How to Propagate Coleus by Grafting

How to Propagate Coleus by Grafting

If you’re looking to expand your coleus plant collection, grafting can be a great way to do so. This method involves joining a cutting from one coleus plant onto another to create a new plant with the desired characteristics. In this article, we will guide you through the process of grafting coleus plants step by step, so you can successfully propagate your favorite varieties.

Introduction to Coleus Propagation by Grafting

Grafting is a common technique used by gardeners to propagate plants like Coleus. This method involves joining together the tissues of two different plants to create a new plant with the desired characteristics. In the case of Coleus, grafting can be an effective way to create new varieties or ensure a more vigorous growth.

What is grafting and why is it used for propagating Coleus?

Grafting is the process of joining the rootstock of one plant with the scion of another plant. The rootstock provides the root system and the scion provides the shoot system. This technique is used for propagating Coleus as it allows for the combination of desirable traits from different plants. It also helps in overcoming issues like poor rooting ability or disease susceptibility that may be present in the parent plant.

Benefits of grafting Coleus plants

  1. Improved growth: Grafting can result in Coleus plants with stronger and more vigorous growth compared to plants propagated by other methods.

  2. Variety creation: By grafting different varieties of Coleus together, gardeners can create new and unique combinations of colors, patterns, and leaf shapes.

  3. Disease resistance: Grafting onto disease-resistant rootstocks can help protect Coleus plants from common diseases and pests.

  4. Faster propagation: Grafting can accelerate the propagation process, allowing gardeners to produce a larger number of plants in a shorter amount of time.

In conclusion, grafting is a useful technique for propagating Coleus plants that offers a range of benefits including improved growth, variety creation, disease resistance, and faster propagation. By understanding the process and advantages of grafting, gardeners can successfully propagate Coleus and enjoy the beauty of this popular ornamental plant.

Selecting the Right Tools and Materials

When it comes to propagating Coleus by grafting, it is important to have the right tools and materials on hand to ensure success.

Choosing the right Coleus varieties for grafting

Not all Coleus varieties are suitable for grafting. It is important to choose varieties that are compatible with each other in order to have a successful graft. Some popular Coleus varieties for grafting include ‘Wizard Mix’, ‘Kong Mix’, and ‘Kingswood Torch’.

Tools required for grafting Coleus

  1. Sharp grafting knife: A sharp knife is essential for making clean cuts when grafting Coleus.
  2. Sterilized scissors: Sterilized scissors are important for cutting the Coleus stems without introducing any pathogens.
  3. Grafting tape: Grafting tape is used to securely hold the grafted sections together during the healing process.
  4. Rooting hormone: Rooting hormone can help promote root growth in the grafted Coleus plants.

Materials needed for successful grafting

  1. Rootstock Coleus plant: This will serve as the base for grafting the scion onto.
  2. Scion Coleus plant: The scion plant is the desired variety that will be grafted onto the rootstock plant.
  3. Potting mix: A well-draining potting mix is essential for planting the grafted Coleus plants.
  4. Propagation tray: A propagation tray can help keep the grafted Coleus plants in a controlled environment while they heal and establish roots.

By having the right tools and materials ready, you can increase the chances of successfully propagating Coleus by grafting.

Preparing the Coleus Plants for Grafting

Grafting is a popular technique used to propagate coleus plants, allowing you to create new varieties with unique characteristics. Before you start the grafting process, it is important to properly prepare both the rootstock plant and the scion plant.

Preparing the rootstock plant

  1. Select a healthy coleus plant with a strong root system.
  2. Trim any excess foliage and branches to ensure the plant’s energy is focused on the grafting process.
  3. Make a clean cut on the stem of the rootstock plant to create a smooth surface for grafting.

Preparing the scion plant

  1. Choose a coleus plant with desirable characteristics that you want to propagate.
  2. Take a cutting from the scion plant, making sure it has at least one leaf node.
  3. Trim any excess leaves and branches from the cutting to promote successful grafting.

Choosing the right time for grafting

Grafting coleus plants is most successful during the spring or early summer when the plants are actively growing. It is important to graft when both the rootstock and scion plants are in a healthy and vigorous state. Avoid grafting during extreme temperatures or when the plants are experiencing stress, as this can reduce the success rate of the grafting process. By choosing the right time for grafting, you can increase the chances of successfully propagating coleus plants through grafting.

Grafting Coleus Plants

Grafting is a technique used to combine the desirable traits of two different plants into one. When it comes to Coleus plants, grafting can be a great way to propagate new varieties and ensure a strong, healthy plant. Here is a step-by-step guide to grafting Coleus successfully.

Step-by-step guide to grafting Coleus

  1. Selecting the plants: Choose a healthy, vigorous rootstock plant and a scion plant with the desired traits you want to propagate.
  2. Preparing the plants: Make clean, precise cuts on both plants, ensuring they fit together snugly.
  3. Joining the plants: Secure the two plants together using grafting tape or a grafting clip to hold them in place.
  4. Protecting the graft: Keep the graft site moist and covered to prevent drying out and infection.
  5. Monitoring the graft: Watch for signs of successful grafting, such as new growth and the development of a strong union between the plants.

Tips for successful grafting

  • Choose plants with similar growth habits and compatible vascular systems for better grafting success.
  • Use sharp, sterile tools to make clean cuts and reduce the risk of infection.
  • Keep the graft site out of direct sunlight and maintain consistent humidity levels to promote healing.
  • Consider using rooting hormone or a grafting gel to encourage root development and faster growth.

Common mistakes to avoid during grafting

  • Trying to graft incompatible plants together, leading to rejection and failure.
  • Making jagged or uneven cuts that prevent a tight union between the plants.
  • Allowing the graft site to dry out or become infected, hindering healing and growth.
  • Moving or disturbing the plants too soon after grafting, disrupting the healing process and causing failure.

By following these tips and avoiding common mistakes, you can successfully propagate Coleus plants through grafting and create unique, healthy varieties for your garden.

Caring for Grafted Coleus Plants

Post-grafting care instructions

After successfully grafting your coleus plants, it is important to provide them with the proper care to ensure their growth and development. Make sure to water the plants regularly, keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged. Provide them with adequate sunlight, but protect them from harsh direct sunlight that can damage the graft.

Monitoring the grafting process

Keep a close eye on the grafting process to ensure that it is successful. Look for signs of new growth and monitor the overall health of the plants. If you notice any wilting or discoloration, take immediate action to address any issues that may arise.

Troubleshooting common issues

Common issues that may arise when caring for grafted coleus plants include graft failure, wilting, and pest infestations. If you notice any of these issues, take quick action to address them. Re-grafting may be necessary if the initial graft fails, and proper pest control measures should be implemented to protect the plants from infestations. Regularly inspecting the plants and addressing any issues promptly will help ensure the success of your grafted coleus plants.


In conclusion, grafting is a highly effective method for propagating coleus plants. By following the proper techniques and using the right tools, gardeners can successfully create new coleus plants with desirable traits. Whether you are looking to expand your coleus collection or simply want to experiment with different varieties, grafting can be a fun and rewarding process. With a little patience and practice, you can become a master at propagating coleus through grafting.