Friday, October 7, 2011

Houseplant Developments

I am growing increasingly fond of coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides), though so far more as a houseplant than for use in garden beds. Up until now I had twice grown batches of these plants from seed. One plant from the first sowing, now almost three years ago, is actually still alive and growing in the window of my room back in Michigan. About two weeks ago I started a new set from seed and the little seedlings are just beginning to form their first true leaves. I used a seed mixture from a different brand this time, so hopefully I will get some different leaf colors that I have not had before; I am really hoping for a pattern with a predominance of clear pink. However, today I also potted up my first coleus specimen grown from a cutting. The cutting in question I found on the street on my way to campus a little over a week ago. It had broken off a specimen that was part of large container planting in front of a bar and was lying on the pavement wilting. I left it there but when the little branch was still there on my return in the evening I decided to take it home and give rooting it a try. After trimming it a bit I put it in a small tea glass filled with water. It took a little over a day to recover from the day it had spent wilting on the sidewalk and then nothing seemed to happen for about a week. Then all of a sudden roots began too develop rapidly and the tips also began to show new growth.

The cutting in its glass

Lots of roots!

All potted up and in its new spot

Apart from the coleus, I am also starting some impatiens (Impatiens walleriana) from seed, and they are about as far as the coleus seedlings, though their germination rate was much lower.

 The seedlings in the upper pot are impatiens, those in the lower coleus

Now I just have to hope that all these young plants will be able to develop properly under the conditions of this new place...


  1. Yes, Reihan... :)

    ...And by the way, the German word for 'roots' is Wurzeln.

  2. Your post prompted me to go and look at my coleus cutting that I put in water a couple of days ago. Sure enough, roots. It is the same variety as yours. I cut back the mother plant that was looking lanky and sad. Hopefully she will make a big comeback.


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