Propagating Bougainvillea

dobra1629(z5 NY)June 3, 2007

How to prop cuttings? In water or pot with hormone?

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little_dani(9, S. Tex Coast)

Definitely not in water!

I have found bouganvilla to be difficult to propagate.

My friend Jerry propagates a lot of them at his wholesale nursery, and he tells me that a product called 'SuperThrive' helps a lot. You can find it at nurseries or at some WalMarts.

Good Luck


    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 10:15AM
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FIll a small terracotta pot with propagating sand and pop in firm tip cuttings during warmer weather, then moisten. Sit in a saucer you keep filled with water. No further need for top watering until your cuttings have struck. I had roots in about 6 weeks.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2007 at 3:35AM
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dobra1629(z5 NY)

Thanks liatris but since I posted the question in June, I have water rooted four cuttings that rooted within two weeks and have been growing in the ground since early July. I have water rooted so many different plants this year that are doing well.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2007 at 9:18AM
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Water roots are different than soil roots.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2007 at 9:53AM
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dobra1629(z5 NY)

I am aware that there is a difference in water roots and soil roots but it hasnt stopped me from being successful in rooting. My granny propagated almost everything by sticking in a glass of water on her windowsill. She didnt even know what rooting hormone was. She said "chil ya wasting yo time and money, jus stick um in some water den plant um". It worked for her for a gazillion years and now it's working for me.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2007 at 10:00AM
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You keep the stem dry in perilite mist the leaves and keep it humid in a mist tent.

Here is a link that might be useful: water roots are different

    Bookmark   August 24, 2007 at 10:02AM
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ibartoo(z8 sc)

I've got a bouganvillea, I think I will cut it and try some now. thanks for the idea.... I will post my results.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2007 at 6:20PM
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I water root many different plants and have never had a problem transitioning to soil either.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2007 at 11:31PM
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jbclem(z9b Topanga, Ca)

Is there any part of the bougainvillea plant that is better for cuttings...growing tip, softwood, older harder wood? I'm having mixed success and would like to pin this down. Could I be using too much rooting powder? Is that possible? Will they root without a misting chamber, in warm weather?

Any tipsters out there...


    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 6:29AM
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If water rooting is so good and never rots the cuttings, why do wholesale nurseries all use mist? Granny probably took a horse and buggy to get to the market too, but we don't for some reason.

The Pro's all use mist or tissue culture for propagation because it's better.

I don't know why I bother.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 10:53AM
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dobra1629(z5 NY)

Sorry Jimmyjojo but can't deny results. I am sure the pros have failures sometimes using their methods too. Since this angers you so much maybe you shouldnt bother.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 3:53PM
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jbclem(z9b Topanga, Ca)

If you follow the link that jimmyjojo provided, you'll find that it's not always true that water roots are different. Which explains why some plants (spearmint, fuschia, creeping charlie) are easy to water root and then plant successfully. It also makes sense that success can depend on the levels of nutrients in the water, as hydroponics has proven. Granny, even without the internet, probably had a good handle on what worked and what didn't..

And Granny had another thing right...think how it would be if we all took a horse and buggy to the market...think about global warming, think about knowing your neighbors better, think about all that extra fertilizer your buggy would produce. And especially think about taking your SUV to the market(or 7/11) 10 times a week, every you need a pack of cigarettes, a coke, ice cream, soap. You wouldn't be that indulgent if you had to saddle up each time.

I know, I know... I can't even get bougainvillea to root. I think I'll try rooting it in SuperThrive. lil_dani, how does your friend Jerry do it exactly. Does he water with SuperThrive, or soak the cuttings in it first? Could you find out his methods and pass them on to us...that would be really helpful.


    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 4:52AM
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Now the way that I have been propagating my
bougainvillea is I scrape the bottom of a
branch then the bruised area is inserted into
the ground. I place a heavy object to hold
it down like a brick or rock. in 6 weeks it
has roots. I cut it from the main plant without
disturbing the new roots then wait a couple of
weeks and transplant the new plant to a pot
or in the ground.

This is the main plant,the Mama.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2007 at 11:49PM
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Propagation is made easier by doing some preparations upfront.

¡P Select a branch / semi or matured.
¡P Chop off the young end.
¡P Remove all the leaves on the branch-ideally 4 to 6 inches.
¡P Leave it for a week or so till new buds can be seen growing on the branch.
¡P Cut the branch 4 or 6 inches.
¡P Remove unwanted, let only a few buds-2,3 or 4 and dip it 2 inches into the potting medium. (I prefer to use dark sandy soil for good drainage to prevent rotting)

Propagation success depends on :

¡P Care.( put on the shady ground & water frequently/ Don¡¦t let the buds to withered & dry off -nothing more than that)
¡P Root & bud growth. ( bud had been achieved & the dark soil will promote better root growth)

With the buds already grown, you can actually monitor how the propagation is getting on.

This is by no way a perfect method of propagation.
I had tried several ways, even with rooting hormones(minus the above!!) but I found that the success rate is low.

With the above, I can easily achieved more than 75% success.

Happy trying n good lucks to all!!!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2007 at 10:34AM
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jmateosky(costa rica)

for me it is simple.

hot and sun are key. I cut them sticks 12" and finger thickness.

the old timers here swear-by cutting them in "minguante" wanning moon.

the most important thing for me is rooting hormone, there are many forms. I like the powder form I wet the sticks end then stick it in the powder.

cut the leaves off ( they will dry out the stick otherwise).

My question is: what kind of N-P-K, fertilizer, works best for getting the roots growing?


    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 9:29AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

why would you need fert .. on a stick with no roots???

the hormones will.. should .. if you are correct.. trigger roots..

when you have enough roots.. pot it up.. and let it settle down.. get established..

and then.. think about fert ..

not now???


    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 9:47AM
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