The Q&A Archives: Pruning Hawiian Leigh Plant

Question: Can you prune a Hawiian Leigh Plant. I have one single stalk that forms leaves only at the top. It is now approaching eight feet in height. I place this plant, in it's pot, inside to winter (after the leaves have fallen). This year it developed three

Answer: Plumeria will often grow to heights of 30 feet, while uniquely shaped with stubby branches and heavy thick leaves at the ends. Plumeria plants can be pruned any time. When pruning, make a 45 degree cuts just above the nodes. The oozing latex will heal the wounds. Later one to three branches will grow from the latent buds beneath the cuts. If you cut just above a node (even at 2-3'), your plumeria should develop new branches at the site of the node.

The mature plumeria plant will bloom in warmer climates from May to October. They bloom in red, white, rose, pink, yellow, gold or a combination with each floret 2 to 3 inches in diameter. Every color has a distinctive fragance. The plumeria is know as the traditional flower blossom used to make the Hawwaii leis.

You can use most commercial potting mixes with sand, Perlite and some extra organic matter such as peat or composted manure mixed in for additional drainage. If you wish to mix your own we suggested these ratios: eight parts rich, acid soil, two parts predampened peat moss, one part sheep mature and one part combined bone meal, blood meal, superphosphate and perlite in equal proportions. Your Plumerias needs fresh soil each year.

Plumerias require moderate watering. Droopy leaves indicate the plumeria is recieving too much water. The plumeria stems store moisture for extended periods. Water your plumeria thoroughly when the soil has become fairly dry, then allow the soil to dry some before watering again. In the fall the plumerias usually become deciduous and need less water. In the winter, store the plumeria very dry and do not water.

Plumerias prefer full sun, but must have a minimum of a half day of sun. You must take care to avoid sunburn when the plumeria is brought out from winter storage. The plumerias need lots of sun to bloom.

Plumerias like rich organic matter such as composted manures, blood meal, bone meal, peat, and compost. We like to use a liquid fish emulsion and superphosphate each week. For constant blooming all summer, sprinkle 1/4 cup of superphosphate on the top of the soil before watering. Go easy with the nitrogen to avoid excessive growth at the expense of blooms.

Plumerias are tropical plants and prefer temperatures above 50F at all times. When temperature fall below 50F, move the plumerias in doors.

To propagate from cuttings, cut the stem about 2 feet below the end of the branch. Let the stem dry in the sun for two or three days. Then dust the cut end with a fungicide powder. Plant the plumerias cutting about 3 inches deep in the center of your pot. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Rooting takes about a month in good sun light, but leaves won't show for about three months.

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