One of the many joys of having friends and family who also garden is the oft chance of scoring some plant material to try your hand at propagating. And for most of us gardeners the plant specimen doesn’t necessarily have to be one we want in our garden, it’s merely the enjoyment of successfully reproducing something.
Fortunately for me, my MIL has been growing a plant that I’ve wanted to grow in my tropical garden.
Plumeria rubra is the common frangipani and has been on my “TO-GET” list for some time. However, I didn’t just want to the very common white flowered variety but was more interested in the coral-shades. I had seen frangipanis growing my MIL’s garden before but never observed it flowering to know whether it was the correct colour.
On a recent trip to visit the in-laws in Perth, I took a small cutting – certainly not big enough to notice that it had gone missing – and began drying it out. The wound excretes a fair amount of milky sap that can be quite painful if it comes in contact with the skin. This sap needs to stop flowing and the wound harden over before it can be planted out.
Once this process has occurred the stalk can be placed into some potting medium and kept moist and out of full-sun. While it’s best to start the process while the frangipani is dormant – during the winter months – it can still be successfully propagated in its flowering season.
TIP: Don’t take a cutting longer than 20cm in length and certainly don’t pick one that is carrying flowers.
As we head towards winter, this cutting will lose its few leaves and be a bare stick but will regain its crowning glory again in spring. Hopefully, it might even flower but they don’t usually within the first two years.
Here’s some more info on growing frangipanis.
Photo source: mmarchin