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How to Start Plumeria From Cuttings

hawaiian plumeria image by Jeannine Comeau from

Plumerias are large flowering tropical trees that come in a variety of colors and fragrances. They are easily propagated from cuttings, which are best taken in the late spring or early summer and when night temperatures exceed 65 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also purchase plumeria cuttings. Plumerias prefer growing outdoors and in full sun and, unlike most cuttings, you cannot root plumerias in water. Instead, use fast-draining soil and keep the soil slightly moist.

Fill a plastic plant pot to about 1 inch below the top rim. Use all-purpose potting soil or make your own with equal parts of sand, perlite and potting soil (or peat). The pot should have at least one drainage hole on the bottom.

If you don’t have a cutting already, take one from a plumeria tree . It should be about 12 to 16 inches in length and from a branch that appears to be healthy. Use hand clippers to make a sharp, clean cut.

Dip the bottom inch of the cutting in water and then in a root hormone. Rooting hormones are available for purchase at most garden stores. This is optional, but will help assure successful rooting.

Plant the bottom 3 inches of the cutting in the center of the planting pot. Gently pat down the soil to fill in any small pockets of air.

Fill the top inch that you left free in step 1 with gravel. This will keep the cutting steady and prevent it from tipping over.

Water the plumeria so the soil is barely moist. Do not water it again until the soil is completely dry (check it with your finger) and then water it just a little bit so that the soil is just slightly damp. In about 6 to 8 weeks, after the cutting has taken root and two to four leaves have begun to open up, water the plant thoroughly until the water seeps out the bottom of the drainage hole. Repeat when the soil dries out, which during the hot summer months may be once or twice a day.

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