Coleus: A Shade Loving, Colorful, And Easy To Grow Plant. Instructions On How To Propagate Coleus

These Coleus love to be under the tree in the shade.
These Coleus love to be under the tree in the shade. | Source

Propagating Coleus

Gardeners are always looking for plants that like the shade. Most of the colorful annuals like the sun, so we are limited as to what to plant under our trees that will give us that color we love. I think the Coleus is the perfect solution. They have so many different colors, and they are what I call "easy keepers". They don't require much water or fertilizer like a lot of plants do.

You can buy these plants from your local supplier that is already big and ready to plant directly into the ground. Once you have a "Mother plant", it is so easy to propagate the Coleus that you'll have plenty of plants to enjoy and share with friends and neighbors.

I'd like to share with you how easy it is to propagate Coleus from cuttings.

Information About Coleus

The Coleus is very easy to propagate. The Coleus is native to tropical Africa, Asia, Australia, the East Indies, and the Philippines. They grow very well where I live in South Florida, as they like warm weather. The cold will kill them. If you start some in a pot, and you want to keep them year round, just bring the pot into your house for a beautiful house plant. After danger from frost is over, take them back outside. They are somewhat heat tolerant, but they do better in the shade. After the plant has grown and become "leggy" (and they will), take some cuttings and start some more.

After your first rooting has begun to grow, just cut off another cutting, put it into another pot with potting soil, and you have more plants. Share with your friends.

What You Will Need To Propagate Coleus

Small plastic or clay pots that have been thoroughly cleaned.

Good potting soil

4 inch cuttings from Mother Plant

Sharp knife

Getting Started

If you are lucky, and you have a friend who grows Coleus, just ask for a small cutting. You may have to go a plant nursery, and purchase a plant. I call this the "Mother Plant", because that is the one you can get many cuttings from. Cut the plant stem to about 4 inches in length. Strip off the lower leaves, just leaving a few. As always, when you are rooting a plant, cut at a 45 degree angle. You do not have to use any of the products to induce rooting on these, because they root SO easily. Using one of the small pots filled with the potting soil, stick the little cutting right down into the soil.

Water the cutting thoroughly, and keep damp until you see signs that it has rooted.

The Tiny Little Cutting Of Coleus


The Coleus Cutting After Two Weeks


The Coleus Cutting After 5 Weeks


The Coleus Cutting After 6 weeks. Placed Into A Large Clay Pot


Many Varieties Of Coleus

There are many varieties of Coleus. I just happen to like the color combination I use in my garden. Go to a plant nursery and just look around at all the beautiful colors. Some are red, some are variegated colors, some have color in the middle and green on the outside edge of the leaf.

These beautiful plants will make a great addition to your garden. Remember, they do prefer the shade. Plant them in the ground, or just keep them in pots and move them wherever you want some color under the trees or any other shaded area.

I think you'll be pleased you included the beautiful Coleus in your garden. These plants will reward you for a long time, because you just keep them coming by propagating them.

An Informative Video On Propagation Of Plants

Do You Like To Propagate Your Plants

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Technical Stuff

If you are really interested in reading all the technical stuff about Coleus, go to www.wikipedia,

© 2011 Mary Hyatt

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Comments 26 comments

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 5 years ago from UK

I love coleus, they are so pretty :) Thanks for the hub and the lovely photos.

mary615 profile image

mary615 5 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, IzzyM, thanks for taking the time to read this, and the nice compliment! Regards, Mary

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

I love this plant. Wow... beautiful. Thanks for share with us. I'll show this hub to my father. Well done, Mary. Vote up for you. Cheers....


mary615 profile image

mary615 5 years ago from Florida Author

Hi prasetio30, hope your Father enjoys reading this Hub about this pretty plant, and one that is SO easy to keep growing. Give him my best, and thanks for reading my Hub!

Agnes Penn 5 years ago

Great photo progression! It really helps to see this to know if the plant is doing well or not. Lovely plant and great hub.

mary615 profile image

mary615 5 years ago from Florida Author

Hi Agnes, thanks for reading this, and the nice compliment. See you around.......

profile image

summerberrie 4 years ago

I love Coleus. Who knew you can use honey as a root starter! One thing about being a part of the hubpage community is I've gotten smarter. I filled full of wonderful information. Voted up and useful.

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, summerberrie. Nice to see you! Thanks for reading about the Coleus. They are one of my favorites. You are right; I've learned a lot here on HubPages, too. Thanks so much for the votes. I appreciate that. Goodnight.

pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 4 years ago from sunny Florida

Hi, mary615....i adore year i decided i would raise them. i had a tiny hot house so had a great environment for them. and, it was so thrilling when i found using cuttings made robust plants without much effort. thank you for sharing this so others can befriend this plant of many colors.

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hello, pstraubie48, thanks for reading and commenting on my Hub about propagating Coleus. I like them too. They have the most beautiful colors, I think. When mine get leggy, I cut off the top and just stick them down into the soil, and it roots! See you again, soon, I hope.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Mary,

Informative hub about a plant that roots so easily and therefore can be propagated without much effort. Another way to do it is to stick cuttings in a glass of water. People would be surprised to see how fast little roots develop. Your way is best because by keeping it moist in the soil...those same roots will develop and then it does not need transplanting again from the water environment back into the soil.

If it gets leggy in the soil (like impatiens also do after time) one can just cut them back and they regrow quite quickly. At least they do in our Houston environment. Up, useful and will share.

KerryAnita profile image

KerryAnita 4 years ago from Satellite Beach, Florida

Hello from a fellow Florida gardener:) Very informative hub. I actually just bought a a coleus this weekend. I've always love them for there vibrantly colored leaves, but had no idea they were so easy to propagate. I will definitely have to try that! Thanks for sharing this information.

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, Peggy W. Thanks for reading and commenting on how to grow Coleus. I have rooted them in water, but then when I transfer them to soil, they just never did as well as starting them in soil. Now, I just make a cutting and stick it directly into a pot that I have something else growing in just for some more color in that pot.

Thanks so much for the vote and the share, Mary

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, KerryAnita. So nice to "meet you" here today! Yes, Coleus is a very easy plant to keep coming! Once you have a "mother" plant, you'll never run out. I enjoy the vibrant colors, too.

Thanks for reading and commenting, Mary

Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

Thank you Mary for this hub. I have more than 10 kinds of this plant in different colors and sizes but I did not know the name in English until now. I planted them from the cuttings and they are doing well. Voted up, useful, interesting and informative. Thanks again for sharing. Pinned.

mary615 profile image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, Thelma Alberts. The Coleus is one of my favorite plants. I love the beautiful foliage. I'm glad you grow Coleus in your beautiful garden. I just read your Hub on your garden and it is truly gorgeous. I'm glad I discovered just how easy it is to propagate the Coleus.

Thanks for reading, commenting and the Pin. I appreciate that, Mary

tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

Mary, an excellent hub, this is well done and very useful. I love that you showed the progression of the plant as it grows into a real stunner. I really should have included my coleus photos in my hub, but maybe next time. :) Voting up and awesome, also pinning.

mary615 profile image

mary615 2 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, tobusiness. Thank you for the nice compliment on my Coleus Hub. I just love this plant because of all the various colors you can get!

And I like them because they can be grown in the shade.

Thanks so much for the votes, and the Pin, Mary

Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 2 years ago from West By God

Coleus come in so many colors now. They are good for all kinds of uses in the garden and as houseplants too. Love your hub!

mary615 profile image

mary615 2 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, Lady Guinevere. Yes I saw one at Home Depot the other day that was amost crimson; beautiful. I've never grown a Coleus as a houseplant: great idea! Thanks for the compliment on my Hub. Mary

pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida

Mary Don't you just love these? They are so people friendly and easy to grow :D

Angels are on the way to you ps

mary615 profile image

mary615 2 years ago from Florida Author

Hi pstraubie48 How nice to see you! Yes, you really can't find a plant easier to propagate and grow than the Coleus!

Thanks for reading and commmenting, Mary

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 23 months ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Mary,

Since this is the time of year that many people will be thinking of planting or refreshing gardens, I thought that it would be a great time to share this hub of yours once again. Coleus plants are so colorful and easy to propagate.

Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 23 months ago from East Coast, United States

Hi Mary, thanks for the information on coleus. I grew it years ago as a houseplant and loved the colorful varieties. It feels like an old fashioned plant and I recall how easy it was to keep and propagate. I've been trying to think of something for my little porch that is shaded in summer and this will be perfect. Your pictures are beautiful!

mary615 profile image

mary615 23 months ago from Florida Author

Peggy W, good morning! Thanks so much for sharing this Hub about Coleus. It is really one of my all time favorite plants. I just potted some for my little screened in porch. Yes, the colors are just wonderful.

Thanks again; hope you have a wonderful day, Mary

mary615 profile image

mary615 23 months ago from Florida Author

Hi, Dolores Monet As I just mentioned to Peggy W, I've just put some of these on my screened in porch. I do love the varied colors, and they are SO easy to grow and propagate.

I never tire of my Coleus. Thanks for reading and commenting, Mary

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