Plumeria in Northern CA, zone 9?

mama2emFebruary 10, 2008

Hey everyone!

I just discovered this web page--what a great recource!

I'd really love to grow a plumeria somewhere in my newly-renovated yard. I live in Northern CA, between San Francisco and San Jose. I am wondering if anyone has had any luck growing them here (zone 9), and if so, which types? I am thinking of buying on eBay but am not sure which type to buy.

Also, I probably should get one that doesn't get too huge--can they be kept manageable in size by pruning? I've looked ont he web and in the Western Garden book but can't find much information specific to my area...

Thanks in advance!

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Central_Cali369(Sunset Z9, Fresno, CA)

The SF Bay area is mild and frost free, so plumerias are a valid candidate to plant, although im not sure if they would like the lack of heat in the summer, but im no expert. You might want to plant it in a south facing wall to get the most heat. Home Depot, Lowes and other nurseries sell plumerias, theres no need to hastle with (usually) small plants sent via mail. The main thing is planting them in a place with good drainage (a raised bed for example). They do not like to sit in standing water and will rot easily that way, especially in the winter months.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 12:55AM
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I live in the East Bay area. Have had some luck with a good size plant that I brought with me when I moved from So Cal. I brought it inside during the fall and winter as it was in a large pot. It was a Celadine and bloomed beautifully and seemed to grow bigger and thicker for several years. I became optimistic and purchased several varieties I had dreamed about from a place in Corona (driving 8 hours to get there;totally worth in in my opinion )I had 11 beautiful plumies including my original Celadine.I think I rescued them too late from our chilly Fall evenings because they all died. I cried and grieved over those beauties and blamed myself for not bringing them inside sooner. Not to mention the guilt my DH laid on me for all the time and money, I became very discouraged. I have layed low for a year from plumies and this forum, but now I am back- and ready to try again. I figure that if I limit the mumber of plants, for now anyway it will be more managable. I was excited about that heatwave, we had last week, but now the evenings are windy and chilly. I have been bringing them inside in the early evening and setting them out in the morning sun. I'll see what happens.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 11:43PM
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"Not to mention the guilt my DH laid on me for all the time and money, I became very discouraged"

Hmmm...isn't that typical? I experience that as well. In addition my in-laws do a great job about criticizing my hobby since they absolutely lack a green thumb...

Anyways, keep up with what you believe in. Good luck with your plummies.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 4:25PM
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You have to keep trying..2006 like most, I too lost most all of my plants to freeze.. But..bought more the next spring and kept trying. Now I am wintering my plants on my south patio, covered in freeze cloth, one large one inside. I keep learning how to keep them warm and hope rains will make it.. so far doing ok. I Was down to 5 plants, now have about 40.. so stay in there. YEs a expensive hobby, but worth it when they finally bloom!!!
Karen B

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 3:11AM
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Okay, I'm giving it a go. I just bought a beautiful plant and will follow all your instructions. Just wondering what medium I should use to pot it or are they slow growing were I can leave it in the nursery pot. How frequent should we water, full sun? and any feedings?
thanks all

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 9:27PM
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Well, Trudy, welcome! I don't know if you noticed, but this specific thread was started almost 3 years ago so I did start a new one just recently. So far we a a small lot of people.

I'm in Novato, north of SF, spring painting is in Livermore and then you. I will give you as much info as possible, but I am such a novice at this that I'm pretty sure there is lots of nuances I don't know about.

I found this forum a few years ago when I first got the bright idea to grow Plumeria up here (after all, southern and northern California isn't THAT different in temps, right?) AHAHAHA! soooo wrong! I think I have read everything I could about growing and dormancy etc, but I'm still learning. Dave from Nova and Laura from VB I think have the closest temps to us and if you just skip thru each of the threads and read them, look at pics etc, you can pick up a lot about your questions. Tdogdad is a guru on here as far as I'm concerned and is very knowledgeable too. Unfortunately, he lives in SoCal and is in a totally different zone than I am. But he still gives great advice!

Where are you in norCal? I see you are in zone 9 but that doesn't mean much to me as I am supposed to be zone 10 (a-b) but it sure doesn't feel like those kind of temps up here.

I will try to help as best I can since there only seems to be three of us active on this forum - I haven't seen any of the other names in this post recently, but I suggest you just set aside a little time (while you are waiting for those blooms) and search thru this forum for the info you are looking for and then adapt it to your area as best as you can.

I also started a new posting called NorCal plumeria growers anywhere?? For a more recent posting. Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 12:24AM
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And three years later... Plumeria outdoors in ground in the bay area need more then full sun- they need heat bouncing off a wall. And,its a must they not only be protected in a freeze,but heated (light bulb). Even then,cold rains cause tips to shrivel. It might not be a long term plant in ground.It would take a very special spot for them in ground here. In pots? They can last decades placed under cover in winter..roof overhang. Just an Amazing difference in growth. for Gophers. They will turn a old rooted plant into a big cutting.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2014 at 6:45PM
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