Friday, July 26, 2013

Potting Plumeria

Plumeria, also known as frangipani, produces masses of fragrant blooms throughout the summer and fall. Since plumeria seed production is unreliable, the most common method of propagation is by cuttings. Cuttings produce a new plant that is genetically identical to the mother plant, which is not possible through seed germination. Trees grown from cuttings will begin to flower after the first year; seedlings take three or more years to flower. Plumeria thrives in tropical environments, such as U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10b and 11.

1 Clean and sterilize a knife or pruning shears with rubbing alcohol.

2 Choose a branch of seasoned wood with one or two healthy growing tips. Make the cut at an angle, approximately 12 to 18 inches from the tip, above an old leaf scar.

3 Remove the leaves from the branch, leaving only leaves on the growing tip, if present. Set the cutting aside to dry for three to seven days.

4 Prepare a pot to receive the cutting. Fill it with a mixture of 2 parts perlite to 1 part potting soil.

5 Treat the cut end of the plumeria with rooting hormone, following package directions.

6 Insert the cutting into the potting media approximately 4 inches deep. Press the soil around the stem. Stake the cutting, tying gently with twine, if extra support is needed.

7 Water the potting media, allowing excess water to drain away. Keep the soil moist, but not wet.

8 Place the pot in a warm, sunny location. (filtered sun in Florida) 

9 Allow approximately six to eight weeks for the root ball to fully develop. Repot or plant the cutting when new leaves appear.