Plumeria forum: Still Trying After All These Years!

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steelgtr
Apr 1, 2018 8:18 AM CST
Hi Guys,

We have tried to get plumeria cuttings to take and thrive for many years. We travel to Maui often and my wife loves the intoxicating fragrance. Sometime we will get a few leaves but never any flowers and they end up dying and then we try again next year. This year the cutting we brought back did produce some nice leaves and I decided to bring it in for the Winter and put it near a window. A few weeks ago we saw new shoots and now a few leaves.

San Jose, California, BTW

So my question is where is a good basic care and feeding guide? My wife has it in a clay pot with a store bought soil mix, possibly with a drainage additive but she's not sure :)

I noticed that the leaves were very green at first and now they are dull and yellowing. What is the right fertilizer and how often, etc?

I did search here and didn't find a basic beginner guide so forgive me if I missed it!

Thanks

bob

Collin County Texas (Zone 8a)
TxKingfish
Apr 1, 2018 10:32 AM CST
First thing you gotta know is they don't like wet feet, so fast draining medium is a must. The first sign of too much water is leaves drooping and turning yellow. If it's new, I'd take it out of that soil now and re pot. It's easiest to do a mix of a good potting soil and 30% to 50% Perilte. A test for good drainage is to pour a cup of water(in a 1gal pot) and if you see it draining shortly then your good. It's ok to let them dry out a bit between waterings. Do yourself a favor and get a moisture meter from a box store. They will come in handy for sure. They really thrive from heat from below and most like a few hours of direct sunlight. I would start out in a plain plastic black pot --they absorb heat good which the roots love. Sometimes they can be slow bloomers- you may not see flowers this season. Use a long term organic Fertilizer- put on once at the beginning of the season and again towards the end. Some people swear by certain brand fertilizer but that can be a confusing debate. I would suggest getting one with a high middle number but stay below 45(my opinion). Put a tbls of Epsom salt and add to a gallon of water and water once a month. When the temperature starts to drop, it will lose its leaves and go dormant. It's important to stop watering and bring indoors- cold weather will kill them. I hope this helps.

steelgtr
Apr 2, 2018 6:01 PM CST
TxKingfish said:First thing you gotta know is they don't like wet feet, so fast draining medium is a must. The first sign of too much water is leaves drooping and turning yellow. If it's new, I'd take it out of that soil now and re pot. It's easiest to do a mix of a good potting soil and 30% to 50% Perilte. A test for good drainage is to pour a cup of water(in a 1gal pot) and if you see it draining shortly then your good. It's ok to let them dry out a bit between waterings. Do yourself a favor and get a moisture meter from a box store. They will come in handy for sure. They really thrive from heat from below and most like a few hours of direct sunlight. I would start out in a plain plastic black pot --they absorb heat good which the roots love. Sometimes they can be slow bloomers- you may not see flowers this season. Use a long term organic Fertilizer- put on once at the beginning of the season and again towards the end. Some people swear by certain brand fertilizer but that can be a confusing debate. I would suggest getting one with a high middle number but stay below 45(my opinion). Put a tbls of Epsom salt and add to a gallon of water and water once a month. When the temperature starts to drop, it will lose its leaves and go dormant. It's important to stop watering and bring indoors- cold weather will kill them. I hope this helps.


Thanks. Can you post a link to a long term fertilizer that you like?

thx

bob

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
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Dutchlady1
Apr 2, 2018 7:07 PM CST

Moderator

If I may jump in here - Florida Colors Nursery, specializing in plumeria for 25+ years, has developed a fertilizer specifically for plumeria. It is called 'Excalibur' and they have a 6 and 9 month version, to be applied only once a season. I have seen a real difference since I started using it 3 years ago.

TxKingfish is right in recommending you change your medium. The clay pot is also not helpful. If you cannot grow it in the ground, I recommend a good size plastic pot with excellent drainage.
Happy growing, and feel free to ask questions anytime!



Name: Karen
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plantmanager
Apr 2, 2018 7:20 PM CST
Not too long ago I found out about 'Excalibur'. It seems to be really great! I've noticed a difference in the growth of my plumerias. I love that it is so long acting, so even though it's fairly expensive, it will last a long time.
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Name: Cheryl
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Region: Texas Greenhouse Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Plumerias Ponds
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ShadyGreenThumb
Apr 25, 2018 5:11 PM CST
I'm going to look for Excalibur! Once a season is much easier than every 10 days of fertilizing!

I always start my cuttings with 3/4 perlite and 1/4 good quality potting soil. Some start in just perlite but I haven't been successful with that. Then watering once til it comes through the bottom holes then no water til it grows leaves. That could be weeks. Once it leafs out, another big drink then another every 10 days or so after that unless it gets crazy hot outside. Increasing sunlight is a must. Mine get the minimum 6 hours. That is about as much as I can give them in my shady yard. I still get flowers perhaps not as many as those that get 8 hours of sun. But I'll take them. Also heard that the "reds" are harder to root than others. Consequently, I have no reds. Shrug! But I gifted a red to a GF who doesn't know a thing about plants. Her's grew while mine died.

If you ever get to go to Honolulu, there is a Vendor at the Sunday(?) Flea Market that has amazing giant cuttings to sell. I can;t remember his name.
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