You can learn how to clone a coleus plant via propagation from cuttings. You can even make the process much simpler if you opt for a cloning machine to guarantee a 100% success rate on your cuttings. But regardless if you use a device or not, you may also find that using a polytunnel is advantageous since you’re skipping the fluctuating external conditions that can affect the growth of cuttings.
Take comfort in knowing that the University of California labelled coleus as easy to grow. More so, the best way to propagate these plants is from cuttings. Gardeners in the UK who want to guarantee their coleus plants’ clones can feel confident about their skills for propagating cuttings even if they’re newbies.
How To Clone A Coleus Plant Easily
Propagating coleus plants from cuttings
We all know that compared to growing plants from seeds, the best way to guarantee the parent plant’s copies is from cuttings. You can grow coleus from seeds and cuttings, so the best way to get clones is by using the latter. It will only take three steps, and all you need are a sterilised and sharp cutting tool, water, container, and rooting hormone.
Collecting stem cuttings
You can take many stem cuttings from one coleus plant, making it an affordable and quick way to get clones. Growing parent plants for propagation in the polytunnel will always give you a head start because you can guarantee that they are healthy and disease-free. A helpful tip for selecting parent plants is by checking those with many stems branching out from the main ones.
This way, you know that they will be vigorous enough to survive the removal, and the process would be more comfortable. Once you selected your parent plant, cut anywhere from two to six inches of stem below a node where there was a bud or stem. However, make sure that the branches you cut are apical, meaning they have a bud at the end.
The importance of apical stems is that you’ll end up with a bushy coleus plant. Additionally, cutting below a node will help with the success of the propagation in rooting. The stem’s length will also benefit the plant in being more stable when you stand it upright later on.
The next step is preparing the cuttings for planting. You want to trim them and remove the leaves at the most bottom portion. The leaves you’ll remove include the petioles and stipules so that the topmost leaves are the only ones that remain.
Some UK gardeners also pinch the leaves with their fingers instead of cutting them off. You want to remove all leaves except the topmost ones, so none of them gets submerged later. After leaf removal, you can use a rooting hormone powder on their ends.
The wonderful thing with coleus cuttings is that they can root easily even without the rooting hormone’s help. Most gardeners in the UK mentioned that upon placement in the media, such as moist potting soil or vermiculite, the cuttings form roots immediately. If you’re using a greenhouse, you can keep the humidity level high, too, to encourage rooting faster.
If you opt to use a rooting hormone, remember to wear gloves and mask and be sanitary in using a container for dipping. Commonly, you need to dip the cutting in water before you put it in the powder. Tap off the excess, and you should be ready for planting.
The final step is growing the cuttings to develop roots before transplanting them. The simplest way to root them is to put the coleus stems in containers filled with water and place them in indirect light. You can have one cutting per container or have more in one.
The only catch is that you want to submerge the nodes and not the top leaves. Some gardeners in the UK do not wait for rooting in the water, and they immediately plant the cuttings in a container of light and moist potting mix. Either way, maintaining moisture is necessary for the cuttings to grow.
It can take a week for roots to grow, and if you are happy with their number and thickness, you should be ready for transplanting. You can do so in the polytunnel or outdoors, as long as you use a fertile potting soil that is loose. Those who want to avoid the danger of frost but want to maintain productivity will benefit more by transplanting in the greenhouse.
Propagation is an easy way to create copies of plants. You can use a cloning machine for cuttings, but the machine-free and traditional method will also work well if you want to know how to clone a coleus plant. Since these plants are generally easy to grow in the UK, you can expect that propagating them from cuttings is fuss-free.
Choose a healthy parent plant and cut a 6-inch stem below a node. Coleus can root without the help of rooting powder, but you can still use some for safety. Next is to transfer the cuttings in a container with water, ensuring that you’ll submerge the nodes but not the top leaves.
You can also use a polytunnel to transplant or grow the parent plants themselves to avoid dangers in fluctuating climate. Overall, propagation from cuttings is a beginner-friendly way to clone a coleus plant.