A single glance at a plumeria in glorious full bloom is all that it takes to understand why home gardening enthusiasts might want to possess this deciduous shrub. The plant's stunning blooming display and exotic appearance belies its ease of propagation. Plumeria cuttings, or clippings, taken from tips in the spring or early summer rapidly will produce a young tree able to bloom within a year or two. Plumeria roots easily and readily, so even a novice with the brownest thumb successfully can propagate and grow this beauty.
Things You'll Need
- Rubbing alcohol
- Clean, sharp pruning shears
- Powdered rooting hormone
- Pot or bucket of dry sand
- Cactus mix
- 1-gallon black nursery pot
- Caulking material
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Use rubbing alcohol to sterilize the blades of clean, sharp pruning shears. Repeat between every cut that you make on the mother plant.
Choose a mature, healthy, attractive specimen from which to take plumeria cuttings. Your cutting will grow into a clone of this plant, so make sure that it’s one that you really like. Look the donor plant over and pick a limb tip with multiple nodes. Make an oblique cut into gray-barked wood about 12 to 18 inches from the tip.
Strip all of the leaves from the cutting except those at the very tip. Moisten the bottom half-inch of the cut end with water and dip it into powdered rooting hormone. Poke the cut end about 3 inches deep into a pot or bucket of dry sand. This will promote rapid healing of the cut, which must form a callous before you try to root it. Leave it in the sand in a very warm room out of direct sun for a week or two. Daytime temperature should be from 80 to 98 degrees Fahrenheit, with an overnight range of about 65 to 70 F.
Combine equal parts cactus mix and pumice. Fill a 1-gallon black nursery pot to about an inch below the rim with the mixture. Black pots are best for plumeria cuttings because they retain heat well. Make a 3-inch-deep hole in the center of the medium. Treat the bottom half-inch of the cutting with rooting hormone again and plant it in the hole.
Water the soil slowly and thoroughly to soak it well. Set the pot in the sink to allow it to drain freely for about two hours. Don’t give it any more moisture until at least four new leaves emerge from the cutting. Place the pot in a warm spot outside in direct sun. Your cutting will root best if you can provide bottom heat, so a concrete walkway or asphalt drive are good locations. Your plumeria will root in about four to 12 weeks.