Keep up to date with

Special Gift Offer

How to grow coleus from cuttings

By: James A. Baggett
Get more plants or overwinter your favorite coleus with these simple steps for propagating coleus from cuttings rooted in water for a few weeks.

how-to-grow-coleus-from-cutting-lead2: Try our simple steps for growing more coleus or overwintering with cuttings.

Saving coleus from year to year

If you’ve never met a coleus you didn’t like, then you’ll surely want to know how to keep them growing from year to year. It’s a simple process to propagate new plants from one you admire. See the easy steps below to learn to take coleus cuttings of your own.

how-to-grow-coleus-from-cutting-take-cutting-from-main-plant-480: Growing coleus from cuttings starts with removing a 4- to 6-inch leaf segment from the mother plant.

Step 1: Take a coleus cutting

Take a cutting from a mature coleus plant: Look for stems that are 4 to 6 inches in length. Make the cut using pruners or scissors right above a leaf node, which is where the leaves come out of the sides of the stem (where you make the cut, the plant will produce two stems from where the old one was, making the plant bushier). Don’t make the cuttings too large; they will not root as well or — if rooted — will become tall and lanky instead of compact.

You might also like How To Root Succulents with Leaf Cuttings

how-to-grow-coleus-from-cutting-remove-lower-leaves: Removing the lower leaves helps keep debris out of the water.

Step 2: Remove extra leaves

Remove the lower leaves, leaving the top set of four leaves. Any part of the cutting that will be below the surface of the water should be free of leaves. The cutting is now ready for rooting in water.

how-to-grow-coleus-from-cutting-put-cutting-in-water-480: Add coleus cuttings to fresh water to root.

Step 3: Put coleus cuttings in water

Place the coleus cuttings in a glass jar filled with water. Place the jar in a bright place out of direct sun in a 60 to 75 degree F room. Several cuttings may be placed together in one container.

Step 4: Watch the coleus root

Rooting will generally occur in 3 to 4 weeks. Be sure to add fresh water as needed until the cuttings are fully rooted. When roots are 1 to 2 inches long or longer the cuttings are ready to be potted up. Rooted cuttings will survive in water for long periods of time.

See more helpful How-To Articles

how-to-grow-coleus-from-cutting-plant-rooted-cutting-in-soil-480: Once roots have reached 1 to 2 inches in length, they are ready to be potted up.

Step 5: Plant rooted cuttings

  • Premoisten the soil in 3- or 4-inch pots and plant so the top of the root ball is an inch or so below the rim of the pot.
  • Fill in the spaces around the roots with additional premoistened soil and gently press the soil around the cutting to provide good contact between the roots and the soil.

Watch our coleus root in water!

This is so cool! We took photos of this coleus over a couple of weeks time. Watch it grow...

Published: May 31, 2019

Related Tags

budget friendly part shade shade special techniques

Also in This Newsletter

Last Week’s Newsletter

July 30, 2019

Best flowers for butterflies

We’ll show you the best flowers for butterflies and let you know exactly which visitors you can expect to bring in with these butterfly magnets. Plus, get our tips for keeping these plants looking their best.

How to identify common butterflies

Ever wondered which butterfly you were seeing in your garden? Learn to identify five common North American butterflies and see which plants you should grow to bring even more of them in.

How to harvest and plant milkweed seeds

Monarchs need milkweed! Want to help boost their waning populations? Learn how to collect, harvest, and plant common milkweed seeds. More monarchs guaranteed.