Plumeria bloom question

mikerizzle9October 5, 2012

I purchased a plumeria from HD in summer 2011, I believe it is the rubra. It's made it through two summers, and is happier than ever. It's about 4' tall with 4 strong canes putting out growth. It's in it's second pot now which is plastic, and it isn't rootbound. It gets plenty of sun now that temperatures have cooled off...

Problem is that it has never bloomed. I know that the potting mix is good, watering is consistent, it has never been in bad shape, and it gets the most sun possible while avoiding leaf scorch. Is there something else I can do to entice it to bloom? I see plants at HD a third of the size with spent blooms. I'm probably going to fertilize soon as I haven't since Spring, what should I use? I'm anxious to see what kind of bloom I'm going to get.

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Pagancat(Phoenix, AZ)

Okay.... I have barely scratched the surface of Plumie-land. I *do* know that they take a few years of growth before they're going to bloom - I remember being told that you get blooms on branches, not the terminal growth. So when shopping, you want to look for the plants that have begun to branch. But I have not found anything on the web to substantiate that, so....

There's some people that used to frequent this forum that were very in to plumeria. I know that there are a few grown outside next to the Maricopa extension office, they might be your next stop. Looks like the Plumeria Society of America has some good info, as well - link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Plumie Society

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 12:59PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Hiya Mike and all,

I love plumerias too and have a few dozen in the ground and in pots in my garden, and have done so for several years.

Your instincts are right on: as much sun as they can tolerate without getting sunscald, and regular water/fertilizer when they're actively growing in summer. I would NOT fertilize now, as the days are getting shorter and we really don't want a ton of new, tender growth on plumies at this time of year. When they wake up in spring, I give mine alternating tomato fertilizer and bloom boost fertilizer, but only in spring and high summer. Some types do take awhile to bloom, but once they do, watch out ('Celandine' is by far my best performer).

Mine all get sunshine from sunrise until mid-afternoon, so they are generally on the east side of the house, or garden walls, or big plants. I turn off their automatic irrigation when they drop their leaves in autumn and I don't give them a single drop of water until they wake up again in late spring. It really does sound like you're doing everything right.

Let us know what you do and how it works out. Nearly all of mine bloom all summer long, but I DO have a couple that are shy, grumble grumble!

Here's a couple of pics from mine from this summer.

'Divine' a fun truly dwarf lightly scented variety:

'Celandine' my all time favorite: sun resistant, huge, super fragrant blooms, non-stop from early May through late September.

Even when not in bloom, they add a nice, tropical effect to the garden. Here's 'Kimo' a beautiful (but scentless) variety that just stopped blooming, but which still looks nice in the garden. Again, Wilson the tennis ball included to show size.

Happy gardening!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 3:31PM
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