The exotic plumeria or Frangipani has in the past two decades become extremely popular worldwide as a yard or container plant in semi-tropical or tropical climates.

Beautiful and highly fragrant, this small tree is fairly easy to grow.  Unfortunately, however, the plants, especially the named varieties, are rather expensive, with small specimens of the more unusual varieties costing from thirty to one hundred fifty dollars each.  Fortunately, they are very easy to propagate from cuttings.

The best time to prune plumeria and root the cuttings is in the early spring, mid-March to early June.  The success rate with proper technique is roughly 100%.  Success rate later in the summer or fall is less, but quite satisfactory should branches be accidentally broken off or pruning for size is necessary.

Technique:

Select a branch of seasoned wood, hard and gray with an active growth tip, preferably one to two feet in length.

Cut cleanly at an acute angle about one inch above an old leaf scar.  Expect bleeding from both ends of milky and sticky white sap.  One may lightly dust the cut surface of the mother plant with sulfur to repel pests.

Let the cut limb rest uncovered in a shady place for four to five days (or even longer) for the cut surface to dry and heal itself.

Dust the cut end of the limb with a rooting powder plus fungicide, and place in a one gallon container with a good soil mixture of potting soil, humus, and vermiculite.  Most any soil mixture, so long as light and friable, works well,  Depth of planting is only 2-3 inches.  The plant must be secured with a stake and twine in the firmly tamped soil.

Trim the existing leaves to a length of one inch, or one may remove the leaves altogether.

Keep the soil moist, not wet.  Watering too much will cause decay.

Keep the potted cuttings in filtered light near shade, for one to two weeks, especially if the weather is hot.  After two to three weeks fertilize lightly with a nitrogen fertilizer to help root system form.

The new plant might bloom within one year of propagation.  All blooms are on old wood tips. The new sprouts from the parent plant will not bloom for 2-3 years.

Share your new plumeria with friends; they're always a welcome gift or good barter!

 


This web site is maintained by Master Gardener Laura Bellmore under the direction of William M. Johnson, Ph.D., County Extension Agent-Horticulture & Master Gardener Program Coordinator.

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