Plumeria forum: Have started putting my Plumeria to sleep

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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Oct 12, 2012 7:07 AM CST
It is that time again to begin forcing my Plumeria into dormancy. I have now pulled/dug all my Plumeria out of the ground or large pots, rinsed off the remaining soil, and stacked them under a large oak tree. I will leave them there for 2-3 wks so that they can begin dropping their leaves, and then, before the first frost, I will bag them all up in large, black contractor's bags and put them away in closets or on my enclosed back porch to overwinter. Before bagging I make sure that each plant is properly labeled so that I know what's what when I replant them in March. I have followed this schedule for a couple of decades and it seems to work well. I live in NE Mississippi and it will usually get into the mid to lower teens here several mornings and drop below freezing many days during the winter months. It is a chore to bring in all my tropicals, but I have no choice.

Ken

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drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Oct 12, 2012 7:09 AM CST

Moderator

Personally I would remove the leaves myself, minimizing moisture loss, but since this has worked for you for years I can't very well criticize your technique!
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Oct 12, 2012 8:01 AM CST
I try to duplicate what might happen in nature, when Plumeria go dormant and slowly drop their leaves. I say "might happen" because that is an assumption. I have never lived in an area where Plumeria stays in the ground year-round and goes dormant. Generally, after the 2-3 week period, about 1/2 the leaves have dropped and then I remove the rest before bagging. You are the expert here, Hetty. Tell me what happens in the sub-tropical or tropical regions with Plumeria dormancy, if dormancy does indeed occur.

Speaking of leaves. When I ship my Plumeria out, I never, ever remove any leaves. When I have Plumeria shipped to me from other growers, they often remove all but the small, terminal leaves when shipping. My buyers like the fact that their plants have the leaves when they get the plants and none have told me that there was major leaf drop after they got the plants. Perhaps I am fooling myself and there ends up being major leaf droppage after the Plumeria are planted. Is one technique better than another? Thanks.

Ken
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Oct 12, 2012 8:30 AM CST

Moderator

Ken - you are correct that in nature Plumeria slowly drop their leaves; there may be a sudden major leaf drop with a cold snap but otherwise it is quite gradual, and certain varieties drop more/sooner than others. There is a tree here that virtually never drops its leaves (it is my registered 'Riviera Rainbow'). However, the big difference is that you are digging the plants up, and as such they will be forced to go dormant quickly, and will in my opinion suffer some moisture loss before all the leaves are gone.

I think when shipping plants it will also depend on HOW they are shipped. Some growers ship in the pot or with a substantial amount of soil; I personally bare-root my plants when shipping to reduce weight and therefore cost. I definitely will then remove the leaves - again, to prevent moisture loss.

I hope that answers your question.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Oct 12, 2012 9:05 AM CST
Thanks, Hetty. I knew you would know the answers to my questions. I guess I leave my leaves on for esthetic purposes, since I also ship bare-root but always with a large wad of moist sphagnum moss around the roots. Also, the feed-back tells me that my buyers like the leaves left on. I never thought about moisture loss, certainly not in short-term shipping time but also in long-term dormancy. Now you have created an idea for an experiment. I am going to de-leaf half of each variety, label the bags of plants I have done so, and see what the difference is in the spring. I had some really large, "fat" plumeria this year, particularly the 'Celadine' and the difference in trunk thickness may be noticeable next spring. As a side-note, the 'Riviera Rainbow' cuttings that I purchased from Mike grew really well and all bloomed this summer. I should have some nice cuttings and then rooted plants for sale in the spring/summer.

Ken
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Plays in the sandbox Dog Lover Cat Lover
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extranjera
Oct 12, 2012 9:53 AM CST
I wonder if it is more the length of the day that triggers dormancy than the cold? Here some of my plumeria are already showing some yellowing of leaves. Nights are perhaps a little bit cooler but the lows are still in the high to mid 70'sF and days are hot. We don't have a huge swing in day length, perhaps 2 hours difference from season to season. I'm just wondering what regulates their 'clock'?
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Oct 12, 2012 10:27 AM CST

Moderator

Daylight length certainly plays a big part, yes.

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