Make more of houseplants
DTrim them back and take cuttings now to give you lovely new plants for next year
uring autumn and winter, space is often at a premium for large tender or indoor plants. Some plants can be cut back and you can use the cuttings from quick growers such as colourful-leaved solenostemon or coleus to provide fresh young plants for next year.
Loving this year’s heat and sunshine, coleus have grown very rapidly, and it has been difficult to keep on top of pinching out the growing tips so plants remain compact.
To take a tip cutting, use the top 12-15cm (5-6in) length of stem, removing the lowest leaves until you only have about four small leaves left. Dip the cut end of the stem into hormone rooting powder to aid root development and plant a third deep into a pot of damp houseplant compost. Place the pot into a sealed clear bag in a bright place and after 10–14 days the cutting should start to produce roots. Over the next few days gradually open the bag and let the plant acclimatise to room conditions. Coleus need a minimum temperature of 12-15C (54-59F) and as much light as possible through winter.
Mature-stemmed begonias can be cut back if you haven’t much space indoors but equally they can make a colourful focal point if left to grow tall. Colourfulleaved varieties, such as begonia ‘Silver Spirit’, with large, silver and pink foliage, or ‘Little Brother Montgomery’, with its maple-shaped leaves, create impressive specimens. B. maculata ‘Wightii’ has elongated, dark green foliage covered with silver spots and a mature plant can grow to 1.5m (5ft) tall.
Begonia ‘Silver Spirit’
Coleus ‘Roy Pedley’