How to Propagate the Jacobinia Tropical Plant


Jacobinia belongs to a genus (Justicia) that includes over 400 species of flowering plants that hail from subtropical and tropical regions. Justicia aurea, a tropical species that also goes by the name yellow plume or yellow jacobinia, is a large shrub that will grow to 10 feet tall and wide. Because it is native to the Brazilian tropical savanna, the jacobinia tropical plant requires a shady location in the garden with deep, rich soil. If taken care of properly this jacobinia will reward you with tall spikes of yellow flowers in early summer. The yellow jacobinia can be pruned to keep it small enough to be container grown. The tropical jobinia is hardy to USDA zones 8b to 11.

Step 1

Cut a 6 to 8-inch piece of stem from the tip of the jacobinia.

Step 2

Pour equal parts of the sphagnum peat moss and perlite into the planting pot and water it until the excess water runs out of the bottom of the pot.

Step 3

Remove all the leaves from the cutting, with the exception of two, at the top.

Step 4

Trim the cutting so that two leaf nodes (the bump on the stem where the leaves used to join it) are toward the bottom end of the cutting. Dip the cutting in the rooting hormone, making sure that the two nodes are covered in it.

Step 5

Insert a pencil into the soil to create a planting hole for the jacobinia cutting and insert the cutting into the hole. Make sure that the two leaf nodes are buried under the soil.

Step 6

Pack the soil well around the base of the cutting.

Step 7

Place the potted cutting in a shady area and keep the soil moist. The cutting should root within two months. You will know it is established when it puts out new growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Rooting hormone
  • Planting pot, with holes in the bottom for drainage
  • Sphagnum peat moss
  • Perlite


  • North Carolina State University: Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings
  • "Plants for Tropical Landscapes: A Gardener's Guide;" Fred D. Rauch and Paul R. Weissich; 2000
Keywords: propagate jacobinia tropical plant, propagate yellow jacobinia, propagate yellow plume

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.