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Apr 28, 2010 6:22 PM CST
|Three years ago, on one of my bike rides through the older part of Naples, I saw a beautiful plumeria tree behind a hedge. It was a beautiful tree, but the blooms were also stunning, and quite unique. I looked and looked, and vowed to come back soon to ask for a cutting.|
A few weeks later I was determined to get a piece of that tree, so I went back to the house and rang the bell. A lady, quite elderly, came to the door, and was initially confused when I told her I would like a piece of her plumeria tree. But I finally was able to persuade her to take me back there. 'Oh', she said 'it's all overgrown with a vine', and so I offered to take it off for her. It was just a Virginia Creeper which can be quite invasive here. I was able to remove it safely without harming her tree. She was generous enough to let me take a couple of cuttings, although when I got home with them, I realized that some of them were quite desiccated and I worried about the health of her tree.
Apr 28, 2010 6:25 PM CST
|Sure enough, the cuttings did not do too well, and only one of them eventually took. Every time I drove by the tree, I was captivated by the beauty of the blooms, and one day I saw the lady in her yard and I stopped again and chatted with her.|
I told her I felt the bloom was unique, and that I would like to see if I could register the variety with the Plumeria Society of America. I also told her I felt the tree needed fertilizer and promised her I would come back to do this for her.
That tree was a sight to behold when it was in full bloom!
Apr 28, 2010 6:33 PM CST
|But as these things go, I never did get to the point, where I would organize the camera, get the paperwork, and start the registration process for this beautiful local variety. However, every time I was in the area I would drive by the tree to watch its development.|
Two or three months ago I saw a worrisome sign: there was a For Sale sign in the yard. In that part of town, with an older home on the premises, that means only one thing: if it sells, it will come down.
I spoke to someone at the Naples Botanical Garden about the tree, and offered to call the realtor about arranging to move it, but they were all swamped with the after effects of our cold spell and nobody really had time to deal with 'another plumeria tree'.
Apr 28, 2010 6:38 PM CST
|Today, frustrated with being just about the ONLY person who doesn't have plumeria blooms yet in this part of the country, I proposed to my DH that we take a bike ride and check out some of our local favorite trees to check for blooms. We were rewarded with several gorgeous trees in bloom (see other thread), and I then suggested we drive by 'my favorite' - I hadn't been to that part of town for a while.|
'Oh no.....' was all I could utter when I came upon this sight.
'Naples Superstar' lives on in my yard, but the gorgeous, at least 20 year old tree is no more...
No doubt a very grand house will go up on this expensive lot. But for me it will always be a hard corner to pass by now....
Apr 29, 2010 12:15 PM CST
|Cripes. What a sad story. I'll bet that happens a lot. Gives you a sick feeling in the stomach, doesn't it?|
Lucky for you, you did get a plant. I wonder what happened to the lady.
Apr 29, 2010 7:19 PM CST
|I think they were seasonal and probably stayed up north or moved into a home. She was quite old.|
May 2, 2010 9:15 AM CST
|Arrrggghhh...That's a shame Hetty! Glad you have a survivor though.|
May 11, 2010 6:56 PM CST
|Well. at least the Baby survived, didn't it? so sad to see beautiful plants destroyed for the sake of a 'new, better' townhouse or whatever.|
May 11, 2010 8:56 PM CST
|Wow, what a gorgeous new banner!|
May 12, 2010 3:20 AM CST
|Thank you! Credit goes to KatG!!|
May 12, 2010 7:53 AM CST
|I noticed it yesterday, it is indeed beautiful.|
Jun 2, 2010 6:17 PM CST
|Hetty your plumeria photos are stunning. Wonder if anyone on cubits from MO tries to grow them and winter them over inside? Sure worth the effort if they get as beautiful here as in your pictures.|
Jun 2, 2010 7:30 PM CST
|Thank you Susan, there are a fair number of northern growers, and you could always talk to Stuart who grows them in England.|
Jun 2, 2010 7:49 PM CST
|Hetty what do you think of this,it is the cutting of the yellow Plumeria I purchased, this has grown these startings of buds, guess it must have gotten some roots too.|
Jun 2, 2010 7:57 PM CST
|It's doing well, Doris, but too soon to say it has roots! Once you see real leaves you can say you have roots (probably). But yes, you are getting flower buds|
Jun 3, 2010 6:23 AM CST
|That sounds good to me,I had to bring the pot indoors yesterday, we had super storm three days in a row, all my potted plants were getting drowned.|
Jun 3, 2010 7:15 AM CST
|Good for you Doris. I heard the hail hitting the house and windows in the middle of the night, now I'm off to see if I have any damage in the garden.|
Jun 9, 2010 9:25 AM CST
That Naples Superstar is a beauty! Thank Heavens you were able to get a start of it before it was gone.
I long for the smell of Plumeria! I don't have one and I live near the Oregon Coast in Zone 8a. Not exactly Plumeria Growing Paradise here. I think it could be done in a large pot though.
I do have some rolling platforms that I have my dwarf citrus on and they are rolled into my garage in the winter.
I was wondering if some of the plumeria varieties are more "dwarf" than others and would be good potted candidates?
Nurseries around here don't sell them, so I would need to obtain some cuttings. I just read all the coments in plantfiles about Plumeria growing. So interesting - One lady said she got her cuttings in the fall, wrapped them in newspaper, put them in a shoebox and forgot about them until spring. Then took them out, planted in damp sandy mix and they grew!
Any recommendations on varieties and suggestions on where to get a start?
Jun 9, 2010 9:36 AM CST
|I have some grafted plants of 'Dwarf Pink Singapore' which is a true dwarf and can easily be kept in a pot.|
Here is a picture showing that. Picture is not mine - a 'northern' friend...
I've sent you a C mail
Jun 9, 2010 9:53 AM CST
|Now that I have seen the beautiful rich colors of your Naples Superstar, I am "clamoring" for rich colors |
I'm encouraged that there is a dwarf, and that grafting is possible.
Is it possible that there could be other colors that can also be grafted to that dwarf rootstalk?
I am going to Hawaii in October, Have you been plumeria shopping over there?
That must be Plumeria growing paradise over there, I can't wait to see and smell them!