Plumeria forum: Newbie re: pruning

Views: 241, Replies: 4 » Jump to the end
(Zone 7b)
Darrell
Nov 8, 2015 10:02 PM CST
I am in Zone 7b/8a. I bought a plumeria 2 years ago. It bloomed this summer! It grew quite a bit, and I don't know what to do with it. You can see in the picture that the trunk is an odd shape. I included pics of the top and bottom. I'm worried that it will break if it grows much more.

Should I cut it? Or might it be ok left alone?

TIA.
Thumb of 2015-11-09/Darrell/0eb388
Thumb of 2015-11-09/Darrell/9e996d
Thumb of 2015-11-09/Darrell/29c399

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
Image
Dutchlady1
Nov 9, 2015 5:09 AM CST

Moderator

Welcome! Darrell!

That is a nice plant. Remember, they are trees! And it's branching nicely, giving you not one but three chances for blooms next year! The trunk can easily be straightened by tying it to a stake.

If you do decide to cut the top off I would NOT do it now. The plant will soon go dormant, lose all its leaves and sit there for several months without doing anything. It won't need water or light during this time but you must protect it from frost (what is your zone?).

If you should still want to cut it, do it in the spring when it breaks dormancy. The top section can be rooted, and the bottom section will sprout new branches.
(Zone 7b)
Darrell
Nov 9, 2015 6:11 AM CST
I was hopeful that it could be staked. I'll give that some thought.

If I do cut it in the spring and root the top, will it likely take a couple more years to bloom?
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
Image
Dutchlady1
Nov 9, 2015 6:56 AM CST

Moderator

The rooted top will bloom at the same rate that it would if it stayed on the plant. The bottom section will have to make new branches and will likely skip at least one year's blooms.
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
Nov 9, 2015 7:17 AM CST
Welcome! to ATP, Darrell.

I stake every single one of my plumeria, starting when they are just tykes. I want straight "trunks".

I agree with Hetty. Don't do any cutting now. That being said, if it were my plant, I would first drive a sturdy stake adjacent to the bowed "trunk" (perhaps two, spaced a few inches apart) and begin to draw that bowed trunk in. Use something that won't cut into the plant. Soft cotton fabric or pantyhose work well for this. Use two or three strands and tighten that fabric a bit to begin straightening the trunk. Every month or so, just tighten a bit more. Plumeria are very pliable, so in a few months, the trunk will be nice and straight. Leave the trunk supported though. It will be top-heavy. I have never broken the trunk of one of my plants doing this.

Again, this is just my experience, but I would let those three tips/branches grow during the spring until they were at least 18" long. At that point I would cut all three tips near the base where they branched. Now you have three tips to root. If you wished to get a shorter, branched plant, take another cutting down the trunk. The trunk looks to be around 36-42" tall, so you could take the cutting half way down. You would root the top section (with the three tips stubs) and allow the trunk to branch. Generally speaking, wherever you take a cutting, that remaining stub will branch. Not always though. I have one plant that I cut in the summer and there are now seven branches from that cut trunk.

In my experience, after taking 100+ cuttings over a 25 year span, a new cutting typically won't bloom that first year (unless it already has a flower stem when rooted). I never cut off flower stalks when rooting cuttings. Many people think they should be cut off so that all the energy is directed towards rooting. I just never found any reason to do so. Cuttings with flower stalks rooted just fine for me.
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.

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Plumeria forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by Paul2032 and is called "Chrysanthemum"