How unfurled do leaves have to get before watering?

disneyhorse(10A)June 25, 2013

So I've got my little plumeria "nursery" going and it's a mishmash of seedlings, cuttings, and newly-shipped-rooted plants. I've been watering the little seedlings and rooted plants once a week and they seem happy. But I'm really unsure about the cuttings.
I see why people like to bag root or use a clear container to see ... But I'm a dumb newbie and used gallon pots :/
Some of them have only been planted for two or three weeks but really look like they are trying to wake up and send up leaves where there were just tight claws ( the green leafy tip in the photo is a baaaaarely rooted plant shipped bareroot so I know that one has roots) but I know it can take months to root sometimes.
Are leaves truly a sign of simultaneous rooting? I'm resisting the urge to water, I don't want to kill this nice variety of cuttings although I've resigned myself to the fact that some may perish :(

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
maark23 TX/8a

Hey Disney! I'm with you on the same boat, I wish I would have used plastic water bottles so I can see if there's any roots growing. :S But from what I've learned you water when your cuttings have there first set of true leaves. I am not sure about that though but I'm sure there will be more advice.


    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 11:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
freak4plumeria(So CA zone 10)

I was told by old timers that if you usually have 3 or 4 new leaves and you tug on the cutting and feel some resistance your cutting should be rooted. I had this discussion with someone today on the phone and this is my 2 cents, if your tips are glistening and the claws are up and opening, if you live in a hot area and the top of the soil looks dry poke your finger down in soil. If you do not feel any moisture at all then you may want to LIGHTLY water the cutting. Oh I also heard that some people water from the bottom as only to get the bottom soil moist by putting the pot on a saucer or bucket and then putting an inch or 2 of water in the bucket so the water will enter from the drainage holes, and do not leave the pot in the bowel or bucket for more than couple of mins. The bottom moisture wicks through the soil, so by the time it wicks upwards it really never gets wet towards the top. I personally water root and rarely conventionally root, on occasion I will but have more success with water rooting. Some people will not water unless they feel their cutting is full rooted, while others mist the top of the soil. Again if its really hot in your area then Id give it a little drink as the water should drain and dry out quickly, also I was always told by the old timers that RAIN water is ok and will not cause your plumies to rot...

Good Luck

This post was edited by freak4plumeria on Wed, Jun 26, 13 at 0:38

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 11:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Okay, I will give them a little "rain" and keep holding out for leaves...

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 12:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

HI There!!

I'm with James.. I love the old timers advise since they have been around and know from experience. I also believe a little water won;t hurt if you are in a hot climate now. SOme use the rim method that works great. Just take a little water and water inside the container around the inside of the rim. ( for cuttings trying to root) The roots will search out the moisture and you won't worry so much about root rot. During the heat of the summer, i will give some water..( spritzing or spraying with a water bottle in the am) more than when rooting in the spring and fall due to evaporation. The rule of thumb is usually water when the leaves are 4-6 inches long. I have followed that for a while and it works well. James has been growing for a long time and i would follow his lead anytime.

When you do have roots, water and let them dry out, then water again. They love the water in the heat of the summer and don't worry.. they will dry out and then water again. we call it the "wet/dry cycle"

Just dont saturate the containers..when rooting cuttings. When in doubt wait.. but you can still give a little with a "light" hand. Especially if you have a well fast draining mix...

Good Luck!!


    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 12:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I stick cuttings in one gallon black pots too! I water thoroughly and stick them on the porch where they do not get wet if it happens to rain. Once they start to send up new leaves I start watching them, once the first couple of leaves LOOK like leaves, they are starting to open up and grow, then I start watering, just a bit at first, maybe a cup of water per gallon, as the leaves continue to open I give more water and move them out to the garden. Once in the garden they get watered like everything else. If they start to wrinkle while on the porch, leaves or no, I water them. I never tug on them or knock them out of the pots until I am ready to repot or put them in the garden. I have found I really need to give them a bit of water once a week or so in the middle of summer, leaves or no leaves, or they dry up and die, probably from the heat.

Sometimes, this time of year, when it`s hot and dry, I just stick the cuttings in one of the beds and let them root there. I stuck a 3-4` multi-tip cutting in last month, it has taken off and is branching out, fully covered in foliage and outpacing the rooted established plumeria in the same bed. Heat is your friend when you grow plumeria.

Good luck!
Tally HO!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 8:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tdogdad(Zone 9)

the plant in the picture with leaves is about two weeks from water for me. I mist but no heavy water. At that point, a cutting has only very small roots and these are not enough to remove excess water. The stem has water for the rooting process. I do not recommend pulling on the stem although this will show if a cutting is rooted, if it is very early on in rooting it can bust off the delicate roots and set you back. I will pull on a cutting that has been trying for several months and I am pretty sure it is not rooted. What Laura said about edge watering is pretty safe and can be improved by running a finger around the inside edge of the pot forming a small moat so no water runs into the center of the pot. Water runs down the outside soil and radiates as humidity toward the center but does not wet the soil next to the cutting. Also when James said rain he meant actual rain, not city water or bottled water. You are in So.Cal and not Florida. We are cooler and drier, have little rain and low humidity usually. I have 154 cuttings rooting now and I have misted them but no water for over 6 weeks so far. They are all leafing out but still no water until the leaves are about 6-8' long. I also mist with Spray n grow at this point about once a week. From my experience, cuttings drying up are almost non existent and those that did were not rooting from the start.
Leaving them alone and waiting for them to root is hard but messing with them causes far more deaths. Bill

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 11:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I`m on the coast of Texas, heat, heat, more heat, humidty and more heat are the norm. I only have a problem with cuttings shriveling if I put them in during the dead of summer and don`t water them for a couple of weeks. I can leave them for months with no problem the rest of the year. I put in cuttings in November and just started watering them this month when they started to leaf out.

which is why this time of year I just stick cuttings in the yard. I should note that my yard is sand so water retention is not a problem for me. Quite the opposite.

89, heat index 102, humidity 71% right now, a bit of a cool down from earlier in the week.
Tally HO!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 4:45PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
what do you think of the callus?
The three on the left are hard and appear to be good...
more middle room
re worked some space in the middle of courtyard. used...
Just Purchased KALEINANI Plumeria From 1 Stop Aloha On Ebay.
Hello Gang; My 1st purchase from 1 Stop, I read good...
Need help with a sick Plumeria
Glad to have joined your site and hello from sunny...
Laura and this the scale my husband thinks...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™