The crown flower (Calotropis gigantea) is a large tropical shrub whose stems are covered with a white powdery bloom like that on grapes. It sports distinctive star-like flowers that are said to be sacred to the Hindu people. Also known as the giant milkweed, the crown flower was a great favorite of Hawaii's last queen, Lilioukalani. Although native to India, Iran, China and Tibet, it is a popular landscape plant in tropical locations such as Hawaii. This plant is very hardy and does well under normal cultivation or even under conditions of neglect.
Things You'll Need
- Crown flower branches, 12 inches in length
- Rooting hormone powder
- Black sand
- Propagation flat
How to propagate crown flower plants
Cut woody branches from an existing plant to about 12 inches in length.
Allow your cuttings to stop bleeding and then dust the bottoms of the stems with a rooting hormone.
Insert your cuttings about one inch apart into a propagation flat that contains black sand or a mixture of vermiculite and black sand.
Water the flat thoroughly and then cover the entire flat with a thin sheet of plastic, which will prevent moisture from evaporating.
After your cuttings start putting out new growth, remove the plastic, but be sure to keep the soil moist.
After your cuttings have developed a good root system, it is safe to transplant them into larger pots or into your garden.
When your young plants are about three feet tall, prune them lightly to encourage branching, which encourages thick plant growth.