Plumeria issue....

scott_madisonJanuary 27, 2014

I'm hoping someone can help me with this. I am new at growing Plumerias... but have tons of other tropicals I winter over every year. I noticed a couple weeks ago that the tips of my dormant plumeria were beginning to shrivel and turn black. I have it down my basement and have not watered it since bringing it indoors in October. It looked fine up until a couple weeks ago. The temperature in my basement hovers in the mid 50's. I have been reading about the dreaded black tip fungus. Does this appear to be the issue? If so, what do I need to do? I'd hate to lose this plant, as it grew beautifully for me this past summer, and I was looking forward to flowers this coming summer. Thanks!

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Andrew Scott

I hate to say this but it doesn't look good. If it were me, I would sterilize a sharp knife and cut off the blackened tip until the exposed tissue was green and healthy.

Please don't dive into it just yet. I have been growing plumeria trees for about 4 or 5 years now. I am far from being an expert and I would hate to find out that I gave you the wrong advice. When you say you have been reading about the dreaded black tip, do you mean you have read up on it here? You can research it here on the forum. Just type it in in the search bar on the top right of the page. There should be quite a bit of old posts about black tip.

If you still need help, I am pretty sure there will be others here that can help you. There has not been a ton of info here lately so if in a few days no one has helped you out, I will ask some of my more experienced friends to help you.

God luck! One last question. Do you happen to know what variety you have there? I do know that some plumeria are more susceptible to Black Tip than others.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 2:36AM
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Hi Andrew...
The variety is Celadine.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 5:19AM
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Hi Scott, I agree that you should cut it back. Even with good weather sometimes this happens. I am in CA and we have been getting great weather and I still found a couple of plants that need a branch or tip cut off. It has been a very strange year. I have plants that lost their leaves, some that still have leaves and others that look like they are going to bloom in the next couple of weeks. I did water all of mine yesterday because so many are getting new leaves and they were really dry. I could almost hear them ask for a drink everytime I looked at them. LOL Barb

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 3:30PM
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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

Hi Scott,

Sorry to hear it sounds like you're having the same problem I'm having with my plumies in my basement though I was a fool and over watered them during their dormancy. Doh!
Anyway my Kimi Moragne's tip looked like yours and I had a section below it dying. :(
I just cut it back to clean wood and it's now about 10 inches tall.
I hope it makes it but knowing me if it doesn't I'll probably buy another one this year. :)
I've noticed some areas towards the tips of my big ones that look like I'll need to prune those as well but I'll wait until spring to see what damage I've done.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 2:23PM
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As best as I can describe it looks like the new growth was too green/too young and/or too wet to survive the transition to dormancy. Like Andrew, Barb and Robert happens. I beleive some people use Pro-tek silicon year round to help harden the plant cell walls of new growth. No help for your current situation but maybe make it part of your routine for this coming season?

Now is the time to cut back to clean wood which is probably lower than the bottom part of your image. Be sure to use rubbing alcohol to sterilize the cutter before making that final cut. good luck with it.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 4:43PM
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sagolover(10a SoCal)

About Pro-Tekt: I can't use it together with anything else in the water because it will precipitate. So I need to use it alone when watering, then water next time with Hormex or Epsom salt or Spray-N-Grow, or anything else needed. That doesn't leave me too many waterings with Pro-Tekt... I could only use it for 3 or 4 times last season (spring-fall 2013). Anybody has a different approach to watering with Pro-Tekt?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 5:22PM
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SagoLover - I use ProTekt and mix in Foliage Pro with it. The trick for that is you have to put the ProTekt in first, add some water and then add the Foliage Pro, otherwise they will bind together. I haven't used it with anything else though.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 11:45AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Sorry to see the damage on your tree.
Like the others mentioned, cut past the soft brown tissue until you have clean wood. Don't forget to seal the top of the stem. I usually wait an hour or so until the latex stops. Then seal.

Good luck!!

That's how I do it too, Emily!!!

Thank you for the wonderful email.. I'll be in touch!



    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 2:15PM
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Thanks everyone for the helpful info... I've cut the stems back to healthy wood and they are already callousing over nicely. Now another question... will cutting back these stems inhibit flowering... Or might I expect blooms this summer on the new growth?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 6:36PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Scott,

Sorry to say.. Probably not. It will take a few seasons for the stems to grow and mature. I have had mature stems that bloom and produce multi tips grow in the same season and bloom again, but that is rare. ( Elizabeth Thornton Lemon Drop).

Just be patient and let it form new branches and in a few seasons you will hopefully have blooms.

Good luck,


    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 10:29PM
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I'm sorry this happened. It looks like a lot of mine did last winter. This winter I didn't let the temps drop below 70 in each room I had them stored in and I made sure they all got some light each day, even if it was just daylight bulb shop lights. They don't like to be dormant more than 2-3 months tops so shortening the dormancy as much as you can helps. Hopefully it will warm up early this year.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 9:43PM
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