10 year old neglected plant please help/ is it plumeria ?

somalenese(10a)January 1, 2014

hello friends,

this is my almost 10 year old plant( is it plumeria?)

I transplanted this plant 10 years back in a 28 inc inches pot
but it was neglected
since then nobody ever thought anything about it except watering it
but now i think it has overgrown the pot and i can't see anything in the pot accept the plant roots where is hardly any potting soil left in the pot
as for food it has not been given any mineral or any other type of fertilizer since when it was potted at the time of potting i used manure and garden soil in 1-3 ratio kindly
guide me as to what should i do for the for this neglected plant
I have never pruned this plant in fact i don't know if plumeria can be pruned or not
pls friends help me on this how to repot it and should I hard prune it or not ?
also what should I do to the roots should I cut tap roots or adventitious root?
what soil to use ? certainly not what I used before
I think it can hardly survive this summer

also at what temperature range I should repot it right now temperatures are @ 1degree to 10 deg Celsius


thank you


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First, based on the temperatures you stated I would wait until daytime temperatures are above 20C before doing anything to it. maybe in March or April

Second, pull it out of the pot and give it a root pruning to about 1/3 of the size. Replenish with fresh soil and place back in the container. You will probably have to stake it in place for a few weeks. I would wait on fertilizing for about a month after the root pruning then fertilize routinely through the entire growing season.

Good luck with it. Oh and be careful with those cool temps.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 10:04PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

When a plant is dormant is a good time to root prune. When a plant is coming out of dormancy is a good time to branch prune. Pull the plant from the pot. Cut about 2" off each side and about 4" off the bottom with a saw. Put new fast draining soil mix in the bottom of the pot, replace plant, fill soil around the sides. Water with B-1 or Superthrive and water once. When the plant begins to wake up, begin watering and then fertilizing. For pruning branches, if you cut a branch in the middle leaving at least 8", it will regrow branches but they are not always in nice groups of three. Cuttings can be dried for a week and then planted in the spring.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 12:35AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

hi Anurag!

You have received great advise!

Looking at the container and the soil... It needs to be repotted.

This will really help the overall health of this tree!

Where are you located? City?

Take care,


    Bookmark   January 4, 2014 at 1:00PM
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thank you kms2
thank you tdogdad

for your time and patience to bear wid a new bee :)
and laura u have been a great help in the past thank you

I live in India , Agra city

kms2 said I should wait till temps increase
tdogdad said dormancy is good time to prune roots
kindly explain

can I use my adeniums mix for plumeria?

should I branch prune it also ?

thank you


    Bookmark   January 4, 2014 at 2:22PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Anurag!

I understand what you are asking...

Any fast draining mix will be better than what it is in now. The mix that is in that container looks so solid and compact. The tree will even show signs of smiling as soon as it can breath. ;-).

Do you have a long thin saw that you can use to help remove the rootball from the container? Meaning to take the saw and place it inside the container on the edge to help remove it? ( to move it around the inside edge to help loosen it before you remove the rootball)

I see K likes to wait until temps get warmer and Bill mentioned that it is alright to root prune now that it is dormant. He also says to prune branches right before it comes out of dormancy.

The choice is up to you... I trust both of these guys and I have done repotting at different times of the year as well... So it really depends on what you want to do. It is a beautiful tree and I'm sure it will respond to a good change in soil and root pruning. I would prune some of the branches right before it wakes up.

When will it start to get warm in your area?

Do you have another container to repot In ? Maybe a little larger? Or do you want to go larger? ( I know.. Some of you are smiling at me saying this, lol)

Again.. I have learned so much from Bill and K gives great advise.

It has been in at same container for 10 years?

Let us know what your plan is and we can help you along the way!

Good luck!


    Bookmark   January 4, 2014 at 4:37PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

My choice is because I know that during dormancy, there is very little plant activity and thus very little shock. If you cut roots and branches when growing, the plant is shocked even when using B-1 or superthrive. Therefore, I cut just before the plant wakes up to minimize shock and so that cuttings wake up rooting. This has worked well for me for hundreds of plants but I have had success at all times of the year. Here, plants show new claws in March so I cut and prune in late Feb.-early March. This is my routine.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 1:48PM
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tdogdad's routine link

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 2:06PM
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thank you all

i didn't doubt neither bill nor k
it's just that
i usually do what k advised
but 1 drawback is that you should be free at the time when temp is @ 20 which usually doesn't happen as temp increases you start getting busy in your usual chores

but what bill said sounds really logical and it fits in my lifestyle so that is great and i plan to experiment it as i feel that its always safe to experiment on a older plant unlike my cousin who says why should you spoil a established plant . but i feel established plants give you extra margin for error

night temp has fallen to 42 deg F from yesterday

at my place plants start waking from around 15 - 20 Jan but this year its been really pleasant till 2 days back so can't say till when it will be chilly

my plan

3 ppl hold the trunk of tree and lift the plant along with it the pot will rise
now a person taps the brim of pot so that it loosens and falls on ground
now wash the rootball with a hose
search for taproot cut off 2/3rd of taproot
now search for dead adventitious roots cut adv roots 1/3 off
now plant it in a new soil
30%coarse sand
20%manure [cow]

now i have following questions
1 should i plant it immediately or should i wait for a day or two ,let the roots heal before planting?

2 anything wrong in the above plan?

3 laura u said to use a bigger pot that was because i can be free from re potting for next 4-5 yrs or was it something else [ i am looking for a bigger pot ] ?

4 branch pruning when should i do that?
thank you all


    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 2:43AM
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my continuation

in my area ppl generally start branch pruning @15-20 of jan and after 30 of jan it is considered that its late and fear that rising temperatures can catch up any time and as you need 2 months of conducive temperature for the plants to start flourishing so 1st week of feb is last when we touch our pots for repotting

but that is what we do in routine ,after joining GW i have done so many new things that now i can experiment anything

i am still searching for floor dry / turface still no success

and yes i have started using wood charcoal in my potting mix

as far as weather is concerned of late it has started becoming very unpredictable so rules according to calender months is difficult to follow

thank you


    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 3:14AM
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I have quite few less plants than Bill so I can get all the pruning done in one day's work. :)

I think we all agree that the key is to do it before the spring growing season begins. I like to root prune and branch prune the first weekend in March which is just before the plants start to green and shine up at the tips in my climate.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 9:59AM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

Your plan sounds good. I do not remove all soil from the rootball in larger plants because you have to support the plant more if it has only loose roots and it can be difficult to get the soil to fill into pockets in the roots, but it works for young plants. I plant the cut root ball right away and water with B-1 or superthrive and water and seaweed extract to stimulate root growth. The reason for a bigger based pot is to keep it from blowing over in the wind when leafed out, and to give the plant more root area. Also you have a very long season in India so what we do in the States is much later (even in other parts of the States, too) because the East USA warms up sooner than the West and cools down sooner too. Thus what Laura does in Virginia, what Kms2 does in Texas, and what I do in California have to be tuned to our areas and climates. If you do not get temps down to 0 C (32 F) you have far less worries. Good luck on your efforts. You can paint the main plant branches (not the cuttings) that have been cut with pruning tar, spackle, tub and tile sealant or paint. Paint after 20 min after cut so plant latex stops and dries. Have fun.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 1:02PM
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Just a quick note, Anurag: there may be no visible tap root on your tree, so don't worry about cutting it.

Usually plumeria have radial roots that are fairly shallow, and the trees tend to do better in pots that are at least as wide as they are tall for that reason.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 6:21PM
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thank you bill and k
and my God jandey you were right
in fact I already cross checked your fact on a smaller plant after reading your post.
there were just roots no demarcation
thank you
I will try to post photo s


    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 3:56PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

anurag- what Jen says is true. A plant grown from a seed will have something more like a tap root but a plant grown from a cutting will usually grow roots from the bottom portion of the cut along the edge and these will often become a mass of roots with no predominant root.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 12:55AM
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