One of the most frequently asked questions people ask when it comes to plant breeding is how to propagate bougainvillea plants. Many people have tried it many times, but their plant cuttings often rot. Professionals who run a nursery business are usually also not willing to answer this question, when in fact it is very easy to do.
Part 1 of 4: Cutting the Stem from the Mother Plant
Step 1. Cut your plant to get cuttings
Prune old bougainvillea plants as you normally would when caring for these tropical and semitropical plants.
Step 2. Remove excess leaves and trim the cuttings
Certain parts of the cuttings will not grow or take root so you will need to clean them.
- Remove stems that are still green and still growing. Stems like this will not be able to take root.
- Remove about 50% of the leaves remaining on the cuttings to stimulate root growth.
- Cut the old piece of wood into strips about 5 to 10 cm long.
Step 3. Prepare and handle the nodes on the cuttings
The internodes are the most common places for roots to form so you will need to cut and handle them to speed up the growth/propagation of the cuttings.
- Cut the cuttings at the bottom of the internodes with oblique slices so that the ends become slightly pointed.
- Segments on old plant stems are lumps or mounds.
- This area is where plants use to concentrate their natural growth hormones.
- Wet the bottom of the cuttings with water, then dip it in root growth hormone, also known as rooting acid.
- Plant hormones have acidic properties so some sellers call them root acids.
- Root growth hormone for plants can be in liquid or powder form, and usually contains an antifungal agent to prevent rotting of the rootstock used to grow roots.
Part 2 of 4: Planting Cuttings
Step 1. Moisten the soil and drive the cuttings into it
Moisten the soil for cuttings thoroughly (you can use any soil) before planting the cuttings in the tapered cut.
Do not plant it vertically at a 90 degree angle. Planting at a 45 degree angle will help the cuttings take root faster
Step 2. Keep the soil moist and place it in the shade
Keep the soil moist or muddy during the rooting process and place the soil in an area that gets 60-70% shade.
Step 3. Wait for the cuttings to sprout
Over time (perhaps about 8 to 10 weeks), the cuttings will sprout.
Step 4. Leave the cuttings until 4-6 leaves appear
Be careful not to disturb the cuttings until the roots are ready. Leaves will start to appear, but that doesn't mean the roots are ready.
- Do not remove the cuttings from the soil when the first leaves appear. The appearance of leaves indicates that a new rooting process is about to begin, not that the cuttings have already taken root.
- Do not pull the cuttings if you want to check root growth as this can interfere with root growth and can often kill them.
- Leave the cuttings as they are after you have planted them in the soil. Most people often check cuttings constantly to see progress, but this can hinder rooting.
Part 3 of 4: Moving Cuttings into Pots
Step 1. Know the right time to move the cuttings
Remove the cuttings from the soil after three months, and after sprouting shoots containing 4 to 6 leaves.
Once the roots are firmly growing, it's time to transplant the cuttings into small plastic pots and start moving them slowly from a shady spot to a sunny location
Step 2. Perform a three-step process until the cuttings are ready to be placed in an area exposed to full sun
You have to do this step by step to keep the plant healthy.
- Leave the plants in each area that gets more sunlight for one week. This is called "hardening" in the tropics.
- Once the plant is moved to an area with full sun, wait one week. Next, choose how and where you want to plant it.
- If the cuttings have been planted in pots or soil, water them with plenty of water for a month to allow the taproot to grow deeper.
Step 3. Plant the growing cuttings in a new place
Now the plant is in its own place and is starting to adapt.
- After a month, reduce watering so the plant can adjust to its new "home".
- Once fully alive in its new place, the plant will put some pressure on it (roots are getting more and more intertwined and growing using the available water) to speed up flowering.
- The flowers on this plant are NOT the bright colors we are used to seeing. The actual flowers on this plant are flowers with a color that is not too white at the end of a light-colored stalk.
Part 4 of 4: Making Use of New Bougainvillea Plants
Step 1. Make unneeded plants beautiful gifts to others
You can also sell them to nurseries or exhibitions.
Propagation of plants from cuttings (if done according to the instructions above) can produce new plants in numbers that exceed the need. So you have to be creative. The remaining plants you can make as gifts or sell
Step 2. Some people use bougainvillea as a means of supplementing their income
- Use bougainvillea as a solitary plant, planted along fence lines, or to hold soil during heavy rains on hillsides.
- Aging on the stem makes bougainvillea not easy to dry and can grow in infertile soil. Thus, this plant can be arranged more beautifully than other tropical plants.
- Plant bougainvillea in a pot so it doesn't grow too fast or too big. If planted in a pot, bougainvillea can be shaped like a bonsai so that it can make it more attractive.
- The process for growing roots in each bougainvillea subspecies will vary. The steps are the same, but some subspecies can root more quickly or more slowly than others.
- Cut off the tops of each plant when they have reached a height of about 15 to 20 cm. This makes the plant's energy to focus on root growth so that the plant becomes stronger.
- Wear gloves when cutting stems for cuttings. After flowering, most bougainvillea plants will produce sharp spines.
- Use latex gloves or other materials when handling root growth hormone in powder or liquid form. There are several correlations that show that the hormone can affect the growth of certain cells in humans.