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Makaisland Palms

Plumeria from seed/repotting

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Makaisland Palms

So, just wanted to share an experience, hopefully save someone else some trouble!  After nearly 3 years, I've finally just had my first Plumeria bloom! Yahoo!!! The funny thing is, that I have about fifty plants going, some of which are now nearly 6 feet tall, triple headed and can barely hold themselves up in their pots, but the one that finally flowered, is some squat little two and a half footer, single headed one that I had kind of abandoned in its original small container. So here's the lesson that I think I've learned.  As the other ones were growing, I kept saying to myself, "ooooo yeah!  Get huge! That's the key to flowers coming.  Gotta get these plants as big as I can, that'll definitely get me flowers sooner!" And so, as soon as it grew a bit, I'd pot it up in a bigger container and let it grow even bigger. Loving it!!!!! Buuuuuuuuut, what I figure I've been doing is telling the plant to just keep making new roots. Every time it grows into its container, and it's likely ready to start flowering, I slap it into a bigger container.  Basically saying to it, no! Don't flower, grow more roots!

And then, outta the blue, one of the puny plants that I wasn't potting up all the time, is the first one to flower!  Ha!  Lesson learned!

 

Hopefully this saves someone else some time!   

 

Cheers!

IMG_20191014_095920.jpg

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Silas_Sancona
3 minutes ago, Makaisland Palms said:

So, just wanted to share an experience, hopefully save someone else some trouble!  After nearly 3 years, I've finally just had my first Plumeria bloom! Yahoo!!! The funny thing is, that I have about fifty plants going, some of which are now nearly 6 feet tall, triple headed and can barely hold themselves up in their pots, but the one that finally flowered, is some squat little two and a half footer, single headed one that I had kind of abandoned in its original small container. So here's the lesson that I think I've learned.  As the other ones were growing, I kept saying to myself, "ooooo yeah!  Get huge! That's the key to flowers coming.  Gotta get these plants as big as I can, that'll definitely get me flowers sooner!" And so, as soon as it grew a bit, I'd pot it up in a bigger container and let it grow even bigger. Loving it!!!!! Buuuuuuuuut, what I figure I've been doing is telling the plant to just keep making new roots. Every time it grows into its container, and it's likely ready to start flowering, I slap it into a bigger container.  Basically saying to it, no! Don't flower, grow more roots!

And then, outta the blue, one of the puny plants that I wasn't potting up all the time, is the first one to flower!  Ha!  Lesson learned!

 

Hopefully this saves someone else some time!   

 

Cheers!

IMG_20191014_095920.jpg

Nice plant.

Your experience w/ seedlings is pretty typical, especially  with plants grown primarily indoors.  As a whole, seedling plumeria can exhibit completely different traits from the parent plant. That includes everything from flower color, height / growth rate, etc. It's not out of the question that among a dozen or so 2 yr old seedlings, some will flower or nub the next year, while others in the same batch might not flower for 2-5 more years.. a batch I'd started several years ago exhibited pretty much every difference compared to the pod parent I just described as they grew. All seed produced were likely a selfing, or cross between two similar cultivars so flower color was the only thing that was similar to the mother plant.  

 Then, of course you have other factors regarding how the plants were grown that can influence how fast or slow they develop.  Too much fert ( nitrogen esp. )., esp in more shade and they stretch out / grow thin, lanky, whatever..  Grown in more sun and not babied  ( not watered as much / fed 2xs a year vs all the time. Bad for them btw. ), they develop better overall.  Constant reporting can delay flowering but ive had various cultivars not skip a flower season after being stepped up.  Cuttings? Yes.  Some will flower that year,  after being cut.. then take 1-2 years of new growth before they attempt flowering again. 

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Makaisland Palms

Right on, thanks for the info!  So you're saying a good regimen would be, watered a little less often, and only fert twice per summer?

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Makaisland Palms

They're outdoors from may to September, full sun.   Just brought them in couple weeks ago in case the colder nights ruined the flowers.  Wasn't going to risk my very first ones!

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jimmyt

From my experience growing different Plumeria/Frangipani, Silas_Sancona is right.   Seedlings are different from the parent.  Cuttings are true.    I have found that Sun and heat induce blooming more than anything in my environment.   The Plumerias tolerate 100+ F and near drought without any problems.  I have an environment where mine stay outdoors from April until November, and then go into the greenhouse to go dormant except for the evergreen variety which will get occasional watering during the cooler winter.  Congratulations Makaisland Palms! :greenthumb:

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Makaisland Palms

Thanks!  Pretty happy to finally see some blooms, especially in October.....in Austria! I knew they would be nothing like the parent plants, but these were just a mix bag from Thailand, so I had no preconceived idea of what I'd be getting, part of the excitement of seeing each pLant's first bloom.     Do you recommend getting them to go dormant, Vs having them continue slow growth in the greenhouse over winter?

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jimmyt

Well the deciduous varieties have a normal dormant period each year. I have seen them in their native environment shed every leaf and sit idle for several weeks/month then begin to regrow the leaves.  Part of their natural cycle.  It is not because of cold weather as it does not get "cold" in the tropics.  It has more to do with the day/night cycle.  Have you noted that they drop their leaves in the winter?

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Makaisland Palms

They definitely lose some of their leaves, but that's to be expected, coming in from full summer sun, to a mostly North West facing wintergreen.  From here, I have two options.  If I set them up with grow lights, they keep growing all winter, even when it only stays about 10 degrees.  The ones I don't set under lights, keep many if their leaves, but they definitely go dormant and stop putting bout any new growth.  The question is, which is the best option to have them thrive the next summer?  Do they prefer to have the dormant period, or are they good to grow year round, as long as you can provide the right conditions?

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Silas_Sancona
Just now, Makaisland Palms said:

Thanks!  Pretty happy to finally see some blooms, especially in October.....in Austria! I knew they would be nothing like the parent plants, but these were just a mix bag from Thailand, so I had no preconceived idea of what I'd be getting, part of the excitement of seeing each pLant's first bloom.     Do you recommend getting them to go dormant, Vs having them continue slow growth in the greenhouse over winter?

To answer the first question, now that the seedlings are older, yes, I'd let 'em go longer between watering.  All my potted specimens are watered maybe once every 7 days or so right now. As it gets cooler here, they'll go longer between watering until they start dropping their leaves, or I force them to take a nap by removing all remaining leaves. Then I don't water until late Feb/ early March here in Phoenix / in pots. 

Second, yes, I myself would encourage a rest period. Some people insist on keeping them green all year,  totally un natural. P. rubra  and all her cultivars / hybrids aren't supposed to retain their foliage all year ( a growing tip taught to me, also, I'm big on mirroring natural growth cycles as best I can ) In nature, the species goes dormant in response to the ending of warm summer rains, at least in the dry tropics. Further south where there is no dry winter season, plants may tend to retain more foliage.. That said, oddly, have a regular white Singapore that drops it's leaves every year by December..   Seedling of a rubra cultivar I planted out front, and some others in a neighbors yard, (also rubra- types), retain some / most of their leaves unless removed.  With as many crosses made between rubra / rubra and evergreen types, youre gonna have a wide variation of plants that will willingly or reluctantly go dormant..  

With seedlings, you normally want them to stay  evergreen the first year or two, or.. is what I learned via expert growers who guided my journey in learning all i could about Plumeria. After year 2 you can let them go dormant w/ out any ill effect.  The batch I'd started I mentioned earlier sat on a heating pad thru their first winter in California, allowed to drop their leaves the next year. Believe that year was when I'd forgot to bring them inside before a frost event..  ( were in a crudely built,wood frame /  plastic covered box ) They got tip damaged but otherwise survived fine, hence why I'm still contemplating taking the plant I put out front here when I move.. It's the last specimen of that batch.  

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Makaisland Palms

Right on, thanks for the tips!  I'll try getting them to go dormant this winter then!

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Silas_Sancona
1 hour ago, Makaisland Palms said:

Right on, thanks for the tips!  I'll try getting them to go dormant this winter then!

If you have to, you can cut off all but any newly emerging leaves. Those will likely fall off after awhile. Do leave the petiole, [ base of the leaf ] attached to the stem however, have damaged the stem when removing leaves, petiole and all. They will fall off on their own later.  Also, no water unless you see the stem start to shrivel while dormant. No need to apply any fertilizer either until they start pushing new leaves in the spring.  

 

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