Please keep in mind.... different people have different methods because they have found what works for them. You may have to try different things to see what works best for not only you but for where you live.
1) Dry the cutting: If the plumeria cutting is fresh, you may want to dry it out. This should take any where from 1-2 weeks. You will know when it is ready to plant by the color of the base. If the base is still white, the cutting is very fresh and not ready to plant. When the base has turned brown, it has dried out enough and is ready for planting. Make sure you leave these cuttings in an area that is shaded.
TIP: I have left plumeria cuttings in my back porch for months without planting and they have turned out fine.
Personally, I have a better success rate if I skip the drying out part and go straight to dipping the fresh cut into water and then root hormone.
2) Prepare the soil: Prepare the soil mixture in the pot. Your local garden store will have bags of soil already mixed with perlite. If you want to mix your own soil, follow this mixture = 2/3rd perlite to 1/3rd soil) The soil should fill the pot leaving 1 inch from the rim.
Hint: If this is confusing this is my simple method. I use 2 bags of miracle grow potting soil which already contains a small amount of perlite. I pour the potting soil into a larger container and mix in 1 full bag of miracle grow perlite. Mix the two evenly together. Remember Plumerias need well drained soil to prevent rot.
3) Prepare the cutting: This step is best done with freshly cut plumeria cuttings.
Once the plumeria cutting is ready, you will take the cutting and dip the base into water and then into a container of root hormone solution. You should add a generous amount of the root hormone to your plumeria cuttings base. After applying the root hormone, the base should be completely white.
TIP: Most root hormone contains fungicide which prevents the bottom of the plumeria from rotting. Rotting is the leading cause of death in plumeria cuttings.
A good size for a cutting is about 12 inches.The larger the cutting is the easier to plant and root.
4) Planting the cutting:Place the cutting into the container filled with the mixed soil, planting them at a depth of 2-3 inches. I usually add some water to the mixture so that the soil is moist.
Warning: Some may suggest to place gravel or dark stones on top of the soil to attract the sun. Be very careful with that, especially if you already live in a hot hot climate. Adding these rocks may cause the plumeria cutting to overheat and die. However, these plants do love the heat and grow faster.
5) Secure the cutting:If you haven’t added the top layer of gravel, install a stake to anchor the cutting. This will secure the new plant in place. If the plant is not secured, you risk root damage due to wind induced movement.
HINT: Broken roots may cause the plumeria to have a slower growth rate.
6) Watering tips:Your planted plumeria cutting is ready to be watered. I have included the proper watering guidelines for your cuttings below.
7) Placement of cutting: Place in a sunny area and let nature take its course.
This method has worked for my family for years. Not only is it easy, but it’s by far the
cheapest way to plant your plumeria cutting. Take the cutting and place it in the pot or out in the yard. You may need to secure your cutting if it is a large cutting or if you want the tropical plant to have more support while the roots begin to grow. Once planted add water to your cutting. Place the potted plant in an area that receives full sun, or majority of sun throughout the day. This rule should also go for the cuttings that are buried in the yard.
Then leave it alone and let nature do its thing. These exotic tropical plants do better when they are left alone.
The best time of the year to get plumeria cuttings, is spring and early summer. The tropical plants are just waking up from the winter months and are preparing to do most of their growing during the next couple months. Taking a cutting at this time, gives the roots enough time to establish themselves before the fall season. It is possible to grow cuttings during the winter months however, the success rate isn't as high.
Before taking a clipping, you want to make sure that your sheers are clean. Dirty sheers can spread fungi and disease from other plants. Simply spray or submerge your sheers in rubbing alcohol or peroxide prior to use. As you make your cut, you will want to make sure that you clip at an angle. The angle cut will help the water run off the new cutting and prevent pooling at the cut location.
Personally when I take a clipping I make sure to plant it as soon as possible whether in a pot or in the ground.
Warning: Be very careful with the milky liquid that comes out after cutting the plumeria. It is poisonous.
There is one simple rule when choosing a pot for your cutting. Make sure that the base of the pot contains holes. The holes will help with water drainage after each watering
session. The pot itself can be made out of any material as long as you keep that rule in
mind. I usually use either a clay or black plastic pot. The black containers attract the sun,
which help keep the soil well drained. Perlite should also be added to the soil mix to
insure proper drainage. If you get the clear plastic containers, you can keep an eye on the roots and their growth. One last piece of advice, make sure the pot isn’t too large for the cutting. A good size pot for the average cutting is 6 inches
in diameter. Once the plant has grown enough, you may transplant it into a larger pot..
Perlite is a volcanic rock that has many useful benefits. In this particular case it speeds up the plumeria’s rooting process and assists with the water drainage. You can purchase perlite at your local Home Depot, Lowes or nursery. It may be premixed in the soil, or sold in bulk.
Once you have planted your cutting, you will have to water it. Watering your cuttings should take place before the hottest time of day. Water the plumeria until the water drains from the holes on the base of the pot. Keep in mind, when it comes to
these exotic plants, you want to use water sparingly, especially when they are young.
These exotic tropical flowers do best when you leave them alone.
Be careful when watering, because the cutting can be damaged if over watered. Over watering may hinder the development of new roots, decrease the plumeria’s development and cause flowers to drop sooner than planned. The worst case scenario is that the plant will die. I usually water my plants once a week during the growing period (spring/summer). However, if you live in hotter climates, you may find that you need to water your cutting more often. Since I live in sunny south Florida we tend to get afternoon showers so I will hold off on watering. If that week there was no rain then I water. Use your best judgement!
If you notice the leaves turning yellow and dropping quickly you may need to add more water. When adding more water don't go overboard, add an extra day to your existing watering pattern.
Growing Plumeria's In Hawaii and Around the World is one of my personal top picks. Not only is the book easy to read but the author included some exquisite photos of plumerias. Even after years of growing these tropical plants, I find myself referring back to the book.
Plus..... I learn something new every time I open the pages!