Plumeria forum: Plumeria leaves are curling

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WA_Gardener
Jul 23, 2017 5:40 PM CST
Help! I bought 2 Plumeria cuttings from my local nursery in March (I live in WA state) and both were doing great and started producing leaves right away, however, one of the plant's leaves started curling about a month ago. I went back to the nursery and they suggested that I give it some food so I bought some Miracle Gro plant food thinking it would help and it hasn't done much.

I've attached 2 pics of the curling leaves and my other plant that's healthy - for now. Does anyone know what could be happening? It's been indoors by a bright window the whole time. Thanks for your help! I've never had Plumerias before so I'm not sure what to do.

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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Critters Allowed Region: Arizona Xeriscape Greenhouse Annuals
Cactus and Succulents Bromeliad Adeniums Orchids Tropicals Plumerias
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plantmanager
Jul 23, 2017 5:51 PM CST
Welcome! I haven't had much luck growing them indoors. They will grow, but probably not bloom. I had some plants inside for 10 years with no blooms. Then I got a greenhouse, and they bloomed the first Spring in there. If you can, get it outside for the summer. You can take them indoors in winter and let them go dormant. Withhold water and the leaves drop and they don't do much all winter. Then they go back outside to grow and bloom in the summer. In winter if you don't have a place for the dormant plants, you can bareroot them and store them in a protected place like a garage or closet, and then re-pot them in the Spring. It doesn't slow them down at all.
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WA_Gardener
Jul 23, 2017 5:56 PM CST
plantmanager said:Welcome! I haven't had much luck growing them indoors. They will grow, but probably not bloom. I had some plants inside for 10 years with no blooms. Then I got a greenhouse, and they bloomed the first Spring in there. If you can, get it outside for the summer. You can take them indoors in winter and let them go dormant. Withhold water and the leaves drop and they don't do much all winter. Then they go back outside to grow and bloom in the summer. In winter if you don't have a place for the dormant plants, you can bareroot them and store them in a protected place like a garage or closet, and then re-pot them in the Spring. It doesn't slow them down at all.


Thanks for the reply! Should I put them where they'll get all day sunlight or would about 6-8 hours be okay? I can give that a try and see if that works. I will try anything at this point. I just don't want to lose them.

Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Critters Allowed Region: Arizona Xeriscape Greenhouse Annuals
Cactus and Succulents Bromeliad Adeniums Orchids Tropicals Plumerias
Image
plantmanager
Jul 23, 2017 6:01 PM CST
I would try a partially shaded area for when they first go outside. If they seem to be doing well, I'd think you could move them slowly into more sun. In my experience, it's the only way you'll get blooms. The curling leaves could just be a response to not enough light and humidity, and outside might be more humid in your area. They are wonderful plants. Let us know how they do outside.
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WA_Gardener
Jul 23, 2017 6:04 PM CST
plantmanager said:I would try a partially shaded area for when they first go outside. If they seem to be doing well, I'd think you could move them slowly into more sun. In my experience, it's the only way you'll get blooms. The curling leaves could just be a response to not enough light and humidity, and outside might be more humid in your area. They are wonderful plants. Let us know how they do outside.


Okay, will do! Thankfully we have a couple more months of good sunlight before it disappears Sad I will keep you posted.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Critters Allowed Region: Arizona Xeriscape Greenhouse Annuals
Cactus and Succulents Bromeliad Adeniums Orchids Tropicals Plumerias
Image
plantmanager
Jul 23, 2017 6:39 PM CST
Yes! Hopefully your plumies will perk right up and enjoy a summer vacation outside!
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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
Jul 26, 2017 6:08 AM CST

Moderator

The standing water in your sauces worries me - you may be overwatering this.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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tarev
Jul 26, 2017 12:18 PM CST
I agree with Karen, better to grow Plumerias outdoors. But do it gradually as suggested since the plant will need to acclimate to conditions outside, maybe a day or two, it already has leaves, so it is ready to receive all the light and heat it can take.

I also agree with Hetty, I do not like using that type of container with attached saucer with succulents, it does not allow quick drain of water.

You are in WA state, your area gets more rain than mine and your temps will be cooler. I would also suggest you improve your media, make it grittier, add more pumice or perlite, so the media gets more porous and well draining. Grown in a glazed container like that, it will hold moisture a bit longer than necessary for the root zone of this plant.

It really grows so good outdoors with the right combination of heat, humidity, light and air flow. My area is horribly dry but it endures the summer heat by daily watering at this time. It varies from growing area to growing area, so be very aware of your humidity and temperature levels there.

WA_Gardener
Jul 27, 2017 5:35 PM CST
tarev said:I agree with Karen, better to grow Plumerias outdoors. But do it gradually as suggested since the plant will need to acclimate to conditions outside, maybe a day or two, it already has leaves, so it is ready to receive all the light and heat it can take.

I also agree with Hetty, I do not like using that type of container with attached saucer with succulents, it does not allow quick drain of water.

You are in WA state, your area gets more rain than mine and your temps will be cooler. I would also suggest you improve your media, make it grittier, add more pumice or perlite, so the media gets more porous and well draining. Grown in a glazed container like that, it will hold moisture a bit longer than necessary for the root zone of this plant.

It really grows so good outdoors with the right combination of heat, humidity, light and air flow. My area is horribly dry but it endures the summer heat by daily watering at this time. It varies from growing area to growing area, so be very aware of your humidity and temperature levels there.


There was not standing water in the pics - it's just a weird reflection with the windows. I've been keeping them quite dry, maybe almost too dry. I showed pics to someone at my local nursery and brought the one with the curled leaves in and she said the soil was way too dry so I changed pots. What kind of pots do you use for yours? Would they do better in the ground in the summer time and brought indoors in the fall when it starts raining? They've been outside for a few days and the healthy one now has 2 diseased-looking leaves. There are no bugs underneath so not sure what's going on. We've been having a great summer with temps around 80° and sunny days. Today was pretty humid since we had some drizzly showers this morning. It might be the wrong type of growing conditions for those plants here.
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener
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tarev
Jul 27, 2017 7:16 PM CST
80F and humid with some rain is quite okay with it actually and full sun. It is right now enduring a very dry 101F and higher here.

Do not make the media way too dry at this time, it is its active growing time. But you would certainly need to improve your media. make it grittier, since you do get rains so it needs to drain well.

I start to bring indoors my Plumeria in late Fall, once overnight temps starts going 50F. It will not take the cold and even more too cold and wet. I just let it go dormant all the way to winter and wait for it to wake up again in Spring.
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
Jul 28, 2017 7:17 AM CST

Moderator

They will absolutely do better in the ground; these are flowering trees, remember!
Many, many people who grow plumeria in Texas, where the winters are cold and wet, dig their plumeria trees up every year around Thanksgiving and plant them again in the spring...
Surrey, England.
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Minnie72
Sep 29, 2017 10:59 AM CST
Thank You! Hi all,

I was reading these comments with interest as I’m in the U.K. and I originally had 4 plumeria cuttings but lost 2. One of the others definitely has roots and is looking well. The 4th seems healthy but the leaves look unhappy.
As the picture shows, he has no main leaves, these did drop off and the younger ones are curling over. The only healthy one looks half way down at a node. This does seem to have started about the time the node leaf started, so not sure if that is the cause.
The stem is healthy and not rotting, I have pin tested it below the soil. It didn’t have roots originally but it may have them now as it doesn’t ‘twist’ when I try.
I have given it a little water and below the soil line it is damp but not wet, the temperature outside is going down now so not sure if that is related.
Any suggestions as to what this maybe would be really appreciated as I don’t want to loose anymore.

Many thanks Thank You!
Tracey
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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
Image
Dutchlady1
Sep 29, 2017 6:31 PM CST

Moderator

It probably has marginal roots. And it's starting to go dormant in response to shorter daylight hours. I would keep it dry and frost free until spring.

Mdunbar
Jun 24, 2018 11:23 AM CST

You have gotten some pretty good advice here. I love my plumeria!! I started out with 2 small ones about 4 years ago. They are now about 7 ft. tall! I have 3 more that I started when a visiting dog chewed up one of my trees. I was freaked out when that happened, but that tree grew back even better and I took the limbs that broke off and stuck them in a pot and they grew too!!

I live in the Hill Country of Texas so it is HOT! Each spring I put them in a bigger pot, set them outside by my fountain, feed them with Nelson Plant Food Plumeria Food, and give them lots of water. You will know they need a new pot when they are easily blown over. I water them daily. Make sure your pots drain well. They are in direct sunlight the majority of the day. In the fall, I wheel them into the garage and leave them alone. They drop all leaves and look pretty pitiful, but do not worry, they are fine! No need to water them.

My big baby produced seed pods last summer. They stayed on the tree all winter and popped open in the last few weeks (it is June). I took out a zip lock and gently slipped it over the pod and gathered the seeds. (I did not seal the ziplock) I did not touch the pods until they opened on their own on the tree. Last night I soaked them and put them in soil today. Fingers crossed!!!

I am attaching some photos. You can see the new growth on them as well as a new seed pod. I moved them under the eave because I thought we were going to get hail. As you can see, they are leaning out towards the sun ready to go back by the fountain. Last year the tree with pink and white blooms only had white, now it has both.


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[Last edited by Mdunbar - Jun 24, 2018 11:29 AM (+)]
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Name: James
Fabens,TX (Zone 8a)
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Txtea
Jun 24, 2018 6:56 PM CST
@Mdunbar, You have done very well. Some very nice and beautiful trees there. Best wishes for a bumper crop of your seeds.

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