My plumeria is getting to big for its pot,--Now what?

last1earthFebruary 27, 2008

I rooted a plumeria two years ago, in a pot. Now it has grown too big for the pot and I can't keep upgrading to bigger pots. So what can I do?

The growth (leaves) are ONLY at the tips of them, so if I trim it down, won't the plumeria start lacking nutrients (lack of leaves) and die? Or will new growth sprout from other areas (although it has'nt yet, only the tips seems to have leaves).

If I CAN trim, should I immedietly pot up the cut parts, will they root?

Thnaks for any info guys!

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tdogdad(Zone 9)

I would suggest you get a five gallon and short wide seven gallon black nursery pot. Take a drill and about a half inch drill and drill a bunch of holes in the sides of the pot (not the bottom). Trim your root ball to fit the plant into the 5 gal pot. Each year, sink the wide 7 into the ground. Put the 5 gal in the middle of the pot and pack nice rich fast draining soil into the 7 around the 5. This will hold the plant in place. Roots will grow into the 7. At the end of the year. saw around the outside of the 5 and lift it out to store. You can sift out the old roots or toss the soil and replace next year. You can repeat this over and over.
As far as pruning, when you prune you must leave about 8" or more from a split so new branches can form. These branches will not flower the next year but the following, so many people stagger the pruning (ie on a 4 branch, prune two this year and leave 2 to flower. Next year prune the other two Alternate every few years). Pruned parts should be dried a week and then started as any cutting when the weather warms enough for starts or put on a seed mat. Bill

    Bookmark   February 27, 2008 at 11:27PM
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iowajojo

Bill, My plants will still be inside for 2 more months, but they are starting to leaf out a bit. When do you think I can repot them?
Thanks, Jo

    Bookmark   February 27, 2008 at 11:36PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

Now is a good time. Any time is ok. I have been root pruning my big pots and potting up many of my plants now. My plants are outside all year so my large pots get root pruned every 3-4 years. If a plant is leafing out, use B-1 and or Superthrive when you prune and transplant to ease the shock. Bill

    Bookmark   February 28, 2008 at 1:08AM
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iowajojo

I was hoping you would say that! Thanks so much for answering!
Jo

    Bookmark   February 28, 2008 at 8:14AM
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houstonpat(9a)

Tdogdad
How do you go about root pruning?

    Bookmark   February 28, 2008 at 6:02PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

I will take some pictures and post but basically you take a long thin saw and cut around the inside of the pot about two inches in from the edge and straight down to the bottom. You spoon out the outside dirt and pull out the plant and the center section. You then saw a few inches off the bottom of the root ball. You put several inches of new soil mix in the pot, return the plant and the root ball, and then pack new soil mix around the edges. Water with B-1, superthrive and seaweed extract in water and your plant will show new life for several more years. I like to do it now when the new roots are soon to grow but the plant is still dormant so there is no shock. I do not recommend doing if you have a plant flowering as pruning seems to halt some flowering as it does with transplanting. I have a number of large plants in pots 20" in diameter and 20" tall so they can get root bound. I will take some pictures in the next few days as I have a number left to finish. Bill

    Bookmark   February 28, 2008 at 11:19PM
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xerophyte_nyc(7)

tdogdad

what is the reason for using the 7-gal? why not just sink the 5 directly into the garden and prune the same way when you lift?

    Bookmark   February 29, 2008 at 8:26PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

If you plant into the ground, the roots go into the ground from the five gallon. When you prune around the 5 gal, you leave the soil filled with roots outside the pot. If you use the 7 gal, when you remove the 5 gal, you can just clean out the 7 gal easily. Also the sides of the 7 keep the roots inside a general area so they do not go too wide or deep which is what they usually do. Since the 7 has no holes in the bottom, the roots go outwards. Also when I replace soil mix I mix in some organic fertilizers which is better in quality and draining than my regular clay soil. If the pot is in the ground and the roots grow down you end up tearing and pulling and often swearing at your pot which seems attached to the center of the earth. I just think the 5 is 7 is a very easy method. Whatever works. Bill

    Bookmark   February 29, 2008 at 9:08PM
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ryan820(z5b Denver, Colorado, USA)

Bugs will be an MAJOR issue if you sink it into the ground, as well. Here in Colorado, Ants would LOVE to feast on a plumeria.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2008 at 10:27PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

I have never had any ants eat my plumerias. Plumerias do not have nectar and the leaves and stems are filled with semi-toxic latex. My ants like the nectar from my passionflowers and they harvest honeydew from aphids on my wife's milkweed but they truck right by my plumies. If you have a problem with ants, you might try Amdro sprinkled around your plants. Usually plumies outside have very few if any bug problems. Worm castings can discourage whitefly and scale. Grasshoppers sometimes munch but prefer roses. Boring beetles are more common in the tropics. Rust can be chemically treated and I have never had any. Freezing weather is the only plague that I have battled over several decades. In a greenhouse things are not the same as spidermites and scale are more common here. Anyway, I wouldn't lose sleep over bugs with plumies unless you have some unusual ones in Colorado. Bill

    Bookmark   March 1, 2008 at 9:04PM
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kbauman

Hi Bill
On putting the 5 gallon into the 7, then removing it to go into the house for the winter.

do you have to each year in the spring, remove all the ones in the 5 gallon container and trim the roots back? to start all over again? Each year..wow, .

also do you put in any additional holes in the 7 for more drainage?

Karen

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 3:14PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

If you are moving or storing the plant you remove it each winter by sawing around the 5 gal with a key hole saw or a toothed knife. If you leave the plants you saw it every 3 years or so and change the soil. No extra holes in the 7. It has plenty. If you have clay soil you might make the hole you are planting into bigger than the 7 by a few inches and deeper and put pea gravel around the bottom half and under the pot and clay around the top half. This just gives the water more room to move out of the pot. The extra holes in the 5 just let more roots grow outward and is not for drainage. It is not a big job since each year the roots are fairly small so the cutting is rather quick and with little effort. You are cutting on the outside of the pot so you cut and pull up the plant in the 5 gal to store. Next year you set it in the middle of the 7 and fill new soil around. Since you are only using 2 gallons of soil, unless you have many plants, it is not worth the time to sift the old cut roots out of the old soil which you could reuse for several years. It take about a minute to remove a pot. Bill

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 7:41PM
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kbauman

Hi Bill,
went to home depot, could not find 7 gallon pots..will check other. As I wrote you..if the 3 yr old ones get too big and wider with branches this summer. then may not be able to bring them into the house, do not then have the room to store.

could this winter, most of my plants don't have lrg branches. Have to see this fall. then depating on putting the 3 yr olds in larger containers to stay on the patio..cannot get this one worked out in my head..
Karen

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 10:32PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

I stake my plants and then use plastic stretchy tape to pull the branches up toward the stake so the plant grows up and not out. After a year, the tape can come off and the branch stays up. Also you can begin pruning some of your branches to keep the plant from getting too tall. When you get to that point, contact me and I will tell your how. Also my home depot has tons of black plastic nursery pots of many sizes. Did you ask if they have the black plastic nursery pots? Bill

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 12:08AM
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kbauman

Hi Bill,
Is this what your are talking about? The 15" accross, and same size as the 5 gallon? pink is the 15"..next to left 5 gallon.

another picture

Want to be sure before I buy them.. Saw a 15 at HDepot, its 11 gallon..can see too big for my plants. One to the left is Puu Kahea, 3 yr old plant.
Karen B.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 2:22AM
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lil_cali_gal(9)

Karen B
Why do you have chicken wire over the soil in some of your pots ?? Keep the cats out ?? I was curious !!

cali~

    Bookmark   March 11, 2008 at 10:37AM
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mslamom

I just received my Plumeria. It looks like a 3 armed alien. I'd like to 'start' over, cut the limbs then when they begin to show new growth, bind them so that they grow upward instead of out into 3 different directions. Is this even possible? Can anyone suggest how to go about this?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 1:02AM
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kbauman

Hi Mslamom,
Don't do anything until you show a picture. your 3 armed alien may be a great plant and can be trained. Please show a picture first before you cut
go to photobucket.com free picture service. get a private user name and password

register, put in a jpg photo..hit browse and load in. click then on html, will say copy. Then come in to the board, post a message..touch the message with V (paste) and the picture will come in on preview. bet you have a good one. then other members can give advise.
Karen B..

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 3:53AM
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kbauman

hi Cali,
I have chicken wire over most all of my potted plants to keep the squirrels out! to stop the digging and planting peanuts and up rooting plants. works. They jump on the wire, cannot get to the plant, hopefully leave. some jump on the plant itself with all feet, have broken some of my plants, do not appreciate this. .. never thought about cats, thats bothersome. ha.. We have squirrels that live in our back yard, course we feed them..birds too.
karen B.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 4:02AM
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