Plumeria forum: Okay...what am I doing wrong?

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Name: Michael Hamilton
Corpus Christi, TX (Zone 9b)
Region: Texas Hibiscus Plumerias Cactus and Succulents
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Blondmyk
Sep 28, 2014 12:24 PM CST
Hi everyone. My question is the one in the subject line...What am I doing wrong? Perhaps I should read further back into the forum before I ask this question, but to be honest, I don't feel like I'm doing anything wrong. I've grown a total of three Plumeria now...all of unknown descent...to what I feel are good sized trees, but I've never managed to get one to bloom. Two of my three plants were started out as approx. 8" cuttings...all about as big around as your thumb. Now they stand over 4 ft tall. Shouldn't they be blooming by now? Is there something that I'm not doing that is required to make them bloom? I live in Corpus Christi, Tx...Zone 9b. We still are having 90 degree days with the exception of last night which was the first time the temps have dropped below 80 degrees at night this year. Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated and, if you can tell the ID of the Plumeria by the leaves I would be most grateful. I know that's hard, but I'm hoping perhaps that there are identifiers in the leaves that can steer me to at least a partial ID. Thank You!

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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
Sep 28, 2014 2:33 PM CST

Moderator

Welcome! Blondmyk!
If your plumeria are rooted cuttings like you say ( as opposed to seedlings) you could be expecting blooms.
I would recommend you plant them in the ground, those pots seem to be on the small size for the plant. You need to of course protect them from frost if you get any.
Also - have you been fertilizing?
The season is drawing to a close so I would guess that you should be working towards blooms next spring....
Name: Michael Hamilton
Corpus Christi, TX (Zone 9b)
Region: Texas Hibiscus Plumerias Cactus and Succulents
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Blondmyk
Sep 28, 2014 2:40 PM CST
Thank you Dutchlady. The idea that the pot may be too small is rather disturbing. The white pot is at LEAST 7.5 gallons, and it weighs a TON even though it is plastic. The other one is only about 4 or 5 gallons, so Yes, that one might be too small. Yes, I have been fertilizing, but I'm perhaps not using the correct types. I use a general fertilizer...a 10-10-10, so do you think that's the problem? I've been a little bit lazy this year, but that's mainly because I used the Miracle Gro potting soil with fertilizer included. I didn't want to kill anything by overdoing it...so perhaps that is the mistake?
Name: Gigi
Florida (Zone 9a)
Plumerias Sempervivums Roses Cactus and Succulents Garden Ideas: Level 1
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GigiPlumeria
Sep 28, 2014 4:52 PM CST
Welcome! I have had luck with miracle Gro blooming fertilizer and super bloom in the past. I think Hetty recommends osmocote.

If it makes you feel better, sometimes some of my plumerias do skip one blooming season. I have several that bloomed last year but did not bloom this year. Also plumerias do need full sun to bloom, which I think you have.
┬ęby Gigi Plumeria "Gardening is my favorite past time. I grow whatever plant that catches my attention." Plumeria Photos http://www.flickr.com/groups/calachuchi_plumeria_/ plant photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gigiplumeria/sets/
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
Sep 28, 2014 6:47 PM CST

Moderator

I usually recommend a balanced fertilizer like Dynamite 13-13-13. I'm not much for bloom booster type fertilizers. However you may give them a boost in the early spring.
We tend to forget these are meant to be trees. It really would be much happier if it could spread its roots, I think....
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Sep 28, 2014 7:58 PM CST
We visit Corpus very often. You have experts at the South Texas Botanical Gardens at your disposal. Not only are they helpful, they have an amazing show of Plumeria seen as you first drive up into the parking lot. It will make you envious! Not that I discount anything Dutchlady has to say. She too is an expert and has taught me a lot! I tip my hat to you. I have a yellow/orange NOID from Gills Nursery that I am waiting for blooms as we speak. I have had it for 2 years. I finally got to give my plumeria the boost that they needed this year after a few years without food using Super Bloom (every 2 weeks during the summer) and have been blessed with blooms all summer long. Next spring, now that they are on their feet again, I will give it a few doses of Super Bloom then go with Hetty's 13-13-13 diet. One tree I have waited 20 years for blooms.

Two of my plumeria are in 15 gallon pots. They are 8 feet tall. Two are in 12 gallon pots and are 5 feet tall. Please do not discount the need for nutrients in the soil. Soil, food, sunlight, some water but not a lot, and good drainage makes your plumeria happy.

We were just in Corpus and visited Gills, and Turners last week. I was surprised at the price of plants. No one was having fall sales? They sure were proud of them! I did pick up a red kalanchoe Calandiva in a cute watering can planter as my souvenir.

Yellow/Orange NOID
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
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tarev
Sep 28, 2014 8:47 PM CST
The thing I noticed with my Plumeria, as with my other tropical plants, they seem to like more water here in my area. I do not know if it will apply to your growing area. I have often read to give intervals in watering for the plumies, but in my very dry,dismal humidity, no rain for about 6 months area that goes into triple digit last summer, it surely appreciated increased watering when the leaves are finally out. And I got my first blooms this late September. I know I gave it some bulb bloom fertilizer at time of planting, and again some bloom booster fertilizer in August..but that's about it. It grew taller, then the blooms came this late September when temps have gone down to the more favorable mid 80's. Location of my plant, it is in a full sun for about 3 hours then just dappled sun in the afternoon, and it is grown in a container too.

But I have to observe again next year if it does the same. I have another plumie that did not grow tall much, but I think I know why, I did not give it a bigger container, so no blooms either. Or maybe there are just some varieties that are a bit more difficult to grow.
Name: Michael Hamilton
Corpus Christi, TX (Zone 9b)
Region: Texas Hibiscus Plumerias Cactus and Succulents
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Blondmyk
Sep 29, 2014 1:28 PM CST
Well, you've all given me a lot to think about and consider. One thing I do need to clarify is that these were not root cutting, but stem cuttings. It's a rather common practice down here to just cut off a limb and stick it in the ground, which shockingly seems to work--no real drying time required as suggested on other sites. Mine looked like they were little twigs just cut off of a larger plant when I got them...about 8" and as big around as my thumb. I've got the one in a five gallon, so I will increase the size on that one as soon as I can. The other one IS a ten gallon. I'll see if I can find larger. I don't want to have to move to tubbies, but if I have to then I guess I have to. I'm not financially well off enough to buy something more expensive than I already have them in.

I have about one more month before dormancy, so I'll start next year with the bloom booster in the spring and we'll see how that goes. Beyond that I'll do the 13 diet for them. Right now I'm just going to pray that I get them through the winter as last winter was a bit touch and go!

Also--ShadyGreenThumb--I go to the Botanical Gardens here EVERY chance I can. You are correct about the Plumeria's there...they are spectacular! I always feel rather awkward about talking to people there though as they always seem busy doing their thing. Perhaps I should just grab the horns and do it in the future if I have questions.

Thanks again folks!!

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