How to Grow Coleus from Cuttings | Propagating Coleus from Cuttings

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Learn How to Grow Coleus from Cuttings easily and multiply this colorful annual to beautify your home and garden!


Here is How to Grow Coleus from Cuttings easily! Also known as painted nettle, painted leaf, and flame nettle, Coleus is grown for patterned, fancy leaves in the beautiful yellow, pink, purple, white, copper, green, and maroon shades in summer and fall.

Find the best coleus varieties here

Things You Will Need to Propagate Coleus from Cuttings

You don’t need much to grow coleus from cuttings. All you need is:

  • Pair of sharp, sterilized pruning shears
  • Clean cutting board
  • Well-draining potting mix
  • Small containers with drainage holes (for indoor propagation)
  • Healthy and pest-free Coleus plants for taking cuttings

Note: You can grow coleus both in water and soil. Rooting it in water is a straightforward process, but propagation in the soil is not difficult either.

How to Grow Coleus from Cuttings



You can easily grow Coleus from cuttings. Follow the steps below. 

  1. Select a robust and healthy plant, opting for a plump and thick stem to ensure success when propagating Coleus.
  2. Use sharp pruning shears to take 3-6 inches-long stem cuttings, making the cut just below a node for best results.
  3. If you reside in a colder region, choose a warm day with nighttime temperatures above 50°F (10°C), preferably higher than 60°F (15°C) for taking cuttings.
  4. Retain only the top set of leaves and remove the lower foliage to promote better rooting.
  5. While Coleus plants root easily without rooting hormone, you may use a commercial rooting hormone or cinnamon powder on the cut ends if desired before planting them in a pot with a well-draining potting mix.
  6. Create a small hole in the potting mix using a pencil or your finger and gently place the Coleus cutting in the hole.
  7. Water the cuttings generously and cover the pot with a plastic lid or bag to create a moist environment, fostering a conducive atmosphere for root development.
  8. Alternatively, you can use pure sand as a growing medium, ensuring to keep it slightly moist throughout the propagation process.
  9. Place the pot in an area receiving bright indirect daylight, with gentle morning exposure being particularly favorable for the cuttings.

Coleus Growing Tip: Under optimal weather conditions, Coleus cuttings should form roots within a week, though it may take up to 2-3 weeks. By maintaining a temperature range between 60°F and 90°F (16°C – 32°C) you can accelerate the rooting process.

Here are Stunning Images of Coleus in Hanging Baskets

How to Propagate Coleus from Cuttings Outdoors


For quick and easy Coleus plant propagation for the garden, prepare the cutting as shared above and the ready planting area. 

  • Prepare the planting with well-draining soil enriched with compost if possible.
  • Insert the Coleus cuttings directly into the soil, ensuring the node is covered with the soil.
  • Water the cuttings gently to settle the soil around them, and avoid overwatering to prevent rotting.
  • Position the outdoor cuttings in a location with bright, indirect sunlight.
  • Once the roots are established, gradually acclimate the Coleus to more sunlight, which is needed for outdoor cuttings.

Here are the Most Beautiful Purple Coleus Varieties

Growing Coleus in Water


Propagating coleus in water offers a captivating way to observe root development and add a touch of greenery to your indoor space.

The process to grow Coleus cuttings in water in water is similar to propagating from cuttings. Once you have the cuttings ready, place them in a container filled with water, ensuring that the nodes are submerged while the leaves remain above the waterline. Once the roots have been established, you can continue to grow them in the water bowl or transplant Coleus.

Coleus Tip: Change the water regularly to prevent stagnation and promote healthy root development. Additionally, make sure that you place the cuttings in a jar filled with non-chlorinated water.

Here is How to Grow Coleus as a Tree

Coleus After-Care Tips

  • To enhance rooting success, consider using natural rooting hormones like willow water. Willow contains natural rooting hormones that can aid in faster root development.
  • Check soil moisture regularly; water when the top inch of soil feels slightly dry.
  • Use perlite as a propagation medium instead of a traditional potting mix. Perlite offers excellent aeration and helps prevent overwatering, making it an ideal medium for encouraging strong root development in Coleus cuttings.
  • Regularly pinch the tips of Coleus plants to encourage bushier growth and compact form.
  • Monitor plants for signs of pests such as aphids, mites, or whiteflies. If infested, treat with insecticidal soap or neem oil, following the product instructions.
  • When propagating Coleus cuttings, you should feed the new plant after 2-3 weeks, once it develops root, after diluting it to 1/4 of its required strength.
  • If the water in your area is slightly alkaline, add a few drops of white vinegar to the water before misting your cuttings. This will help adjust the pH slightly towards the acidic side, which Coleus cuttings tend to prefer for better root development.

Grow Best Coleus Plants with these tips


1. Can You Root Coleus in Water?

Yes, you can root Coleus cuttings in water. Place the cuttings in a jar or glass of water, ensuring that at least one node is submerged. Change the water regularly and wait for roots to develop before transplanting them into the soil.

2. Can Coleus Grow Indoors?

Yes, Coleus can grow indoors successfully. They thrive in bright, indirect light, making them an ideal choice for indoor gardening. Just ensure they receive adequate light and proper care for vibrant growth.

3. How Long Does It Take for Coleus Cuttings to Root?

Coleus cuttings typically take around 2-3 weeks to root under favorable conditions. However, the exact time may vary depending on factors like temperature, humidity, and care provided during the rooting process.

Do Deer Eat Coleus? Find Out here

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