Rooting a plumeria cutting in the gritty mix.

newgen(9 Central California)July 18, 2012

I have several plumerias in ground and in containers, so I'm no stranger to their growth habits. However, this is my 1st attempt at rooting one in the gritty mix. It's been in a clear container, so I'm able to see the "soil" and how wet it gets. When I initially pours water into the container, all the particles appear darker from getting soaked with water. After a day or so, the mix becomes light-colored again. Do I want the maintain the darker (soaked) condition, or should I let the mix get light (dry) first, and then re-water?

I'm gonna plant something disposable (like a chili pepper plant) in the gritty mix in a clear container. Unlike the cutting above, this chili plant will already have roots, do I want the gritty mix to be "dark" (soaked) all the time? The water drains out very easily (there are plenty of drainage holes), so I don't think there's any harm in watering it too much, right? I feel like I should soak every particle in the mix until they become "dark".


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Plumerias that are growing can take the water in stride, but when cuttings are first planted and have no roots yet they are easily rotted. I had to put a sign on mine to remind me not to water before foliage was seen. Gritty mix is fine. Al

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 9:37AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Newgen,

I wanted to show you two cutting that i cut at the same time from the same tree (Miami Rose) They were in the same growing conditions, same type of container and threated the same. One was in the "traditional" Mix and the other was in the Gritty Mix. I soaked them when i potted the cuttings as i usually do, then leave them to dry in the Greenhouse. I did mist the stems every 4-5 days.. Thought you would like to see the results..

Nice to see you!!

Bali Whirl cutting in Gritty

Jeannie Moragne


Elizabeth Thornton Lemon Drop cutting in Gritty Mix

I hope you see the difference in the root size grown in the Gritty Mix... I was really impressed..

here is another pic of the trees on my deck... not sure about the other pic.. : ) oh well..

JL Metallice

Take care Newgen..



    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 12:12PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Just to clarfiy for you Newgen..

I do water at the initial potting up of the cutting. Then i let it dry out. I mist the stem every few days because of the triple digits here on the east coast and i do keep the cuttings that are in clear bottles out of the direct sun. This can cause burning of the stem. The clear bottles can magnify the sun onto the stem and cause major damage. As you know, bottom heat is the key. I keep mine in the greenhouse that has shadecloth. It stays around 80-90 degrees on average. Once i see leaves forming and i see roots appear, then i water. In the pics all of the cutting that have rooted are semi wet. I was getting ready to pot them up. Hope this helps..

That last pic is JL Metallica not the mispelled Metallice : ) I have to give this one credit. She deserves to be named correctly... darn fingers!! : )

Take care,


    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 12:49PM
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newgen(9 Central California)

Thanks calistoga, and Laura, you should change your handle to "loveplumerias", excellent photography! My cutting still has leaves, should I remove them? The leaves have been on there for a few weeks, they don't seem to want to leave, lol. Have a great day,

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 3:24PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Roots/soil in clear containers can get hot fast due to passive solar gain. The possibility of root/soil temps 40-50* hotter than a light colored opaque container is probably conservative, so please be careful and keep the container shaded or at least in a cache pot.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 4:17PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Superb results, Laura!!!!


    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 8:19PM
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I second Josh!!!! Supurb Laura! Great work and beautiful!

Hello to all!


    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 9:22PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Newgen,

I would cut the leaves off to root your cutting. Leaving the leaves on while rooting only takes away from the rooting process and takes valued moisture from the stem. When i make cuttings, i always cut the leaves from the cutting right away. Don't worry if you haven;t yet,it will do fine. You know what you are doing... : )

Hi AL!!! I agree about the clear containers.. I do protect mine since i had terrible sunburn issues last year.
I also root some cuttings in clay pots and also 1 gallon black containers. But i prefer the water bottles just to it be able to see the root action on these gems. It can take 6-8 weeks to root and i know it is bad to keep messing with them. So, having them in the bottles makes it easy for me to peek without lifting and or poking which is not good for the trees. You just have to be extra careful using the clear bottles to root cuttings. Especially in this heat. They do need protection from the sum!
Hi Josh!! Nice to see you! How have you been? I feel like it has been awhile since i have visited this forum . Missed you guys!! Nice to see you!

Dirtbites.. Thank you for your nice comments.. Much appreciated!!

Take Care,


    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 2:49AM
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