Cut Bedding Plant Costs with Cuttings

Coleus Plant Cuttings - Jessie Keith
Plant cuttings can turn one plant into five in just two weeks. And some bedding favorites are so easy to root, they are big money savers for those in the know. For instance, I never buy more than a few Coleus, Salvia, Lysimachia congestiflora or Agastache. A couple plants, some shears, seedling mix, rooting hormone and care are all that’s needed for loads more garden plants. (For some bedding plants, like coleus, rooting hormone is not even necessary.)

Start with a big, healthy plant — the bigger the plant, the larger the cuttings. Then fill clean, 4-inch pots or spacious seedling trays with Black Gold Seedling Mix. Lightly moisten the mix with clean water and dibble holes in the medium to hold the cuttings. Using clean, sharp shears, take 5 to 6 inch cuttings from the parent plants. Gently remove foliage from the bottom two inches of the cuttings and place them upright, like cut flowers, in a glass of cool, clean water. Before placing them in the seedling mix, dip the cuttings in powdered rooting hormone. Cutting pots should be kept in a spot with diffuse bright light and kept evenly moist, not wet. In a week or two they should have their own roots and be ready to plant wherever more summer color is needed!


Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.

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