Breadfruit Tree Propagation – How To Propagate Breadfruit Trees From Cuttings

(Image credit: Tina Power)

Breadfruit trees feed millions of people in the Pacific Islands, but you can also grow these handsome trees as exotic ornamentals. They are handsome and fast growing, and it’s not hard to grow breadfruit from cuttings. If you want to learn about the propagation of breadfruit cuttings and how to get started, read on. We’ll walk you through the process of rooting a breadfruit cutting.

Growing Breadfruit from Cuttings

Breadfruit trees don’t fit well into small backyards. They grow to 85 feet (26 m.) tall, although branching doesn’t begin within 20 feet (6 m.) of the ground. Trunks get to 2 to 6 feet (61 cm. to 2 m.) wide, usually buttressed at the base. The leaves on the spreading branches can be evergreen or deciduous, depending on the climate in your region. They are bright-green and glossy. The tree’s tiny blossoms develop into edible rounded fruit, up to 18 inches (46 cm.) long. The rind is often initially green but turns yellowish when ripe. You can easily propagate breadfruit from cuttings and it’s an inexpensive way to get new plants. Be sure you use the right cuttings.

Rooting a Breadfruit Cutting

One of the best ways to grow additional breadfruit trees is by propagation of breadfruit cuttings. Don’t take cuttings from branch shoots. Breadfruit is propagated from shoots growing from the roots. You can stimulate more root shoots by uncovering a root. Pick root shoots that are at least an inch (2.5 cm) in diameter and cut a segment some 9 inches (23 cm.) long. You’ll use these root shoots for breadfruit tree propagation. Dip the cut end of each shoot into potassium permanganate solution. This coagulates the latex in the root. Then, in order to start rooting the breadfruit cutting, plant the shoots horizontally in sand. Keep the shoots in a shady area, watered daily, until calluses form. This may take anywhere from six weeks to five months. Then you should transplant them to pots and water them daily until the plants are 2 feet (61 cm.) tall. When this happens, transplant each cutting to its final location. Don’t be too anxious for fruit. It will be some seven years before the young plant fruits.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.