Plumeria forum: Average Rooting Time

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Athol, Massachusetts (Zone 5a)
CipherBug
Apr 16, 2015 11:44 AM CST
Hi everybody, I'm a bit of a lurker here but I finally mustered up the courage to post. I have five plumeria cuttings (one rooted Puu Kahea, two unrooted Gold OP #3, one unrooted Grove Farm and a mystery) which are all nice big, healthy cuttings. I planted them each in one-gallon black plastic nursery pots with rooting hormone and a nice light mix with plenty of perlite, watered them once and put them on a small grow-mat in a south facing window. I'm in Massachusetts. They stay between 65-70 degrees and get full sun nearly all day. When spring actually arrives, they'll go outside in full sun.

From all my research, this seems to be the best time to plant new cuttings - however, I planted them on the 31st (the day I received them) and after two weeks have seen no change in any of them. Some have shiny tips but no tiny leaves are opening up. Is this normal? They seem to be stuck. I suppose they could just be putting all their energy into making roots, but I feel like after two solid weeks there should be a bit of change topside. Your thoughts? Thank you!
[Last edited by CipherBug - Apr 16, 2015 11:44 AM (+)]
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Apr 16, 2015 12:19 PM CST
Welcome, CipherBug. I am glad you posted. Heck, we all have something to learn about plants and growing them, and ATP is a great source of information. Post away!

You said you are in MA, but please post that info so that it shows up on the upper right corner each time you post.

Even though spring is a good time to start doing plumeria rooting, the sun is still a bit low in the southern sky where you are, and being inside, in cool temperatures and (still) limited light, you are marginally in that "rooting-zone". I would think that the lack of evident growth is normal. Also some plumeria root far more rapidly than others. My 'Celadine' will begin rooting often within two weeks and my 'Scott Pratt' won't root for up to six weeks! Just be patient and know that when your plants can get more heat and more light, they will root faster. I don't root any of my cuttings until mid-April at the earliest, and I am in Mississippi. I also don't root any of them in direct sun. I use a greenhouse for this. Only when they have rooted and show leaf growth, do they begin to go outside. I gradually increase the amount of sunlight though. The leaves will often sunburn if you just throw them in full sun without acclimating them to that sun. I will have those outside get shade from 11:00 AM till 4:00 PM, and every 2-3 days, increase the amount of sun by an hour or so. That seems to work for me.

Good luck.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Athol, Massachusetts (Zone 5a)
CipherBug
Apr 16, 2015 12:30 PM CST
Thanks, DrDawg!

I have a room that gets a bit less sun - it's a western exposure - but stays closer to 72, do you think that would be better for them? I'll likely get a supplemental light, but that won't be for a while, unfortunately. I know I'm not exactly in prime plumeria-growing habitat (ha! Not with the winter we had!) but I hope that with care I can see these gorgeous blooms for myself. Unfortunately a plane ticket to Hawaii isn't in the cards! It is driving me a bit crazy not taking care of them, but I've got some other houseplants I can baby until they wake up.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Apr 16, 2015 1:46 PM CST
In my opinion you are trading one necessary element for another and the end result is the same. It is just sort of early to expect much rooting or leaf growth. A combination of day-length and warmth is what gets those rooting-juices flowing. Just be patient. Also, resist the urge to water that perlite mixture. All you'll do is invite rot. I lightly moisten my perlite (and I use 100% extra-coarse perlite) when I first pot those cuttings up and don't water again until I KNOW the cutting(s) have begun to root. The plumeria really can't use water until roots have formed and leaves have grown anyway.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
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Dutchlady1
Apr 16, 2015 2:34 PM CST

Moderator

Bottom heat will help make roots. And your sun is not so strong that they can't stay in full sun.
Two weeks is not enough time to start worrying! If they're not doing anything at 6 weeks I'd have a look.
A good friend of mine used to say 'pot them up and then go bother something else for a while'.... P A T I E N C E ... Hilarious!
Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
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AnnaZ
Apr 16, 2015 9:54 PM CST
Ooopsie, I guess I shouldn't have watered my cuttings today. These are cuttings I got at the Philly Flower Show the first week of March. I didn't pot them till about a week after we got home, however. Bad, bad plant mom. :>)
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Apr 17, 2015 6:50 AM CST
Hopefully, one watering won't spoil the rooting. Just closely monitor for rot and don't water again until you see evidence of rooting.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Gigi
Florida (Zone 9a)
Plumerias Sempervivums Roses Cactus and Succulents Garden Ideas: Level 1
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GigiPlumeria
Apr 17, 2015 11:26 AM CST
Welcome! @CipherBug, don't worry I've had my cutting planted in pots on paver bricks on my from porch (full sun) since 3rd week of March and they are just now starting to wake up. The majority are busy forming inflos instead of leaves so I just leave them alone.

For as long as you resist the urge to water. Although mine gets occasional rains.
┬ęby Gigi Plumeria "Gardening is my favorite past time. I grow whatever plant that catches my attention." Plumeria Photos http://www.flickr.com/groups/calachuchi_plumeria_/ plant photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gigiplumeria/sets/
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
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Dutchlady1
Apr 17, 2015 12:47 PM CST

Moderator

Different varieties take different amounts of time to root.
All my rooting cuttings are together in a large pot full of perlite; I take one or two out every day that have rooted, even though most of them went in at the same time they root at their own rate.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Apr 17, 2015 1:06 PM CST
Welcome! CipherBug

I have learned to put them in part sun/part shade and to wait as patient as you can get. 2 weeks is still short..sometimes it takes a month or more, just depends on the cultivar and the prevailing temperatures you have there. My Plumeria Celadine did not drop all her leaves, but somehow it is doing a reverse, it got more leaves in Dec and Jan than right now in April..ah, the quirkiness of these plumies.
My other noid Plumie is in similar leaf claw stage like your cutting. Been outside since mid-March. Our temps went down a bit, so it decided to just go an stasis, but now we are back in the high 80's so I can see the leaf claw go very red and with that misty tip.

Just resist the urge to water, till you see at least one fully formed leaf. Big Grin
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
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tarev
Apr 17, 2015 1:14 PM CST
By the way, sometimes, instead of leaves, it may have latent buds, so it will form the inflo first. Some would keep it and let it bloom, but do not be fooled, no leaves, no roots. Oftentimes, it is better to cut that initial inflo so the plant can continue to redirect energy to root formation.

I have done that mistake before, so in the end, killed my cutting, thinking with the inflos out, I gave it watering and later on saw there was really no roots below, so it just rotted the cutting. Rolling my eyes.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
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Dutchlady1
Apr 17, 2015 1:25 PM CST

Moderator

It can bloom on a cutting just lying on a shelf in the garage, so - as tarev says - do not be tempted to water. I do not cut off the inflos when rooting unless I already know what the flower looks like, or I know it's a tricky one to root.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
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tarev
Apr 17, 2015 1:38 PM CST
I keep taking photos of my plumie cuttings or other plants, to keep my hand from doing any watering Hilarious! Hilarious! But it is really, really tempting at times.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Apr 17, 2015 2:47 PM CST
Thumbs up
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
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AnnaZ
Apr 17, 2015 3:31 PM CST
So, do you think it would be safe for me to take each of the cuttings out (gently) to see if they have rooted, and if they haven't, repot them in fresh, dry potting medium? I have watered them more than once.............*sigh*..............
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Apr 17, 2015 4:45 PM CST
Anna, since I keep my cuttings bone-dry, until I see leaf growth I won't do a thing. When I see that leafing out, I will only then give them a gentle tug. Mine are in 100% coarse perlite, so if they are rooted, the dry perlite doesn't harm the roots. Only when rooted do I remove them and re-pot into individual pots. I am certainly no expert here, but IF my rooting media was wet, I would remove all the cuttings and start all over with dry media.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
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tarev
Apr 17, 2015 5:23 PM CST
Agree with Ken..I will just continue to leave them alone. I usually watch the tips, if it is still appearing okay, like no black thing on top and I see it is getting shiny and misty, then it is still doing good. I also try to feel the stem, as long as it is still firm, may go just a bit wrinkly but not going mushy, then the cuttings are fine. I do not try and peek at the roots, just have to keep them be. But do watch your temps.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Apr 17, 2015 7:42 PM CST

Moderator

Give them a gentle tug, Anna, and if they are not rooted then I would pot them in a very well draining mixture. I actually use pure perlite for rooting. And NO WATERING until you have leaves!
Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
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AnnaZ
Apr 17, 2015 9:41 PM CST
Well, they will have to wait till MOnday, as we are leaving at 6 am tomorrow and won't be back till later on Sunday.
Athol, Massachusetts (Zone 5a)
CipherBug
May 14, 2015 8:07 PM CST
I'm happy to report my rooted Puu Kahea has three fully opened leaves with more on the way! My other, unrooted cuttings aren't showing much change. For those of you in less-than-ideal climates - at what temperatures do you begin putting your plumies outside? I won't be able to for a while yet, as we're still getting hard frosts, but I'd like to know at what minimum temperature you deem the plumies will be safe.

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