difficult to root

rox146February 19, 2013


Does anyone have a list of the "more difficult" to root plumerias? I have a large wish list and will cut some out if I know those names that are hard to root. I have read that Kapalua, Lurline and Hilo Beauty...just to name a few....

Mahalo, roxanne

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Bill Moragne is known to be a tough rooter but I managed to root it this past spring/summer an I am in zone 6a-6b. In my honest opinion, it really isn't a hard rooter, just a slower one.

Now I'm gonna try to tackle a scott pratt and hilo beauty. :)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 8:55PM
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There are a lot of hard to root varieties. They take so long to root things happen along the way and you loose them; they just rot. The key is to callus them well before planting them. Generally the reds are difficult to root. The one I had the most trouble is Katie Moragne. I tried three times and I lost it in all three. It just sat there for more than a year and eventually rotted (got wet from the rain). I just rooted 7 Hilo Beauty and 5 Scott Pratt with no problem. I callused them real well before planting them. Bottom heat with a heating mat also helps.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 10:06PM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

I had luck with Scott pratt also. It did take about 5 months


    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 10:25PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hello everyone,

Last summer I gave a cutting of my Scott Pratt to a friend in VA. He called me a few months later and said it already rooted, I was stunned. Then I had to cut off another part of that tree and I decided to see how fast it would root for me.. It was the fastest cutting ever to root for me.

It seems like the temps and the time of the year as well as the humidity and bottom heat play a major role in the rooting factor. For some of us, certain varieties seem difficult and others seem easy.

I had trouble rooting my JL Don Ho. That one seemed to take forever as we'll as my California Sally. I think I was so worried about that one because it came from Bud. If I lost that one, I would have been heart broken . But thanks to him and another kind soul, they sent me a back up!! Thank you!


I have a few Thai varieties right now that are doing nothing.. But I think it is the time of the year. I just like rooting during the summer.. I have such a better success rate then. Even though I have them under my lights and on heating mats, it seems like it has been decades since I started them. Then, to not touch them or even mess with them is sooooo difficult .

I really think it depends on how fresh the cutting is and how well it is callused for it to be successful in rooting. Summertime is the best in my book!

Thought I would throw in my two cents worth! ;-)

Have a good night all...


    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 11:05PM
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I agree with Laura. The best time to root cuttings is in late spring/summer. Rooting in the winter is the most difficult because the cuttings are dormant. Bottom heat is a must to root in the winter. The top of the cutting is still cool in the garage and remains dormant. You get the strange effect that the cutting develops roots but the top of it is dormant and has no leaves (picture below rooted in January).

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 11:25PM
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Thanks for all the help/suggestions. I am going to hit the San Diego Cutting sale on the 6th and want to take my wish list and hope to thin the herd a bit by asking which are harder to root. My Kaleinani Orange that I brought from Oahu last May is finally taking off..again I did the egg thing. I have lost my share over the years (20-25) and get so sad to even think the poor things gave up the ghost. Mahalo, roxanne

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 11:33PM
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p.s. which now brings to mind..are some better off being grafted instead of rooting? I have not tried this yet but know a few people with a BIG success rate...roxanne

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 11:05AM
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Rox, there are several that should almost always be grafted instead of rooted, Bill Moragne and Makaha Sunn being two that come to mind. Grafting onto good root stock apparently also helps with varieties that tend to black tip, according to some PSA members.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 7:20PM
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Thanks Jandey...here is a thought...I have 2 seedlings so close together in the ground now that branches are almost touching...if I were to make a splice on each and put into bondage...would it not be like a sideways graft and it could be cool how the 2 branches would take off melted together??? Always willing to try....roxanne

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 11:05PM
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Sorry to butt into the conversation...just a plumy newbie dreamer here.

What is the "egg thing" rox?

That's an interesting picture of rooting in a plastic bag. I have heard of plastic bottles before but this is different. citizen would you pls explain how that works, I would like to try it out.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 9:34PM
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Aloha Pebbles,

If you google the "egg rooting method" and read a lot of the comments it will explain. For me,Ventura,ca.....I have been doing it with all my cuttings for the last 2 years (30) total..some even have had several inflos on them and I have not had to cut them off..they continue to grow and bloom. Even as I type, I have 8 cuttings from late October taking off out in my sunroom.

I did do 1 with and 1 without the first year of the same variety...world of difference. So, some like it and some don't..I have had no raccoons or nasty smells what so ever. So, what works for 1 maybe does not work for another.

I am geting 4 in from Piece of Paradise today and then I hope 10 at least at the San Diego sale April 6th...they will all have eggs under them and also the ones I put in the ground. good luck, roxanne

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 10:12AM
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Hey Rox and all,

Sorry, I'm a bit late to this party. The ones that in my book are difficult to root are the ones that I've attempted to root but lost to rot...kind of a "list of shame" for me LOL

Here they are:
Jeanne Cecile
Geena (was able to have Luc, God rest his soul, save this one by grafting)
JL Hula Girl #2 (losing this one REALLY killed me, if anyone who reads this has any clue where I might find a replacement, please please let me know)
Mary Moragne

I thought there were more in number, but I guess that's about it.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 5:07PM
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Aloha Greg,

Sounds like you have quite a great collection with a few hard to find ones. I am searching for Kapalua (hard to root) Mary and Bill Moragne Sr. and a number of others. I do have Gena (gorgeous 4ft.) but was rooted when I bought her. I did buy lurline in Oahu in '09 and it promptly rotted and I was told it needs to be grafted to take.

Such a great hobbie and not enough soil to try them all...mahalo for the input, roxanne

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 5:36PM
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Greg, I too lost Jeanne Cecile however I rooted Gina/Geena with no problem. She is a very vigourous grower, grew a lot after rooting and only last week lost all of her leaves after the whole winter under grow lights / being accosted by spider mites. I certainly will let you know if I ever see a Hula Girl #2! I also think I waited too long to cutt off an inflo on Jeanne Cecile that drained the life out of the cutting.

And if Kim was able to root Bill Moragne Sr. in zone 6a - 6b then maybe there's hope! LOL! GOOD JOB KIM!!!

Honestly, I believe that the callous for some of those difficult or slow ones is the key like George said - it is the only protection for the soft core sitting in moisture. But also I did something with my Goldilocks that I think may have made all the difference in it making it - I actually gave it a few drops of water which is against everything I would normally do. It was rooting for so long that it was getting shrivelled and sad looking, I knew it would just dry out on the heat mat if I didn't do something - because in addition to it being winter, it is also a very slow / compact grower which could make all the difference too.I suspect it had at least one root and the little moisture revived it big time, it was after a while, not early on. But I have to say, this Goldilocks had the most incredible callous I've ever seen:

Rox, Upland Nursery has both Bill Moragne Sr. cuttings and Mary Moragne cuttings. The Plumeria World has Bill Moragne Sr. cuttings.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 6:47PM
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Yep my Billy boy (Bill Moragne) is fully rooted now and still is pushing out leaves every now and then. It never went dormant though but I am having trouble with some type of pest (white specks) getting on the cuttings (never the leaf, always the cutting & leaf stem). I've been spritzing it every other day to keep them off plus once an a while I will spray neem oil on it. I can't wait for it to get at least 50F at night time to sit it outside.

I got mine from Brads in April of last year when he was offering cuttings. Once an a while he offers rooted ones about July or so. Mine didn't have a good callus either, it was freshly cut, allowed to dry for 3-4 days then he mailed it with rooting hormone on it an I planted it straight away. He said that it really isn't a difficult rooter, just slower and should be started in early spring.

So my advice to people who are scared about rooting a BM, don't be, give it a try and maybe you'll get a surprise like I did.

I just hope it forms an inflo this year, I wanna smell some awesome grape cool-aid. :D

This post was edited by kim319 on Sat, Mar 9, 13 at 20:52

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 8:51PM
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Kauka WIlder is one I've tried to root many times. A huge cutting, more like a small tree, did root, then it got sunburned and died. UGH! I gave up on it until I can find a WELL rooted speciman. Just too much rain here in Florida sometimes.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 4:54PM
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Powderpuff...happy 1st day of spring. I have 4 big multi tipped cuttings of Kauka Wilder from 3 years ago now that are finally looking to have great inflos this year. My same friend who gave me those in early spring....this last late October gave me a 5 ft. cutting that broke off his 12 ft. tree that is in the ground. Knowing it was the wrong time of year and it can be tricky, I started it in our sunroom with the raw whole egg under it by 2 inches in the soil. I am getting ready to take it outdoors in 1 month or less and it has 3 inflos on it growing like crazy. I have also read it does not like as much water as some..same with Cooktown.

It is a great color but not lei quality or any holding power...I am rooting Theresa Wilder this year and will see the comparison.

enjoy the lovely spring...roxanne

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 6:01PM
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I have the best results between April and June. Its a shame that callus is on an angle cut like that.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 10:15PM
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I think if we KNOW they are hard to root then they become hard to root, if we are blissfully unaware we have more success.

Tally HO!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 11:12AM
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You may be on to something Tally! It all varies so much.

K, I agree - it was a tough decision not to re-cut that end but since I was going to be rooting it over winter I decided the callous outweighed the angle at that point. Come to think of it, when I got my 2nd Goldilocks and the Golden Pagoda, due to the price of the cuttings I was too afraid to mess with them and I left the angle cut as well.

When I recently received my Mr. Ambassador cutting however, I re-cut the end & it's callousing now. The cutting is so beefy, the angle was so severe that I decided to go for it and re-cut.

I'm not very good at callousing so I hate to re-cut if I don't have to. I've recently had some more promising results but still nothing very impressive.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 12:43PM
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Emily, how do you callus your cuttings? I'm trying the mulch in a plastic bin method, and the cuttings are looking really good, even without supplemental heat.

The bin is just sitting in my breakfast area--condensation on the inside from day one--and the cuttings, while not callused yet, have had no pull-back or wrinkling. These were from mature-ish seedlings, so not big trees or anything. Now I just need to see if I can root one!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 9:26AM
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I read an article about callousing them and rooting them in dry mulch. I've had zero rot doing it that way. As soon as they begin to put out roots I put them into plastic water bottles with cactus mix and sand or just stick them in the ground for the summer. You MUST, in my opinion, have sandy, fast draining soil and warm nights to root them that way.

In the Florida Keys nobody babies a cutting. They stick it in the ground in the spring and they almost always root with no problems.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 3:35PM
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I bought a new bag of mulch and tried it like George said - dipped immediately in rooting hormone and laid in the mulch - well sure enough I still had shriveling and pull back - WTH?!

So I went back to trying just perlite, which seems to work ok for the most part but like I said nothing to brag about. Well then last night I go look at my Kimi M and my Mr. Ambassador that I had in the perlite and they were fine until then - well the Kimi looks just fine and the Mr. A had some little mold spots and the center had shrunk in more than I would like. the Kimi looks flat and straight, no shrinking. I didn't know what to do at that point so I dipped the end in rooting hormone and put it back in the perlite LOL! I hope I didn't screw up this gorgeous cutting :(

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 4:13PM
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I just callused some of my cuttings that I received from Derrick in a old computer box filled with perlite. I had the box in our dark utility room by our water heater. It took 4 weeks but I had a callus on some. Note -- none of mine shriveled or had the pith recede. I did however lose a King Kalakaua while callusing for some strange reason, but the others did great


Some of them ended up with a better callused / dry end after I cut them myself and left them dry out. This was my first time doing so an I made myself quiet proud. :)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 5:38PM
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Emily, I put a couple of inches of mulch into a plastic bin, put plastic tubes or something on top of the mulch, then lay the cuttings on the tubes so they don't sit directly on the mulch, then close the lid on the bin.

This makes really good condensation. After a week or so there are a few fine filaments of black mold on the cut end, but the cuttings stay very firm. Supposedly with bottom heat of 85-95 degrees you can get a good callus in a couple of weeks.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 12:23AM
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