Propagation Of Bougainvillea – Learn How To Propagate Bougainvillea Plants
By: Liz Baessler
Bougainvillea is a beautiful tropical perennial that is hardy in USDA zones 9b through 11. Bougainvillea can come as a bush, tree, or vine that produces large amounts of stunning flowers in a slew of colors. But how do you go about propagating bougainvillea seeds and cuttings? Keep reading to learn more about bougainvillea propagation methods, including growing bougainvillea from a cutting and seeds.
How to Propagate Bougainvillea Plants
Bougainvillea plants are commonly propagated by cuttings but seed growing is possible too.
Propagation of Bougainvillea Cuttings
The easiest of bougainvillea propagation methods is to grow it from cuttings. It can be done at any time of the year. To take a cutting from your bougainvillea, look for softwood. This is a part of the plant that isn’t brand new, but isn’t established and overly woody, either.
Cut a length of softwood that is 4 to 5 inches (10-13 cm.) long and has 4 to 6 nodes on it. Nodes are the spots on the branch that either have sprouted smaller branches or contain buds that will sprout soon. If you want, you can dip the end of the cutting in root hormone.
Remove any leaves from the cutting and insert it upright in a mix of one part perlite and one part peat. Sink it one or two inches (2.5-5 cm.) into the growing medium. Keep the pot very warm. Water and spray your cutting every now and again, but don’t let it get overly wet.
In a few months it should take root and start to grow into a new plant.
Propagating Bougainvillea Seeds
Propagating bougainvillea seeds is less common, but still a decent way to go about the propagation of bougainvillea. In the autumn, your bougainvillea might form seed pods inside the tiny white flower in its center.
Harvest and dry these pods – there should be very small seeds inside. You can plant your seeds at any time of year, as long as they’re kept warm. Be patient, as germination may take a month or longer.
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It is not easy to grow and successfully propagate bougainvillea in the home, but here is how it's done.
Bougainvillea can be propagated by taking cuttings 6 inches long in spring. First dip the cut ends into hormone rooting powder, if you have it (not directly into the container of course), and then insert them in a moistened mix of equal parts soil and perlite (most potting mixes contain perlite). A propagation case is best keep it at 75° F in bright filtered light. Without a case, used by commercial growers, the cuttings may not take root. In the case, the roots form in about eight weeks.
Bougainvillea can grow to 6 feet in one season. At least a third of the season's growth should be cut away in early spring. At that time, over-long shoots should be spur-pruned (cut back to leave just 2-3 growth buds on each shoot). Usually bougainvillea loses leaves for a short period in winter.
Bougainvillea (paper flower) are vigorous subtropical woody plants armed with spines. Though normally bushy climbers outdoors in warm climates, can be trained to keep them bushy indoors. Some introduced dwarf-growing varieties remain bushy without special attention.
The plant has decorative papery bracts surrounding small cream-colored flowers produced in spring and summer. As a tropical plant, it grows best in sunrooms or conservatories.
Tips For Propagating Pomegranate From Cuttings
I have propagated several fruit and flower plants from cuttings including money plant (money plant propagation), blueberries (propagation of blueberries), bougainvillea (bougainvillea propagation), rubber tree (rubber plant propagation), etc. with high success rate, almost 100 percent. Given below is a step-by-step guide on how to root a pomegranate cutting (both softwood and hardwood cuttings) successfully. Only thing is that you need to be patient.
Things You Need To grow Pomegranate From Cuttings
Which is the Good Weather For Pomegranate Propagation
Rooting of pomegranate cuttings will be successful if you plant them when the temperature is at least 20 °C (68 °F).
How To Take Cuttings For Propagation
When to Take Cuttings
Morning is the best time to take cuttings. The cuttings should be kept moist, away from direct sun, until you put them for propagation.
Type of Cutting
Semi hardwood cuttings are easier to root, the hardwood cuttings will take a long time to root.
Softwood cuttings need special care for rooting. Cuttings taken from very young or very old branches will not root well. The cuttings from previous year's growth are best for good success.
The Size of Cuttings
The cutting should be of the size of a pencil, about 15 cm (6 inch) long, 3 -6 mm (1/8 to 1/4 of an inch) in diameter and havindg 3-4 nodes.
Container Size For Rooting
The pot size, type and shape is not important. I usually take a small 10 cm (4 inch) pot with lot of drainage holes at the bottom, and plant 3-4 cuttings in the same pot.
The rooting of cuttings will be successful if the soil is free-draining. I use potting mix and river sand in equal amount.
The Steps For Planting Pomegranate Cuttings
I had 100 percent success rate for rooting pomegranate cuttings using the following procedural steps.
1. Fill the pot with the rooting medium and water well. Mix the soil and water again. Keep the pot aside.
2. After half an hour start planting the cuttings.
Preparation of the Pomegranate Cuttings
- The cutting should have at least one node just above the lower cut end which will be in the rooting medium.
- Remove the lower leaves and cut the upper 2-3 leaves into half. Scrape the bark near the lower cutting end.
Planting Pomegranate Cuttings
- Apply a rooting hormone at the cut end including the scrapped portion, remove the excess hormone by shaking the cutting. Make a deep hole in the soil with a stick and insert the cutting in it. Do not force the cuttings in the soil. Press the soil around it by your fingers. Similarly, plant other cuttings.
- Applying a rooting hormone will ensure high success rate for the root formation.
- You can use a homemade natural rooting hormone. Please note that, I have rooted many cuttings of different plants without any rooting hormone.
- DO NOT WATER AGAIN.
- Enclose the pot in a zip-lock bag to keep the humidity high. I always enclose the pot in a polythene bag with a tie. The success of propagation depends on the environment in which the planted cuttings are kept. Enclosing the planted pot in a polythene bag creates the environment like a greenhouse.
- Put the bag in shade but warm place, away from direct sun and high wind area.
- Open the bag every 10 days and add a few drops of water to the soil, OR mist the stems width water.
- Rooting will take place in 4 to 8 weeks. You can test the rooting by tucking the stems, they will become stable. You may also see some roots coming out of the pot holes at the bottom.
After Root Formation
- After the stems have been rooted, water daily.
- Week 1: Keep open the bag from the top for a week (bag still in shade).
- Week 2: Take the pot out of the bag and allow morning sun.
- Week 3: Loosen the soil of the pot by pressing the pot from the sides. Carefully take out the seedlings and transplant in larger pots or ground.
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Root A Bougainvillea?
Bougainvillea needs five to six hours of sun at minimum and blooms best with even more sun and in the hottest microclimate you can manage. All the pinching and pruning that bougainvillea requires for profuse bloom provides plenty of ready material for propagating by cuttings. Layering is a propagation technique in which you bend an actively growing, flexible stem to the ground to root in place in the garden. Wear gloves and long sleeves when taking bougainvillea cuttings and bending stems to avoid being scratched by the plant's large thorns. Stems in active bloom are not good candidates for propagation.
Growing a Bougainvillea from Seeds
Planting bougainvillea seeds is a sure way to add a vibrant splash of color to the home or garden. These tropical favorites are relatively easy to maintain. They can thrive for many years, and becoming even more beautiful with age.
Step 1 - Gather Seeds
The greatest challenge in propagating bougainvilleas from seed is acquiring viable seeds. Bougainvilleas grow and thrive across the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere, yet it is difficult to establish and maintain the optimal conditions necessary for bougainvilleas to lay seed. Look for large, well-established plants as a source of seed. It is commonly believed only the species is propagated by the seed, and the hybrid bougainvilleas are sterile. The plants grown from seed may vary markedly from the parent plant in appearance. Check for the colorful bracts that surround the flowers. Watch for the bracts to dry. They take about a month to ripen. Inside the bract are three pods, each containing a seed. The seeds should be plump and are usually brown. Gently remove the seed from the pod. Fresh seeds will release easily from the “hairs” holding it, while older seeds may be held a bit more tightly in the pods.
Step 2 - Prepare to Grow
The requirements for bougainvillea seed growth are quite similar to those of the mature plant. Bougainvilleas demand well draining soil. Any quality potting soil will suffice as a growing medium as long as it drains well and is slightly acidic. Select a container that does not narrow at the top. The roots of bougainvilleas are delicate. When the time comes for transplanting, the bougainvillea needs to be able to slide easily out of the old container. The pot does not need to be deep, but should hold enough of the growing medium to make frequent watering unnecessary. The seeds will need a good light source. A sunny windowsill or porch can do. If growing lights are to be used, make sure the light shines directly on the seeds. Ensure the heat from the lights is not too great. Bougainvillea seeds will enjoy some bottom warmth from a grow mat or appliance, but check to see they do not cook. If the surface is more than just slightly warm, relocate the container or raise it onto a baking rack or low feet. Adjust the light source as needed.
Step 3 - Plant the Seeds
Sow the bougainvillea seeds on the surface of the soil, then gently “rake them in” to a depth not more than 2 to 3 times the thickness of the seeds. Water the seeds lightly.
One easy method for providing moisture without disturbing the seed is to plant in a shallow container that is 2 to 3 inches deep. Place the container in a larger tray filled with water. Leave the container to wick up the water until the soil is moistened. Then remove the planted container and allow it to drain thoroughly. Water again only when the soil is completely dry.
The bougainvillea seeds may show some early signs of growth. Be patient, though. Not all seeds will germinate at the same rate, even from the same parent plant. Seeds may take up to thirty days, but the results are worth the wait.
To transfer pollen, select a male parent that has a freshly opened flower and pick a flower. Split the floral tube open and locate the stalked stamens inside the flower, each with a pollen-bearing anther at its end. Collect some of the pollen on a cotton swab. After choosing a female parent, tear open the upper part of a flower to locate the female reproductive organ called the pistil, which has a blunt tip and is shorter than the stamens. Touch the tip with the pollen-coated swab. Mark the pollinated flower and wait for the 1/2-inch-long fruit to form at the flower base.
- One of the ways to get new bougainvillea varieties is to hybridize existing species and varieties by cross-pollinating them to get seed.
- After choosing a female parent, tear open the upper part of a flower to locate the female reproductive organ called the pistil, which has a blunt tip and is shorter than the stamens.
Bougainvilleas are generally propagated by vegetative means for large scale production of plants for garden use as well as nursery trade during various seasons depending upton the climatic conditions.
Stem Cuttings: A large member of varieties respond to stem cuttings and are easily propagated by this method.
- Hardwood Cuttings – In this method, stem cuttings with hardwood having diameter of 0.75 to 1.5 cm are selected for propagation purpose.
- Softwood with Leaf cuttings – Tip of the branches having softwood and a few leaves are selected as propagating material. The best performance of softwood leaf cuttings can be achieved in mist-condition.
Layering: Stems having pencil-thickness are selected for air-layering. The varieties which do not form roots in stem cutting are generally propagated by layering.
Budding: This is an alternative method of propagation but not done in large scale. Varieties which do not respond well by stem cutting are usually propagate by budding.
Grafting: This is relatively a new technique and is not a conventional propagation method for multiplication. The main purpose of grafting is to create novelty so that one plant may have bracts in multiple colors.
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Hello, I am Siddartha Reddy . A fulltime farmer and blogger who love to share all his farming experiences. Also, a strong supporter of sustainable farming practices. Thanks for visiting our site, let’s make this world a better place to live. Say No to Chemicals and plastics.