The MGS Forum

Gardening in mediterranean climates => General Cultivation => Topic started by: MikeHardman on November 16, 2013, 02:27:57 PM

Title: Jacaranda cuttings in water
Post by: MikeHardman on November 16, 2013, 02:27:57 PM
Back in the UK, I found Jacaranda would root in water very well (1cm diameter woody material).
Earlier this year, in Cyprus, I tried again - but with total failure - not a sniff of roots :(

Now, courtesy of a friend managing a development where several large Jacarandas have just been heavily pruned, I have a good selection of cuttings of various sizes to experiment with. They range from 15 to 130cm tall, up to a few centimetres diameter, with some being woody and others green. In all cases, I cut off most of the leaves (leaving the bases to abciss somewhat naturally). Once upon a time, I would have followed tradition and left some leaves on (for the usual reasons). But I often find that if I do so, the cutting will shed most of them. So I think I might as well save the plant the stress of not being able to service all its foliage.

Anyway, here are my new cuttings.
I hope to be able to post some photos as time passes showing root growth.

If they all die, I will have to presume it is a time-of-year thing.
If I have some success, I shall post on David's cuttings-in-water thread -
Title: Re: Jacaranda cuttings in water
Post by: John J on November 16, 2013, 04:03:04 PM
Mike, I have never tried growing Jacaranda from cuttings as I find they are much easier from seed. I have 3 behind the garage that are taller than the house, having caught up with the parent tree several years ago. Admittedly I sowed the seed 14 years ago but they grew very quickly.
Title: Re: Jacaranda cuttings in water
Post by: SusanIbiza on November 16, 2013, 04:12:22 PM
Do they flower well John?
Title: Re: Jacaranda cuttings in water
Post by: John J on November 17, 2013, 05:47:07 AM
Yes, Susan, they do. They hold their leaves over the winter, losing them in early spring as the flowers begin to appear. They then have a second, less showy, flowering in late summer/early autumn.
Title: Re: Jacaranda cuttings in water
Post by: MikeHardman on November 17, 2013, 09:07:31 AM
Lovely, John!
And of course, there is the brief bonus of a carpet of spent flowers on the ground (as with Cercis). Also, I remember in Mum & Dad's garden years ago a Berberis stenophylla had made a delicious sprinkling of its tiny orange-peel petals on little lime-green feverfews sheltering below.

Helenaviolet and I were having an email conversation about 'deep planting' recently.
I don't remember hearing about that before, but it was enlightening (thank you Helena).
As with many things, it has its scope, outside which it does not work as well. But within its scope, it has merit. The trick is knowing how to apply the knowledge: appropriate soils, plants and climate/watering/time of year.

It is of some pertinence here, because if my big Jacaranda cuttings take root, they will need to be planted deeply - to keep them firm in windy conditions. In our Mediterranean climate, my concern would be that such deeply-planted cuttings would need regular deep watering - because it takes some while for the winter rains to penetrate deep into the soil - and I would not want the deeper roots to die and cause the bottom of the stem to die as well, since that would defeat the purpose. That is manageable, by using a perforated watering tube as deep as the cutting; it just needs that bit of consideration.

'Watering tube' explanation:
I plant all my trees with a near-vertical 50mm diameter rigid plastic tube going down to the base of the roots. I drill small holes along the lower half of the pipe, to allow the water better access to the soil. An irrigation outlet goes in a small hole near the top, and the top is capped to exclude creatures and debris and to reduce evaporation. The tube can also serve as a place to apply fertilizer and insecticide. By perforating only the lower half, weeds get less benefit. When measuring the tube for cutting to length, allow at least 30cm to protrude from the soil, otherwise the top can get lost in groundcover/weeds. Eventually, when the tree is well established, the pipe can be pulled out with a twisting action (severing any small roots that grew through the small perforations), and the hole filled with soil.

Helena, please might I entreat you to start a topic on 'deep planting'? (probably in the 'Cultivation' section)
I think folks would find it interesting, not only as a technique, but as a reminder that sometimes it is worth challenging methods we take for granted as being 'right'.

Title: Re: Jacaranda cuttings in water
Post by: SusanIbiza on November 17, 2013, 10:35:07 AM
Thank you, John, for the lovely photo. Glorious!  Very interesting description of deep watering apparatus Mike!  I will certainly do that when we start establishing our garden.  Just waiting for the "good" water coming through hopefully by the end of winter. 
Title: Re: Jacaranda cuttings in water
Post by: helenaviolet on November 18, 2013, 12:18:07 AM
Hello Mike,
Jacarandas are magnificent trees which are a common street planting feature in Australian country towns. Your method of striking long cuttings in water is interesting and I wonder if the 'deep planting' method would work with the resultant saplings. This method was featured on our Australian ABC TV 'Gardening Australia' program some time ago. Following your suggestion ... over to the 'cultivation' section.  :)
Title: Re: Jacaranda cuttings in water
Post by: MikeHardman on November 19, 2013, 02:09:29 PM
Following a link posted by Jorun on another topic (, Philip McMillan Browse states:
"It has been shown that the greater the proportĀ­ion of stem material that is removed, the faster will be the replacement growth, as the plant seeks to replace the stem tissue removed and restore the root/shoot ratio. The faster the growth achieved by this process, the higher is the level of regenerative capacity regained."

Some of my Jacaranda cuttings were very vigorous shoots 3m long, following hard pruning. So I will be interested to see if these do, as the above paragraph suggests, root most readily.

The article goes on to show that, for any given shoot cut-up into cuttings, the cuttings closest to the base should root best. I shall keep an eye on that, too.