Increasing Your Bounty of Summer Color

Dr. William C. Welch, Professor & Landscape Horticulturist
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

Rooting cuttings at home can transform a garden quickly with annuals such as coleus, begonias, perilla, ornamental sweet potatoes and purple heart setcreasea. All of these are easy to start on your own. You can put them in pots or directly into beds. The important thing is to keep them moist during the rooting period. This requires about two weeks. After that normal watering practices will usually sustain the new plants. This is a fun project for new gardeners or children. As the season progresses some of the plants you selected earlier in June will not be available and it is satisfying to turn some of your "trimmings into treasures".

Cuttings should be 4-6" long and have several leaf nodes. After taking the cuttings remove the first set or two of leaves and any flowers or buds that are forming. Rooting hormones are not usually necessary for these types of cuttings. Use a pencil or small stick to punch holes in the media before firming the soil around the base of each cutting. The newly stuck cuttings will wilt during the day but usually recover at night.

Taking Cuttings
Make cuttings from 4 to 6 inches long, with several nodes
Cuttings with lower leaves removed
Cuttings with lower leaves removed
Two kinds of ornamental sweet potatoes
Two kinds of ornamental sweet potatoes approximately 1 month after cuttings were struck
Window box
Window box with two kinds of ornamental sweet potato and impatiens brightens the summer landscape
Coleus 'Alabama Sunset'
Coleus 'Alabama Sunset'

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