Coleus 'Rainbow Mix' | Rooted plant

How to Root Coleus blumei

Here’s our beginner’s guide explaining how to root Coleus blumei (syn. Plectranthus scutellarioides, Solenostemon scutellarioides). Read on if you want to learn a little more about growing this amazing species!

Coleus blumei is one of our favourite plants – chiefly because it’s the first one that we can recall propagating independently of adults, when we were around five or six years of age. We spent months practicing cloning many different coloured varieties, with the result of great satisfaction and a successful introduction to the wonderful world of horticulture!

Later on, we discovered that this popular species is traditionally grown as a companion plant to Salvia divinorum (‘Ska Pastora’) – another wonderful plant which we enjoyed growing at a relatively early age (about fourteen or so).

Here is not the place to write a detailed history of the species, however, so suffice to say that it’s been known by a number of synonyms and informal names over the years, is an incredibly varied and beautifully colourful plant and is really, really easy to cultivate from cuttings!

How to Root Coleus blumei – Materials

  • Coleus blumei mother plant (the healthier the better)
  • Container (we reuse a plastic drinks bottle, cut in half)
  • Sharp blade (clean)
  • Water (we use tap water)

How to Root Coleus blumei – Method

  1. Take your clean, sharp blade and carefully take a cutting from the Coleus mother plant, slicing just below one of the nodes. The new roots will develop from the node later.
  2. Gently wash the cutting with water to remove any dirt or other organic matter.
  3. Fill the container approximately ten centimetres deep with water.
  4. Gently place the Coleus cutting into the container. You can usually fit a few in each container as space requires.
  5. Place the cuttings in a sheltered location which receives plenty of filtered sunlight. We find our windowsill is perfect.
  6. Carefully pour out and replace the water every day.
  7. Dependent on your local environment, you should see roots start to form after a week or two.
  8. When the roots are at least one to two centimetres long, it’s time to transfer the cuttings to larger containers. We prefer to use a slightly-acidic potting soil. If you leave the cuttings in the water for too long after this point, they may become “too” habituated to it and consequently take poorly to growing in soil once transplanted.
  9. Mist your new rooted cuttings every one to three days and water as the soil dries and you’ll soon have some gorgeous, well-established Coleus plants!

We hope you enjoyed this simple beginner’s guide to making cuttings from Coleus blumei – happy propagating!

Arkham’s Botanical sometimes sells homegrown Coleus cuttings