Propagation by Root Division (Rangoon Creeper)

The Rangoon Creeper (Quisqualis indica) is a very beautiful and fragrant vine that is difficult to propagate, in my experience. I've tried propagation via stem cuttings to no avail. Thus far, I've only managed to clone a Rangoon Creeper through air-layering.

My experience in air-layering or marcotting a Rangoon Creeper has had very limited success. Out of the thirty or more marcots I air-layered from the rangoon creeper atop our garden gate arch, only two rooted. Out of these two, only one was really healthy and thrived.

If only the rangoon creeper vine had fruits, I would've planted all the seeds I could get and patiently wait for some young seedlings to sprout. But alas, our rangoon creeper vine wouldn't even bear fruit.

Because it's not easy to propagate, I realize now why this vine may be difficult to find. The well-established vines being sold are oftentimes expensive.

So I thought there had to be a way to propagate this beautiful vine.

There is one method - but you'd have to have a mature vine with several branches coming out from the ground or the base of the plant.





Propagation by Suckers by Dividing the Roots

The propagation of rangoon creeper by root division technique in a mother plant is not difficult but you have to carefully plan and decide which roots and branches to cut. Some would call this technique as propagation by suckers.

Materials
  • Rangoon Creeper with mature branches. The vine shown in the photo below is around three feet high. It has sprawling branches which matured. Apparently the gardener we got it from just kept cutting the top shoots.


  • Pruning Shears

  • Pruning Saw or Hacksaw

  • Soaking Tub or Bin

  • Potting Medium or Soil

  • Seedling bags or Pots




Procedure
  1. Shown below is the base of the rangoon creeper vine as shown in the above photo. Carefully expose the mature roots at the base of the rangoon creeper. This is so you will see the major root system and decide how best to divide the vine into several plants.

    In the sample below, two cuts may be made which divides the plant into three. The two cuts were drawn giving consideration to a group of branches that can be separated from others. Ensure that the root division is balanced out to the branches to be divided.


  2. Place the bagged rangoon creeper vine in a bin. The bin collects the dirt coming from the bag. Slip out the seedling bag by sliding its top part downwards.


  3. To the point where you can no longer lower the bag, hold the top soil with one hand while tilting the bottom of the bag.




    Do this slowly until the contents of the bag, plant and soil, slides into the bin.


  4. Carefully break up clumps, if there are any. Sift the soil to expose the roots.


  5. Expose the root system so you will see the extent of the roots you inspected earlier. Confirm that the division of the roots with their attached branches will be balanced.


  6. In the first cut, a pruning shear sufficed. Cut cleanly, and so it pays to have a sharp pair of pruning shears.



  7. Immediately transfer the first severed plant in a prepared seedling bag or pot with potting medium.


  8. The remaining part (roots and branches) of the mother plant is still big enough and can be divided in two. Choose the roots to be separated and part them.


  9. If the major root to be cut is thick, as in this case, use a hacksaw or pruning saw to cut if a pruning shear is inadequate.




    Still holding the roots separated with both hands, have an assistant carefully cut the thick root with the saw.



  10. As in a previous step, repot the two newly separated plants.

  11. Place all three repotted plants in the bin with water. Soaking tubs can also be used. Put a stick in each pot to prop up the plant. Soak them overnight.


  12. The following day, take them out of the bin and put them in a shaded part of the garden until their growth stabilizes. Eventually, remove the stick and replace with homemade support stakes.


There you have it! You now have three new rangoon creeper vines that split from one mature vine via root division.




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