Persian Shield Propagation (Strobinlanthus dyerianus)

Before the first frost of the fall I took a few cuttings of my Persian Shield (Strobinlanthus dyerianus) to hopefully overwinter it as a houseplant. This was the first year for Persian Shield in my garden and I've only seen it at one nursery around so I wanted to be sure I had some for next year in the garden. Saving a little cash while getting more plants is a pretty nice side effect!

It's a very cool plant with it's almost metallic sheen that reflects a mixture of purple and silvery hues in the light. It likes the shade but did very well in a part sun area in my garden. I took as many stem tip cuttings as I could to increase my odds of getting a rooted cutting but really this was so easy I probably didn't need to take any more than 5-6. I ended up with 8-10 rooted cuttings.

How Did I Root My Persian Shield?

The water method! The simple, plain old method for rooting cuttings of coleus, basil, or sedum works very well for Persian Shield too. I gathered a variety of internodal and nodal cuttings and placed them in baby jars filled with water. I didn't use any rooting hormones since I don't normally when using the water method for propagation. If you have willows available you may want to prune a stem off and put it in the water with your water cuttings to make them root faster but it isn't necessary. (You might end up rooting an extra willow that way too!)

Change the water regularly (at least every other day) while the roots are forming.  Once roots have formed, which for my cuttings took about 3 weeks, you will need to add water as it depletes or plant the Persian Shield cuttings into a pot.  I'll be planting these together with some coleus to make a colorful house plant combination.

Something I Noticed

The internodal cuttings didn't root along the stems which means that nodal cuttings are the way to go when taking cuttings of Persian Shield. Roots grew from each node that was submerged under water and the remains of the stems that were on the cut ends died back to the rooted node. It's not a big deal if internodal cuttings are taken since the cuttings still rooted but it might work better if the extra stem was removed before trying to root them.

Now if I could just get my greenhouse ready to house them for the winter!

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