Creating coleus, part I

Got out the gate on the winter Coleus farm this weekend… finally! My formerly flourishing friends have been living in the basement under lights since the Halloween snow and most are looking none-the better for the move indoors.

Take for instance, my beloved Fishnet Stockings…. the one I coveted so deeply that I dug it up and brought it inside before the “hurricane.” (Which, in retrospect, I think contributed greatly to its eventual demise.) This is its current state…

Kinda tragic. And this despite watering, Miracle Grow, some Perlite in the soil. Sigh…

I managed to salvage one little Fishnet cutting and stick it in some water to “root.” (But this morning, I noticed it had sunk to the bottom of the jar! Not feeling hopeful on that one.) I also lost a very lacy purple Coleus specimen through a slow, painful death last week… it’s still sitting in a sunny window with some healthier friends. But it doesn’t look good.

Anyway, I am trying to pull a plant out from the basement bunch now and then, as I find time, and clip some cuttings to put in water. And pray for roots! The first little Coleus cuttings I stuck in my kitchen window so long ago are doing well, as are the surprise sweet potatoes. So who knows?

My new philosophy (regarding plants and life, actually) is: try. Why not? Throw it in some water, some soil, see what happens.

So, I started the farm with the gorgeous momma Coleus above, because I love her ruffly green and purple leaves. (Also, she is still pretty healthy.) I love that I finally have a cool use for all those dusty old medicine bottles we’ve been randomly collecting.

The woman I bought this plant from at the local flea market charged me $2 instead of the usual $1. “It’s special,” she said.


I am also working on “shaping” the mom, who is now living in a sunny living room window. When I visited the glorious Orangerie at Tower Hill Gardens a few months ago I saw huge, beautiful Coleus, in very lush, rounded shapes. Not all tall and rangy and scraggly, like mine got this summer. Apparently, you’re supposed to pinch off stems here and there, to get them to grow in a lower, fuller shape. So, I’m going to experiment with the whole “managed growth” approach. Ha!

I admit, I’m mostly just happy I haven’t killed all the “annuals” I’ve brought in yet. It is, however, only November!


About plantkiller

Paysha Rhone is a wife, mother, former-journalist-turned-PR-maven and bad mamajama killing plants in the Victorian splendor of Fitchburg, Massachusetts.
This entry was posted in Keep hope alive, Making do indoors, Wallowing in death and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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