germinating plumeria seeds

jandk728January 26, 2013

Hello everyone! My husband and I went to Hawaii for our honeymoon and fell in love with plumerias! Since then, we have been obsessed with trying to grow them ourselves but haven't had much luck. :( We thought some of you that have had success might have some words of wisdom on what we should possibly do differently with our next batch of seeds to hopefully get some sprouts!

Background: We have a heating mat (set at 78 degrees) and a mini greenhouse with grow light and are using cactus soil

okay - so here is what we have tried:
1) We have been drenching the soil, then let the water drip out, and push the seed into the top
2) We have tried soaking the seeds in a wet paper towel overnight (inside the greenhouse) and planting them after they plump up
3) We also put the seeds in a tupperware container with some water and let them soak before planting

Current score: 0/! :) We don't want to give up but are getting discouraged...

Oh - and we already tried a cutting - failed as well...and we have an already rooted cutting currently in its hibernation state which we will hopefully see some results from in the spring...

Thanks for any advice you can give! :)

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When are you getting the seeds, maybe they aren't fresh? They can mold easily, despite liking humidity. Perhaps adding a little peroxide to your mixture might help. check this link out:

I never watered the seeds, I would mist a few times a day, kept them on a heat mat and under a light, also kept a lid on but it was always open so things didn't get moldy.

I've got 3 seed pods on my inca gold, it should open in a month or two, and I'd be happy to send you some fresh seeds to try whenever it opens.

Use the search function on this site, it is really quite helpful!

Good Luck,

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 11:30PM
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Wendy has great advice - her and I were first time seedling growers at the same time so we know what you're going through! I'll be honest, your climate is a challenge but obviously not impossible. The key will be your temperatures and your moisture. As Wendy said, you also need fresh viable seeds.

Your heat mat is essential espaecially if trying to germinate in the winter - what about the ambient temp in the mini greenhouse? I would think it can't be much under about 75-80 degrees for them to be in good sprouting conditions. They do not like to be chilly AT ALL.

As Wendy said, with your moisture it's a very fine line between staying moist and being too moist. We would water them in well in the beginning and then only misting from then on, never letting the soil dry out but trying to keep it from being dripping wet.

All of your starting methods are good, it comes down to that plus your heat, water and light. Please keep us posted and don't give up! - I don't think any of us were successful our first try and we still sometimes lose seeds or cuttings for whatever reasons.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 11:15AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

I will also have seeds this spring if you need any..

Good Luck!!


    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 4:23PM
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So how are the flowers pollinated to produce seed pods? I do not know what Plumeria I have only that it is a cream yellow with light purple markings but not on all blooms, like a light air brush markings. I do enjoy trying to start new plants from seeds. One of the pleasures of gardening. Sprouting and sharing are just some of the added blessings I enjoy now that I cannot do much else, helps "old-age" be more enjoyable. Thank you all for your wonderful posts.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 11:04AM
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Hi Wally! Most plumie flowers are pollinated by small insects I believe - little moths and thrips and the like. Many plumies get self pollinated because the male & female parts are close together. If more plumies are around you may (?) have a better chance of getting a pod that's been cross pollinated.

You're in great comapny here, many of us enjoy growing from seed- it can be so gratifying! Keep us updated on your progress! Thanks for posting, we really enjoy your input!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 11:19AM
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vajeff(7b VA)

Last year was my first with plumeria seed. I used the boat method and had absolutely no problems. Every seed germinated in about a week or two.

Here's what I did:

Fill a bowl (preferably glass so that the sprouted roots can be seen without having to handle them) with sterile, room temperature water. Cut out a small square of styrofoam - I used sections cut from cups - for each seed. Cut a small slit large enough for the seed to slide into without being too tight or too loose. Slide seed, winged end up, into the styrofoam and float on water. Sit bowl in bright window and wait. If it takes longer than a week, I'd replace the water and wait another week. Once they've sprouted, pot them up in a mix that has very good drainage.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 12:09PM
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