The lives of most annuals end with the first hard frost in fall. However, it is possible to save several annuals from year to year by taking and rooting cuttings in late summer. Annuals that can be successfully rooted and grown indoors over winter include geraniums, impatiens, coleus, and wax begonias.
Using a sharp knife, take 3- to 5-inch stem cuttings from the terminal ends of the shoots. Pinch off the lower leaves, then dip the base of each cutting in a rooting hormone. Stick the cuttings into a rooting medium of vermiculite, perlite, or coarse sand. Clay or plastic pots with drainage holes in the bottom are suitable rooting containers. Insert the cuttings approximately 1 inch deep into the rooting medium. After all the cuttings are inserted, water the rooting medium. Allow the medium to drain for a few minutes, then place a clear plastic bag over the cuttings and container to prevent the cuttings from wilting. Finally, place the cuttings in bright light, but not direct sunlight. The cuttings should root in 6 to 8 weeks. When the cuttings have good root systems, remove them from the rooting medium and plant each rooted cutting in its own pot. Place the potted plants in a sunny window or under artificial lighting until spring.
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