Plumeria forum: Is this cutting ok? Stem is wrinkled but firm; unsure about roots

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New York City (Zone 7a)
Jul 9, 2017 10:11 AM CST
Hi everyone, this is my first attempt at rooting a plumeria cutting and I need some help reading the signs. I first potted the cutting a month ago in 2/3 perlite 1/3 potting soil in a terra cotta pot with a layer of pebbles on top. The cutting arrived with two existing leaves which I left on, but they started curling and looked unhealthy so yesterday I cut them off. The stem is firm throughout, but has significant wrinkling and some dark scabs near the top. There are some small leaves forming which look healthy. Since the new leaves appeared, I've been watering lightly 1-2 times a week since it has been very hot & humid in NYC (85F) and my moisture meter shows the soil draining very quickly. I pricked the stem near the dark areas and white sap came out.

Today I carefully removed the cutting to check for roots and I didn't see anything obvious, but there were some tiny bumps, kind of hard to see with the dirt. I put it back in the pot with more rooting hormone. I'm wondering if someone can look at the photo and share your opinion on whether roots are coming or not. I'm also not sure how to judge the stem - whether it's dehydration or potential rot. Any input you can share would be so helpful - I really don't want to lose this cutting! Crossing Fingers!
Thumb of 2017-07-09/merriblank/e16ff7
Thumb of 2017-07-09/merriblank/93d419
Thumb of 2017-07-09/merriblank/91cc60
Thumb of 2017-07-09/merriblank/8b3b2a

New York City (Zone 7a)
Jul 16, 2017 8:46 AM CST
Anyone? Or have I stumped you all?
Name: Shannon
Washington, DC (Zone 7a)
Jul 17, 2017 5:54 AM CST
Welcome! I'm new here too!

I think you just need to be more patient- if the cutting is producing new leaves, just leave it and let it do its thing. You'll disrupt it more by taking the clipping out of the pot constantly to check for roots. I did a new clipping in February, and mine didn't start rooting solidly until May or so. Do you keep it indoors or outdoors? Keep watering it regularly, probably every other day at least if it's kept outside, and make sure the bottom of the pot has plenty of drainage - I use river rocks in mine. Good luck!
Name: James
Anacortes, WA (Zone 8b)
(Heat zone - 1, Sunset zone - 5)
Region: Pacific Northwest Plumerias Adeniums Tropicals Bromeliad Cactus and Succulents
Container Gardener Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox Garden Procrastinator Garden Photography
Jul 17, 2017 6:32 AM CST
It looks like it's just dried out. As mentioned by kanona82, try not to get curious or impatient and un-pot it. It could have developed or been developing a few small roots that were knocked off when being pulled out of the soil. When the roots are just starting, they are very fragile. Just be patient. You can water occasionally if it is really hot and dry, but generally just mist it occasionally to keep it from drying out, and don't truly/deeply water until full leaves are formed. Definitely try not to keep it moist, as this will cause rot. If it is firm and wrinkly, then it is dehydrated. If it is soft and wrinkly, it is rotting. kanona82 also pointed out a key item--good drainage. If you are going to be watering it, then definitely make sure that it has plenty of drainage and good airflow. Thumbs up
I am not an early bird or a night owl--I am some form of permanently exhausted pigeon

Aug 7, 2017 9:24 AM CST

Thumb of 2017-08-07/Mik/5e1bc5

Aug 7, 2017 9:27 AM CST
Thumb of 2017-08-07/Mik/5e1bc5

This is my plumeria cutting that I got back in March. It has been doing good, but I just noticed this morning that the stem is wrinkled and soft. Can someone help me figure out what's going on. I would greatly appreciate the help.
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
Aug 7, 2017 11:41 AM CST


Welcome! Mik.
I suspect it's trying too hard to do two things at once: rooting, and trying to sustain that inflorescence. However hard this is to do - you should remove the inflo and then the stick will put its energy solely into rooting.

Aug 7, 2017 6:43 PM CST
Thank you for your advice. I will give that a try and hopefully it will come back for me

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