The Q&A Archives: propagating Himilayan Champaca

Question: Hello, I was just wondering if it is possible to propagate Himilayan Champaca and if it possible then what are the steps do to so. Another thing is I know they aren't winter hardy plants and here in Washington the winter can be really nasty, how can I keep the plant to survive through the winter? It is mostly indoors right now and when it is warm I move it outside, will moving it too much damage the rooting system? My husband says so but I don't think he's an expert in this plant. So I'd rather ask an expert like you guys. Thanks for answering my questions. Alayah.

Answer: Champaca is difficult to propagate but you may able to do it in the following way: you'll need a 6" plastic nursery pot and a 2" terra cotta pot along with a small bag of perlite (found in garden centers near the potting soil). Plug up the drainage hole in the terra cotta pot (use clay, tape or florist's putty). Then line the plastic pot with a paper towel and fill it up half way with moistened perlite. Set the terra cotta pot in the center and fill all around it with moistened perlite. Then fill the terra cotta pot with water. Take cuttings from your champaca by pruning off 6" lengths and removing the bottom leaves. Dip the cut ends in rooting hormone and set them into the perlite. Keep the terra cotta pot filled with water but don't add any water to the perlite. The terra cotta pot will keep the perlite moist enough to enhance rooting of your cuttings. Place your propagation pot in bright light indoors. The cuttings should root in 4-6 weeks.

As for your champaca, taking it outdoors and back indoors again won't harm your tree as long as the indoor and outdoor temperatures are about the same. The problem will come when there's a great difference in the temperatures. Your champaca will need to remain indoors from September through May. Give it bright light while it is wintering over indoors.

Best wishes with your project!

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