Gardening Vivian | 05 Feb 2010 10:10 pm

Frangipani (Plumeria) Propagation

Frangipanis are easy to propagate – both from seeds and from cuttings. Whilst propagation can be done almost all year round, you do have to treat cuttings differently at different times of the year.

?br>Propagating From Seeds
?br>When propagating by seed, the results can be a little unpredictable. You will get a plant bearing some resemblance to its parent, but it is unlikely to be an exact duplicate. It usually takes three years or so before your new plant blooms, whereas with plant propagation from cuttings you should see your new frangipani flowers in the first year.
?br>Seeds should be sown when the seed pod splits in early spring. The minimum temperature should be at least 18C. Simply place your seed into the pot, ensuring the soil stays slightly moist until your seedling appears, which may take up to a fortnight. But don’t despair if it doesn’t pop up when you expect – it just may not be warm enough. I’ve had a plant shoot 12 weeks after I planted it, so keep at it!
?br>Propagating From Cuttings
?br>Propagation by cuttings takes the guesswork out of it – your new frangipani will be an exact duplicate of the parent plant. Cuttings can be taken at any time of year, though they are easiest to manage in winter when the tree is bare.
?br>There are two methods for taking frangipani cuttings – hard wood (during winter) or semi ripe wood (during spring or even summer when the plant is in bloom). Cuttings should be a minimum of 30cm (or 12″) in length and preferably no more than 60cm (or 24″).
?br>Take hard wood cuttings when the plant is dormant in winter. If white latex is still flowing, allow to dry in a cool, dark place for a few days before planting in free draining compost or sand.
?br>Take semi ripe cuttings of stem tips in early spring before leaves form. Allow the wound to dry before inserting it in free draining compost or sand.
?br>If propagating in summer, choose a section which does not have any flowers. Remove any leaves other than those at the very tip. Ensure you make a clean cut, reducing the trauma on the plant and enabling faster healing. Leave the cutting aside for at least five weeks, ideally in an upright position in a dry location. Again, you must allow the wound to dry before planting.
?br>The cut must be clean and straight. If someone has given you a cutting with a ragged end, recut with secateurs to form a clean wound. And don’t worry if the cutting is smaller or larger than the recommended cutting size above. I have had people give me much smaller cuttings (around 6″) and much larger cuttings (one was around 3?feet with at least 6 branches on it).Just keep an eye on the wound, and plant out when dry. With the giant cutting I received, I planted it against a brick wall which receives sun year round, and supported it with stakes for the first year. It is now a rather large tree.
?br>With all cuttings, water in well and then once every few weeks if the soil is dry, otherwise leave them alone until new leaves appear. You may need to support your frangipani with a stake or ropes for a few weeks until the roots anchor it firmly in position. When new leaves appear, you can re-plant directly into the garden or into a large pot filled with quality, free draining, potting mix.

Diane Ellis is co-owner of the site where you’ll find information about frangipanis (plumeria) including growing tips, propagation, and frangipani pests and diseases. You can also buy beautiful frangipani gifts such as jewellery, UV resistant outdoor stickers, toiletries, gift packs, and hand crafted bags.

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