Plumeria forum: Rooting cuttings off leggy plants

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flowerlady91
Mar 10, 2016 6:10 PM CST
We've had plumerias for about 20 years now. They got way to big and leggy because we didn't take care of them (didn't really know what to do to take cuttings). I recently cut several way back and the cuttings I have are actually cut on both ends. Can I root those? If so, how do I do it? I'm thinking just let it sit for a week or so and then get one side to root. Is that correct?
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
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Dutchlady1
Mar 10, 2016 7:48 PM CST

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Welcome! flowerlady91
Yes, you can root what is known as 'center cuttings'. The tricky part is to make sure they are the right way up!! The old leaf scars should look like smiley faces, that is how you can tell.
If your trees are getting very lanky maybe they are not in full sun? They tend to reach for the light if they aren't.
I'd love to see pictures! It is also good to know what zone you're in.
Name: Lucky
Sacramento CA (Zone 9b)
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luckyzl230
Mar 10, 2016 11:38 PM CST
Welcome! flowerlady91
I'm in sorta the same boat your in. I have two that are just shy of 2 inches from 3 feet tall.
The base at the bottom is about 3/4 inches thick. It branches at 20 inches high and those branches are about as thick at the base. I've had to put up two long stakes to keep them from falling over.
Lucky Patrick
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Mar 11, 2016 7:58 AM CST
Many of my plumeria grow "leggy". It is just the variety. All my plumeria are in pretty much full sun. As Hetty says, you can certainly root those center-cuttings just like you would the tip-cuttings. Often you'll not only have them root but also have them branch. I take dozens of cuttings every year, often to encourage branching and to keep my plants (all in pots) a manageable size. I try to keep my "standard" plants at a maximum of 5' tall.
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Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
May 17, 2016 9:50 AM CST
ok, so I think I have the answer to my newbie question about cuttings... after you take a cutting, plumeria tend to branch from/near the cut surface on the mother plant.

How do they branch ordinarily (without intervention)? Do they branch out from where they have made a bloom, like azaleas?
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
May 17, 2016 10:00 AM CST
Critter, here is mine branching out, had to cut the existing branch a bit during winter, since some part got winter damage. When temps warm up and it starts to awaken, the node below cut off points begins to swell, and eventually it will make the new branch:

Mar 2016
Thumb of 2016-05-17/tarev/304d12

May 2016

Thumb of 2016-05-17/tarev/1c030a Thumb of 2016-05-17/tarev/41b367

Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
Charter ATP Member Region: Maryland Bulbs Amaryllis Tropicals Cottage Gardener
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critterologist
May 17, 2016 10:14 AM CST
That's a pretty sight to see! So when you prune, you make the cut a little above a node... Not that mine need pruning just yet LOL. I'm just all excited because my noid (which was supposed to be something fancy but isn't) finally bloomed last year, so now I feel all empowered. I got 2 cuttings from DrD last year, and they're looking good, so I just put 2 more on hold from him. This is how it starts, I'm sure, LOL!

I'm thinking that when my "good" plumies do get big enough for trimming, I may try to graft some cuttings to my noid tree, which at least has vigor going for it. (The blooms on the noid are small, white with a touch of gold in the middle... they do have a nice traditional scent, just not the bombshell they were supposed to be.)

When I'm ready to try the grafting experiment, I'll re-read that thread here!

I appreciate the good info and friendliness of this forum. Thank You!
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
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
May 17, 2016 2:19 PM CST

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The natural way for a plumeria to branch is when it has flowered. Usually three, but sometimes more or fewer branches will form around the inflorescence.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
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tarev
May 17, 2016 2:57 PM CST
Actually it did that on my plant after it bloomed in 2014, three branches. I am thinking since my growing season here is just so short and humidity dismal, it is just growing the way it sees fit. Spring to mid Fall of 2015 here was just so terribly dry, the peak of our drought, then the rains came in Winter due to El Nino, so this Spring has been much better too, with our cool temps than usual.

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