Growing Plumeria from cuttings
How to grow Plumeria, Frangipani from cuttings - guide by Avi Schneor - Aug. 2014
Mature Plumeria tree
Young Plumeria tree
|Plumeria flowers - samples of shape and color variety|
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|Growing Plumeria from cuttings guide - by Avi Schneor|
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Plumeria is a tropical plant from family Apocynum, originating from the Caribbean / Central America.
Plumeria loves heat and humidity and will grow well in hot and even very hot places.
Plumeria blooms several times a season, there are hundreds of varieties of different colors and scents.
There are hundreds of varieties, wild species and hybrids made by growers over the years resulting a huge variety of colors and scents. Plumeria flowers grow in clusters, flower usually has five petals but it is not uncommon to find anomalies with more petals, up to ten.
The tree branches are split into 2 (dichotomy) or 3 (trichotomy) and this is how the tree grows and gets its volume.
Plumeria is fully deciduous tree.
In the winter most of its leaves fall and it enters into dormant phase until early spring.
2. How to grow Plumeria? <back to contents>
Plumeria can be grown in several ways:
A. Purchasing a young tree in a pot from nurseries where you can find different species, sizes and prices.
B. For those seeking a challenging and enjoyable experience from the start, it is recommended to
C. Growing from cuttings
Cutting growing is faster than growing from seeds and it is almost the only way to assure the new tree (= second generation) will be with the same flower color to the tree the cutting was taken from (=mother tree, first generation).
A tree grown from cuttings will usually bloom in the first or second year after planting, depending on the species, time of the year the cutting was taken and rooted and its growth conditions.
I decided to share my knowledge on the subject, hoping to see more of these beautiful trees in public and private gardens and balconies all around.
3. Pruning cuttings <back to contents>
A cutting is a branch pruned from a mother tree which is rooted, grow leaves and flowers and eventually becomes
a new tree.
Cuttings length should be at least 30 cm. (12”) long.
A length of 40-60 cm (16-24”) is preferred and will allow later 'repair' if cutting end will rot.
Best cuttings are taken from a mature tree. Visit the tree you want to take the cuttings from and get to know its flowers before pruning (best time to visit the tree is in late spring / summer).
Cuttings taken in the winter are gray-green, fairly uniform and its ends will be without leaves. (deciduous tree).
4. Leaves and flowers spikes removal <back to contents>
After pruning the cuttings from the tree remove (with hand shears) all leaves and flower spikes except for the very small leaves at the tip of the cutting.
Leaves and flower spikes inhibit root growth.
5. Drying and callusing of cutting end <back to contents>
Let the cutting edge dry and callus in a ventilated, shady and humid place for about a week or two.
For long storage you can wrap the cuttings with newspaper and store it in a shady place.
Another proven method to callus plumeria cuttings is by wrapping the cut end with a wrap / stretch foil / film
found in the kitchen or packaging supplies (e.g. Saran wrap and alike) and tighten it with an electric insulation tape or any other tape / rubber band. Wrapping is done immediately after cutting and cleaning of the cut.
Some growers dip the cut end in rooting hormone before wrapping it and others do not and let the flowing sap work as a natural sealant.
After 1-2 weeks, the seal can be removed and you’ll get a very healthy and ready to root cut end.
6. First plant for roots growing <back to contents>
When cutting end is dry and callused it can be plant for roots growing.
You can plant the cutting in a transparent recycled water bottle with drainage holes [9.6].
First flood the perlite with water, let the water drain and then plant.
The use of a transparent container allows easy root growth observation and reuse of the container.
Established roots usually develop within 45-90 days, depending on the species, weather condition and other factors.
Tip: To stabilize a cutting in the container, support stick can be used or adding 3 Tuff stones to stabilize the cutting.
Another very easy method for first rooting is called Bag Rooting.
7. Transplant in a pot / soil <back to contents>
When established roots have grown and are seen through container shell or filling the bag, you can transplant it to pot / soil.
8. Pests and pesticides <back to contents>
Like any other plant, Plumeria has its typical pests, most common in my place and which I encountered during growth are:
Care: thorough washing of leaves on both sides and correct irrigation. See below for pest control.
Care: manually collecting the caterpillars, transferring them to a better world or those who are interested, raising them until butterflies will develop out of it.
Care: manually collecting the bugs and transferring them to a better world or to a faraway place, far from your Plumeria.
8.4. Pesticides <back to contents>
Formula to produce 1 liter / 1 Gallon solution of home-made pesticide:
Preparation and Use:
Add the ingredients to 1 Liter / 1 Gallon of water, mix well and spray a fine mist over the leaves on both sides.
Because oil floats in water, it is recommended to shake well the solution in sprayer before each use.
9. Notes and tips <back to contents>
9.1 Seasons / times of the year in Israel + growing places: <back to contents>
Best places to grow Plumeria in Israel:
9.2 Tag marking: <back to contents>
Tip: pencil needs a rough drawing surface. If your surface is smooth, sand paper it to get a rough surface.
Plastic tags has limited lifetime and it tends to dry and break up mainly because of sun radiation.
For this reason many growers use metal tags (Aluminium mainly) which lasts for many years.
Metal tags are not cheap to purchase and you can make it by yourself by recycle beverage cans.
Creating recycled metal tags is easy, just follow the steps ahead:
• Remove the can top and bottom covers with a sharp knife to get a cylinder. (Be very careful)
• Cut the cylinder along its large side with scissors. Cut it in a straight line (use the can’s printing as a guide).
• Straighten the opened cylinder by rolling it in opposite direction.
• Mark and cut the sheet to tags of your preferred dimensions. Use a knife or scissors.
• Trim the tag edges with scissors or with a special paper corner punch.
• Open 2 holes for the wire. Use a special hand punch or use a standard paper holes punch.
• To write on the tag, use a ballpoint pen or any ball head small metal rod, press hard while writing.
• Use a metal wire (e.g. plated copper) with 0.5mm-24 gauge or thicker to tie the tag to your Plumeria.
Make sure the loop you make will allow future branch growth.
Close the ends with a crimp wire end ferrule to get a professional loop closure.
9.3 Rooting hormone: <back to contents>
9.4 Fertilizer: <back to contents>
9.5 Perlite: <back to contents>
Perlite is a natural mineral product. Perlite is an amorphous volcanic glass that after high temperature heating of
~900 degrees Celsius (1652 F.) swells to about 20 times in volume and loses water stored in it.
You can acquire Perlite in nurseries, especially those who specialize in Hydroponic growing.
Since Plumeria is sensitive to excess of water, perlite is an important soil additive that allows better storage and release of water per roots require.
9.6 Creating a transparent container for roots growing: <back to contents>
How to prepare:
10. Acknowledgment: <back to contents>
Growing Plumeria from cutting is quite a simple task which brings joy, fantastic view and scent and all this in a relative low cost.
If you’ll stick to this growing process, rest assure you’ll enjoy the results in a few months.
I wish you enjoyable growing process, marvellous bloom with great scent and pleasure.
© 2014 Avi. All rights reserved.