Sunday, August 3, 2014

Coleus experimentation

I love coleus but I'm very miserly too; I expect to walk out of the garden store with three pots of different coleus, go home, cut them up, and end up with a dozen plants per. And when I root them, my goal is to produce new plants with roots (of course) and a doubled stem before I put them into the ground.

And this is just what I did this year, but I'm not really satisfied with the rate at which they are rooting.  I read recently that plants generate a rooting solution, so if they share a pot with another rooting plant, their growth will be spurred. That sounds good.

I had cut off one long sprig for rooting, and then cut that sprig in two.  I am noticing that the middle part, which looked like a poor balding orphan when I stuck it into the pot, is looking quite perky now, in fact, better than its leafier big brother. Because the leafier big brother was putting his energy into sustaining those big leaves, when it came time for him to be clipped to make room for the doubles, he was in a bad way. 

So now I am trying a different way of rooting my cuttings. I have two batches of new cuttings.  On one batch, I've removed all the large leaves, and they look like pretty helpless soldiers. They're sitting in an inch of water now because their stems are so very short. The other batch still has the top leaves on, but I stripped all the side leaves.  

This particular breed of coleus is very prone to doubling.

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