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Can a Jatropha Multifida/Coralbush be propagated by cutting?

Palm Bay, FL(Zone 9b)

Hi!

I have this plant: http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/55308/ and its main "trunk" is about 4 feet tall, and sorta top heavy due to the happiness and nature of the plant. It also has two smaller branches toward the base of the trunk. With the heavier winds we've been experiencing from TS Debby (main storm didn't hit our area, whew!) I've noticed that the trunk is fairly flexible and can bend and withstand the wind OK - but if it was blowing a little bit harder I know it would rip all the leaves off and/or break the trunk.

I was wondering if anyone's had experience with rooting cuttings of this plant. The Plantfiles only says "propagated by seed" and didn't find much more info searching the web. I really like this plant, and have had it for about two years now and I don't want to lose it. I haven't even been fortunate enough to get a seed off it yet to try to grow more, because the one seed pod I got last year was blown away during a freak non-hurricane windstorm last October, and it took six months of being a leafless stick for the plant to get back on track.

Since it has those two lower branches on it now, I'd feel comfortable cutting the top off before it has a chance to just break if I knew I could root it and keep it going.

Any tips/suggestions?

Thanks!

Thumbnail by Plants4myPots
Belton, TX

I find cuttings are relatively easy with this one...I try to take cutting behind the blooms...just like old garden roses...but I can't find any documentation or research that indicates this is because of the naturally occuring hormone, but rather the size of the cutting....sounds like you will have no problem with size of your cutting...I have the highest percentage of success with 6 to 8" long and 1/2 to 1" in width...good luck!

Molino, FL(Zone 8b)

plants4mypots, My plant looks exactly like this and I have been wondering the same thing. Have you tried rooting it yet? If so how is it doing?

Palm Bay, FL(Zone 9b)

Hi pestee42, I have not tried rooting it yet. Guess I've been tempting fate a little bit, but I plan on trying to cut off the top and root it when it stops looking so good. :) The lower branches are getting bigger, and the top part looks really great, and I think I may see a tiny seed pod starting to form. I want seeds from this plant so bad, and I know if I lop off the top to try and root it it will probably lose all of its leaves and quit pushing that pod I think I see... Plus, I really like the way the jatropha looks in the container with the bushy purple ipomoea, and chopping the top of the spindly green plant would ruin the "look" of my container.

So yeah, I'll baby this one along and keep an eye out for windstorms until I either get seeds to start some new plants, or when the weather changes and the garden doesn't look so spectacular anymore.

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

I have treed mine up and use the small branches to root new plants. I didn't even use Dip N Grow on the 1st ones I tried and I just put them in potting soil and put the pot on concrete in a semi shady spot. They eventually rooted but when I did some more and used the hormone it rooted twice as fast. So I find that it does well either way. I haven't tried them in water.

Palm Bay, FL(Zone 9b)

Oh, boy! A success story! Thanks jeri11!

Molino, FL(Zone 8b)

That's good news Jerri11. I might go ahead and cut the tall part off mine and try to root it. Did you let it callous over first?

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

A couple of hours but not over night. Why don't you try the side branches and see how you do before you get too drastic. There are usually good roots in 2 to 3 weeks.

Molino, FL(Zone 8b)

Thanks jeri11, I will try a side branch first.

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