November 24, 2009

Overwintering Coleus, Terrarium-Style


I have a few coleus plants outside that aren't hardy here, and I really like their coloration and growth habit. There's a slim possibility they'll make it through the winter, but it's not worth risking it.

I'd first heard how easy it is to propagate coleus on Gardening by the Yard, and recently on the Martha Stewart Show, they did a segment on propagating coleus and reaffirmed just how easy it is. I started some coleus in crappy pots about a month ago, and they're doing fine. Basically, I was doing a trial run to see how I could do this before it got down to the wire.

However, I thought it might be nice to have a centerpiece of sorts and use one of my large glass vases. I'm completely new to terrariums, but they offer a way of protecting plants from my naughty cats who like to gnaw on just about everything. I also figured starting cuttings in a terrarium would be the easiest way of creating a terrarium because it's trickier to put full plants inside a terrarium than cuttings, so I'm killing 3-4 birds with one stone. I only started them within the past week, so I'll have to update on how well (or unwell) they do.

My method was pretty straight forward. First I cleaned, rinsed, and dried the vase very well. Next I filled the bottom carefully with well-rinsed gravel. Then I gently added potting soil being careful to keep dust on the side of the vase to a minimum. After adding the potting soil, I firmed it, used skewers to make some holes, and carefully stuck the cuttings into the holes firming the soil around them. Then I poured a thin layer of sand on top of the soil and around the cuttings to keep potential gnats away. Finally, I used the mister on my hose to clean the sides of the vase and add water. Some of the sand splashed onto the leaves, but I brushed it off gently once the leaves were dry again. All in all, it was a very simple process but took a little tiny bit of care.


  1. Great idea! It looks really cool, too. (My baggie-tented coleus cutting seems to be okay so far.) Now I need to rummage around and see if I have a spare vase big enough to try your method.

  2. Looking nice! Please let me know how the coleus does in there!


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