The Q&A Archives: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Question: I was told I could start another plant from a trimming of my Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow plant. I am a new person at planting, and I made a clipping (but I didn't know where from to cut it) and I placed it in water to start it to root and nothing's happening? Is this a wrong way to do it? Should I have planted it? Help! I need step by step to get it right and so I could get more from this plant!!


 Brunfelsia pauciflora are (mostly) evergreen shrubs that grow in partial shade and need ample water. They lose their leaves for a short period of time if grown in cold regions. Brunfelsia pauciflora "Eximia' is a somewhat dwarfed, compact version of 'Floribunda', and is the more widely planted variety. The flowers are smaller, but more generously produced. Brunfelsia pauciflora 'Floribunda' (Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow) will reach 10' feet or more with multiple stems. It flowers profusely. The common name comes from the quick color change of blossoms from purple (yesterday),to lavender (today), to white (tomorrow). Brunfelsia 'Grandiflora' differs from the above in that it's the most tender, has a more slender growth habit, and larger leaves (up to 8" inches long). The flowers are 2-4 inches across, deep purple with a lavender zone bordering a white throat.

You certainly can propagate your Brunfelsia with cuttings. Take 8-12" stem cuttings in the late spring, remove the lower leaves, dip the cut end in rooting hormone, and plant it in some moistened potting soil. It also helps to make small vertical slits through bark at the base of the cutting - this wounding stimulates more root growth. Put the cuttings in a draft-free place, in a bright location (not in hot, direct sunlight), and keep the soil moist. Make sure the soil mix has a lot of perlite or vermiculite to ensure good drainage. Cuttings require a lot of air in the soil as well as consistent moisture. If you put the whole container in a clear plastic bag and leave the endslightly open, the increased humidity can hasten rooting. It's rare to have 100% success this method, but some of them will root. The appearance of new leaves on the stems will indicate your cuttings have rooted. Good luck!

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