Stunted growth

FlyingPete(10a)February 22, 2014

Hi, first post here. I have my original white/yellow frangipani tree that I have had for eight years now that is no longer growing very well. Other trees planted from seed growing with it are all growing up to 8 inches a year.
All of mine are growing in posts as winter becomes a little cool here.
It is currently in full flower which is a first for a few years but hardly any leaf growth.
I have repotted it at the beginning of the season like many of my plants this year.
Any ideas?

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FlyingPete(10a)

Close up of tip

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 6:49PM
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elucas101(8)

Hi there! Do you fertilize it? Does it get enough sun? It could also be a compact grower - the shape of it is very nice. Did you also root prune when you repotted? - That really helps to invigorate the root system, along with making sure the plant has plenty of room to grow in the pot - hard to tell from the pic for sure but looks like you could go bigger on the pot maybe? Those are just a few things that came to mind to check, I'm sure others have some good suggestions for you too.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 7:59PM
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FlyingPete(10a)

Yes have been feeding it same as the others living next too it which are doing well with same environment and treatment. Had to give roots. Good jiggle when repotting as it was crooked and growing well off centre in old pot.
It used to be a fast grower putting on similar growth as the others.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 10:24PM
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moonie_57

I agree with emily that it has a very pretty shape. When I look at the 1st pic of the whole plant, the leaves look smallish and sparse for the size of the plant. In the 2nd pic, I almost think I see the second leaf margin which is characteristic of celadine but I can't be sure. If you will do a search on this forum for celadine leaf margin, you will know how to identify it. If it is celadine, I would think an 8 year old would be much larger. Nice shape, though!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 10:36PM
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elucas101(8)

I'm thinking you need a bigger pot for that plant...how big is the pot you have it in?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 1:22AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

One of the first symptoms of root congestion is a reduction in vitality and a lack of extension in the main stem, branches, and roots, as well as most of the foliage being concentrated very near the apices (growing tips). Potting up is a measure that only allows your plant to temporarily grow a little closer to the growth potential it was genetically endowed with. This is because when you pot up, the core root congestion that is limiting the plant remains. You're not fixing it, only temporarily making it a little better.

Repotting, which includes root pruning and a change to an appropriate soil, removes the limitations imposed by root congestion and restores your plant's ability to grow to its potential, within the limiting effects of other cultural conditions.

Al

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 4:32PM
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FlyingPete(10a)

Excellent thanks for all your help, that makes a lot of sense, sounds like root congestion.

How hard can you prune the roots? I imagine they will take quite a bit given their remarkable ability to grow easily from cuttings.

Catch here is lifting it out of the pot, its a heavy plant!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 5:09PM
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FlyingPete(10a)

On being a celadine just did some digging, looks very much like it. It was my first frangipani I got and no cultivar information was provided. It is highly fragrant especially during the evening, my girls bring in the dropped blooms from outside and put them in water and they smell for quite some time.

I has had stunted growth now for about three years although last year it hardly flowered.

The frangipanis I have are all grown from seed of unknown origins, a couple have flowered a light pink with a bit of yellow, almost no fragrance at all.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 5:15PM
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FlyingPete(10a)

An image of it from a few years ago with the inset being when I originally got it. It had just been brought inside as I lived in a colder climate then and frosts/snow was on the way.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 5:20PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

You can always tip it on its side & pull it out. When I root-prune big trees, I usually start by sawing off the bottom 1/3 of the root mass with a pruning saw. Then I get to work removing problem roots, which would be roots circling the stem or wrapped around other roots, roots growing back toward the middle of the root mass, j-hooked roots ..... I do this in conjunction with the removal of old soil and pruning out older, large roots that aren't attached to the main stem. These roots serve no purpose, and take up space that could otherwise be occupied by the fine roots that do the lion's share of the work. I keep a hose or tub handy while working on roots to ensure they never dry out. It only takes a few minutes on a windy day to dry out the fine roots, so work in shade out of the wind & keep them moist.

Somewhere, Laura has a picture sequence that shows how she root prunes. I'll send her a link to this thread as a heads-up. I'm sure she'll provide a link to it.

Al

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 5:22PM
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FlyingPete(10a)

Thanks Al, just did a search and found a thread on pruning roots, was it the one beside the pool?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 6:48PM
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moonie_57

Pete - yes, that would be Laura's post... if I may answer for Al. :)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 6:52PM
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powderpuff

I think it looks pretty nice, beautiful shape too. It does look a like the pot is a little small, and if it hasn't been re-potted in a few years it may be so root bound that there is barely any soil left. I agree with the others, take it out, root prune it, put it in a bigger pot with some fresh, well draining, potting mix. Give it some Super Thrive and watch it perk up. I noticed you are zone 10, have you considered growing it in the ground for at least 9 months out of the year?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 7:09PM
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FlyingPete(10a)

I would love to be able to grow it in the ground and they do seem to do OK as long as they are sheltered by a wall or something. My main problem is I am renting a place at the moment and have no garden to plant it! All my plants are in pots at the moment.
When you say grow in the ground for 9 months, what do you do the other 3, dig it back up again? One day I wil have my own place again.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 7:34PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Welcome !!

Nice to have you here at the forum!!

I agree with everyone.. Nice looking tree, but it needs room to grow!! Root pruning will really help your beauty!! The link I added might help you see how I pruned my Celadine and barerooted it. Just give it a bigger container and a fast draining mix and you will see great results!!

Remember to do this in the shade and let it acclimate after the pruning. It will need time to adjust to this change. After a few weeks, bring it out into full sun and enjoy the happy growth!!

Thanks Al for sending me here.. Much appreciated!!!

Have a great night Everyone!!!

Laura

Here is a link that might be useful: Root Pruning A Celadine

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 9:38PM
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jandey1(TX8)

Pete, when you have your own garden again, try putting it in the ground until winter. It's certainly old enough to take a semi-bare root winter storage. You basically just pull it out of the ground and store it in a plastic or paper bag with some of the soil still on the roots. Saves your back and storage space over moving that heavy pot in and out.

I experimented over the winter with several of mine, kept in an unheated garage, and they all did really well, even better than some that stayed in their pots. Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 6:40PM
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FlyingPete(10a)

Thanks, will give that a go, I did have some in the ground at the last house I owned, a recent drive by I noted they are doing very well.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 3:44PM
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