Growing Kawakawa from Cuttings is easy as long as you know the right way to do it! Here’s all you need to know about growing this plant!
A versatile herb, kawakawa is native to the coastal areas of the North and South Island of Zealand. According to Maori, the term kawa refers to the bitter taste of its leaves, which have holes due to looper moth caterpillars feeding on them. This small tree features heart-shaped, deep green to yellow leaves and clusters of flowers. If you too want to grow this medicinal plant, then here’s all the information on Growing Kawakawa from Cuttings!
Botanical Name: Macropiper excelsum
Common Names: Pepper Tree, Kawakawa
Check out our article on growing Kovakkai plant here
How to Grow Kawakawa from Cuttings
Which Cutting to Prefer?
There are basically three kinds of cuttings used for propagating – Hardwood, Softwood, and Semi Hardwood.
Hardwood cuttings are taken from the mature wood, preferably during winter. Softwood cuttings are taken from younger and soft stems, preferably before summer, and semi-hardwood cuttings are taken from semi-mature wood stems, during summer.
For kawakawa propagation, generally, semi-hardwood cutting is preferred, taken from a partially mature stem during the dormant period, specifically in summer.
Growing Kawakawa from Semi Hardwood Cutting
During summer, select a healthy and partial mature stem from the tree. Snip off 5-8 inches of cutting just below the node using a sharp knife. Make sure you cut the stem obliquely and it should have 3-4 nodes. Remove the leaves from the bottom part of the cutting and dip it in a rooting hormone.
Now, bury the cut section directly in the garden or pot and water the soil thoroughly. Make sure the leaves portion must be above the soil.
Kawakawa prefers partial sunlight to full shade for optimum growth. It can also perform well in the deep shady area of the landscape.
Since the plant belongs to the coastal and lowland area, it needs consistent moisture to thrive. Water it deeply and regularly. Avoid too much watering and only water deeply when you see the topsoil dry.
Kawakawa does best in moist and well-draining soil with a pH of around 6-8. For the best result, use a potting mix for the sapling. You can DIY it by mixing equal parts of peat moss and vermiculture.
To boost the growth of the plant, you can use any balanced fertilizer. once every 4-6 months. For dosage, read the instructions at the label. Alternatively, you can also feed the plant with cow-dung manure twice a year.
- The oil infusion of leaves is used by Maori people to treat stomach ailments and bladder problems.
- Chewing its leaves relieves toothache.
- This healing herb can be applied to topical areas to heal cuts and wounds.
- The boiled infusion of its bark and leaves is effective in treating skin ailments like eczema.
- The sweet berries are not only a food source for birds but also find culinary uses.
- Kawakawa uses involves burning dried leaves to repel insects.
- Its leaves, specifically that are eaten by moths, are used to impart zest in savory dishes.