by Connie Oswald Stofko
If you want to take cuttings of annuals to take inside for the winter, now is is the time to do it.
Cuttings need to be taken while the plants are in their prime, not after they start to fade, said Lyn Chimera of Lessons from Nature.
The coleus in the photo can be rooted easily placing the cutting in a glass or small vase of water. Tip: Cut off the leaves on the part of the stem that will be submerged in the water. Submerged leaves will rot.
Get more tips on propagating plants from David Clark here. Clark, horticulturist and CNLP, teaches horticulture classes at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens.
If you have a sunny window, you may be able to enjoy that plant inside all winter, and perhaps plant it again in your garden next spring.
UPDATE: So many of you are asking for details on what to do during the winter with your annuals. Here is more information from Lyn Chimera:
First thing is to bring the plants inside while they are in their prime and when night time temps get below 50. With as cold as it has been overnight that would be soon. Also give them time to adjust to the temp and light difference by putting on a porch or sheltered area for 3 or 4 days.
If your plant is already in a pot, be sure to check for insects and trim off dead or damaged leaves. If you’re digging up a plant and repotting, the same rule applies. I always cut off blooms to lessen the strain on the plants adjustment.
There will be a period of adjustment as many plants might drop some leaves. This is normal.
If it’s a large plant you can take cuttings and start new plants. Keeping the cuttings on the dry side once they are established is helpful.
Pinch back the plant so it doesn’t get leggy.
Sometimes they get mildew and can be treated with a fungicide.
Update #2: See David Clark’s advice and tips from readers in comments.