Plumeria forum: Plumeria Disaster! Broken Pot - Broken Roots - Broken Plant?!

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Name: Janet Groves
Ontario, Canada (Zone 5b)
Aug 3, 2011 12:53 PM CST
First - Hi everyone, I'm new here! I looked through a fair few forums before deciding to ask you guys about my issue.

Alright, so in April I went to a local garden show with my mum and bought a Plumeria "Starter Kit" - It had dirt, a pot, a cutting and some fertilizer. Got home, potted it up, followed the instructions, everything went peachy. Took about 2 months before I started getting leaves, but there's at least an inch and a half of new growth on the plant. Leafing out, looking happy and healthy, so on and so forth.

The pot I was provided was an ugly little brown thing, and I didn't like looking at it. No biggie. Had a lovely pot with no holes in it(I think it's called a cache pot?). Threw a layer of aquarium gravel in the bottom, put the ugly brown pot in on top, voila, it looks nice and no disturbing the developing plant. I was frequently rinsing out the gravel in the bottom of the pot with hot water, and switching it out with fresh stuff, to keep algae from growing and the water in the bottom from going stagnant.

The last time I did this, while carefully removing the plant from the cache pot, it slipped from my hands and the plastic pot broke. I did my best to gather the soil that was with the plumeria up, and handled the plant very carefully, but the poor thing was left with only a couple small roots, approx 1 - 2 inches in length. I don't know if that's how big they were to start with or if they were damaged. I repotted the plant, but the only pot I had was a larger pot, and I had to use some standard "Potting Soil" to mix with the original soil.

This happened on Sunday. The plant itself seemed fine, at the time, but today I noticed the plant was wilting, kind of. The new growth was wimping out, leaves drooping, and the trunk of the plant seems soft, almost squishy to the touch. I think the potting soil is retaining more water than the original mix was, as well as the plant not being able to drink as much due to the root damage. I have not watered beyond the original drink after repotting.

Is this normal, for the plant to feel slightly soft/squishy? I personally wouldn't think so, but I don't normally touch my plants.
What could possibly be causing my plant to act like this, and can I save it? It will have to deal with the potting soil possibly until Friday, as I am broke until payday, but I could try to get a pot of "Pro Mix" from my mum if that would be preferrable? The new pot was larger, could it be wimping out to establish new roots?

Help me, please! I've been having horrible luck as far as my plants go this summer - almost lost my 10yr old jade plant(she's recovering now), and did lose my 6yr old madagascar palm(pachypodium gaeyi). I don't know if I'm doing something wrong, or if it's just a bad year :(
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
Aug 3, 2011 1:12 PM CST


Bad Habit - where are you located?
First answer is no, soft and squishy is not good. And rather than spending money on more soil, I suggest you get a bag of perlite. We'll take it from there once you give me more info. How about a picture, too!?
Name: Janet Groves
Ontario, Canada (Zone 5b)
Aug 3, 2011 1:56 PM CST
I live in Ontario, Canada.

I am at work right now, so can't do the picture thing, but I can take one when I get home. It doesn't look much different than it did when I broke it(Sunday), except to me, because I'm paranoid about my plants right now.

I can mix the Pro Mix(Mum says it's some kind of soil-less mix, it's got perlite in it) with the dirt, or just completely repot it into the pro mix. I'm hoping I caught this issue in time, and can save the plant, because it's breaking my heart that I can't even keep potted plants alive, not even ones I've had for ages.

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