Need Advice On Starting Cuttings

alameda/zone 8October 12, 2010

Due to 2 knee surgeries in early spring, I wasnt able to attend to the plants in my greenhouse and I figured that they died. Today I looked inside - and my plumeria had green leaves on 2 branches. It looked like the majority of the plant was dead, as the stem was dried and dead inside, so I made cutting out of the 2 live wood parts with leaves. I have air dried all afternoon. Now, need help with starting these cuttings. Do I soak in water? Plant? Any suggestions appreciated!


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Hi Judith,

Amazing that you still had green branches when the main trunk was dead!

I'm not very experienced with rooting, and I'm sure someone will come in with more info, but I'll throw in my two cents from what I've gleaned off these posts.

First, I think the cuttings should be allowed to dry for at least a week, to "callus" the end that will be rooted. This seems to be pretty universally agreed-upon.

Secondly, if it's a white or yellow variety they tend to root more easily than a red or rainbow, so be prepared for anywhere from 6-12 weeks for rooting--every cutting seems to have its own mind about when it wants to root, if at all. If it is a red or rainbow, you may want to take as many additional measures possible for your best chances of success, since it is cooler now and harder to root anyway in the coming months.

After you've callused the ends, most would advise to at least dip into water, or soak the lowest 3 inches for several hours. This can be in plain water or supplemented with Superthrive or B-1 vitamin or seaweed extract to give the cutting a boost. Then dip again into a rooting hormone, or even a rooting hormone mixed with honey to help protect against fungus.

Using a fast-draining soil (very important; most people like a cactus soil mixed 50/50 with perlite for good drainage), fill a one-gallon plastic pot and place the cutting to about 3 inches deep. Tamp the soil around the cutting, water in with the soaking water (preferably with the supplements added) and leave it in the warmest, sunniest location possible (best to put it on a seed warming mat if you have one) and DON'T WATER AGAIN until you have at least a few leaves measuring 4-6 inches long. Leaves mean it's finally rooted.

You want that cutting to go looking for water by sending out new roots--your watering it will not encourage that, and may rot your cutting, so now matter how tempting, leave it alone until you have leaves growing. (This is by far the toughest part of growing plumerias in my opinion!)

Before I found all this great info on this forum I had managed to root some cuttings in plain dirt after letting them callus with no rooting hormone, supplements or heating pads, so there's definitely some luck involved, but the "no leaves, no water" rule is a pretty strict one.

Best of luck to you! Check the link below for more info.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to Grow Plumeria Cuttings

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 12:25AM
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Jandey did a great job of posting instructions for rooting plumeria cuttings. Regarding temperature, if possible, you really want to make sure the soil is warm. My cuttings have always rooted without any difficulty under high output (T-5) florescent lighting, which keeps my basement room at 80 degrees.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 1:07AM
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