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Soil Rooting vs Water Rooting

Rooting Cutting, is there a right way?

Well, yes. Although people have been rooting plumeria in water with some success, this is not the best way to root your plumeria. The roots that form in water are not the same as roots that form in soil. They are fragile and brittle, adapted to growing in water as opposed to soil. Once you transfer a water-rooted plant to soil, many of these roots will break off immediately and the rest will shrivel and die up as they're replaced by the more robust roots adapted to soil.

If you do water root, Just remember once a plant is in water, it will develop "water roots" and feed itself with water nutrients. When you put it in soil, after all that is where they grow naturally, the first week, keep it in a cup, so the soil is really wet, puddle like, then gradually as the weeks go by, decrease the water and just let the soil be moist.

That way, it eventually will resend out new dirt roots, and can feed itself accordingly.

To get the best cuttings, follow these simple steps:

  • Use healthy cuttings, preferably from newer growth. Take the cutting with a sharp knife or cutters. Although it depends on the cultivar, most cuttings should range from ten to fifteen inches.
  • Trim the cutting of all leaves. Leaves will cause the cutting to lose valuable moisture. If you're using a rooting hormone apply immediately after taking the cutting.
  • Plant the cutting in your potting medium. Lightly tamp the mix around the stem of the cutting to provide support.
  • Water the soil well and place in warm dry area. Most plumeria cuttings do well in full sun while they root. Cuttings thrive on warmth and humidity, but the potting soil should be well draining and kept dry after the first watering. A good rooting mix is 1 part potting soil with 1 part perlite. Misting the cutting is ok if you see signs of wrinkling.

When you see 3-4 new leaves and the new plant is established with healthy root growth. Transfer it to a new pot with fresh well-draining potting soil.

And that's it! You can root most cultivars from cuttings, but if you find that you're having a hard time with any particular cultivar, make sure you're not overwatering.  For particularly difficult plants, try a heated plant mat under the pots to encourage new root growth or try grafting. And most of all, have fun.

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