The Q&A Archives: propagation

Question: A piece broke off my Mandevilla (Mandevilla x amabilis), can I put it water to root or in soil, and will it start to grow?

Answer: You can try to root it, yes. In my experience it works better in July but you can try it now. I would recommend using clean fresh soilless potting mix rather than water, plus a rooting hormone. (Sold at garden centers, follow the label directions.) Use freshly wetted mix that is slightly damp like a wrung out sponge. Take a tip cutting about six inches long. Remove leaves from the lower half of it, cut them next to the stem at the nodes. Apply rooting hormone. Stick the cutting upright into the soil, deep enough that it will stand upright and so at least one set of nodes is beneath the surface. (If you have a long section you can make more than one cutting) Cover the container loosely with clear plastic wrap and set it in a warm bright location but out of direct sun. Gentle bottom heat can be helpful at this stage, this is a tropical plant and it likes warm soil. Check periodically that the soil is still damp. It should root in a few weeks at which time you can gradually remove the wrap and move it to a sunny location. Water as needed to keep the soil moist and begin fertilizing. When well rooted, move to a larger pot.

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