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How to Grow Plumeria From Cuttings

Orange White Plumeria image by djonghs from

Bring a tropical look to your garden with the plumeria tree, which can grow in USDA hardiness zones 9 or higher. Gardeners prize the tree for its sweet-smelling, brightly colored blossoms. Though plumerias can be started from seed, propagating the tree via a cutting is faster and easier. Additionally, a cutting often will produce its own flowers within a year. Trees started from seed can take more than three years to grow blossoms, according to the University of Hawaii.

Cut off the growing tip of an existing plumeria tree's branch. Make the cutting approximately 12 to 24 inches long. Snip off any leaves on the cut branch.

Set the cutting in dry, cool room for two to three weeks to allow the cutting to cure and lower its chances of contracting diseases.

Fill a 1 gallon pot with potting soil or combine equal parts of compost, garden soil and sand or vermiculite as an alternative.

Plant the plumeria cutting in the pot. Bury its cut end in the soil with the cutting oriented vertically. Insert the cutting 4 to 6 inches deep, or as needed to make the cutting secure so it doesn't fall over. Dip the cut end of the plumeria branch in an indolebutyric acid-based rooting compound for faster rooting, according to the University of Hawaii.

Place the pot in a sunny location. Water twice daily or as needed to keep the top 2 inches of soil moist. The cutting typically will take root within two months and will be signified by the emergence of new leaves on the top of the cutting, according to Texas A&M University.

Plumeria Cutting?

Plumeria, also called frangipani (Plumeria species), produces the fragrant, pinwheel-shaped flowers used in leis. The flowers are in sherbert colors of yellow, peach, orange, pink, red and cream. Plumerias are propagated primarily from cuttings, although seeds can be harvested from the plants' occasional long, hornlike seedpods and grown into new plants. Seeds from a named cultivar have genetics different from the parent plant and will give rise to new hybrids. A cut should not be flat but angled at 45 degrees to prevent water from pooling on the cut surface and causing rot in the mother plant. Don't allow leaves to remain on the lower part of the stem. If leaves are present there, clip them off, leaving just a few on the apical, or upper tip, end of the cutting. Afterward, the fleshy plumeria stem needs time for its cut end to heal over before it is put to root. So lay the cutting on its side on clean newspaper in shade for one week. Planting the cutting begins with disinfecting a 1-gallon nursery pot with a 10 percent bleach solution. A 2-inch deep layer of the rooting medium goes in the bottom of the 1-gallon pot. Place the cutting in the middle of the pot, and fill the area around it with more of the rooting medium, tamping the medium in place as you go and leaving 1 inch of space at the pot's top. It requires partial shade if the location's climate is hot and dry. One way to test for rooting is to try gently rotating the cutting in its pot. If it turns without resistance, then it has no roots.

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