden trying to capture photos of a butterfly that was visiting and noticed that the Coleus cuttings still had not died.

Not only had they not died, they had started to bloom right where I dropped them. When I picked up this stem to photograph it for my gardening blog I noticed that it had started to root all on its own. I swear this isn't a trick- just a little bit of gardening magic I wanted to share with you visitors. This should give you an idea of the amount of humidity and rain we've been subjected to in Chicago lately. It has been so wet and humid that you can't even kill a plant on purpose. If you don't live in a jungle or if you don't think your Coleus are as determined to live on their own you can easily root them in plain water by taking cuttings before the first frost hits.


  1. Danielle11:59 AM

    Pretty cool! My mother buys all different kinds of coleus plants to put in planters on her deck, and each year I take loads of cuttings since they root so easily in water. My office-mates love the colorful leaves so we've filled our office with all the rooted coleus cuttings!

  2. Well looks like you have got some more plants for you garden anyhow.

    Yeaa Mr Brownthumbs!

  3. Thanks for the tip. I have some real pretty coleus this year...maybe I will try rooting them to overwinter indoors.

  4. I've just recently been doing eactly that...rooting Coleus cuttings in water...then I gradually wean them onto soil.

  5. Hi all.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Good luck with your cuttings.

  6. Now that is just plain amazing. I'm planning to take cuttings of my coleus, that is, if my dog doesn't kill them off before the first frost!

  7. Kate,

    Crossing my fingers for you Kate.

  8. Totally shallow question: I NEED one of those black coleus--unless it is 'Dark Star,' the one "black" coleus that I already have, although the flower colors look different. Any idea what its name might be?

    Just so I can add some content to prove I'm not just about the accessories: FWIW, I find that it's easier to acclimate water-rooted coleus to growing in soil when the roots are about 1/2 inch long. They're long enough to survive, but not so long that you have to constantly water them at first and then wean them off of the water diet.

    I have also been guilty of leaving coleus in water on the window sill all winter long... and just took cuttings from the water-growing plants in the spring to start over. (Yup, they had put on topgrowth... I'm terrible.)

  9. BSG,

    I actually have no idea what the cultivar name is. I can't even remember where I picked this one up.

    Thanks for the tip on repotting them after they've started to root.

  10. I love Coleus for that reason alone.. I can pinch it back, stick it somewhere and it grows.. It is a very budget friendly annual.. Is your black on called Black Magic?? I had that last year and couldn't find it this year..

  11. Hi Diry Fingernails,

    Thanks for stopping by unfortunately I have no idea what mine is called. I hope I can keep some cuttings alive 'til next year because I love the color.



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