Plans for this years plumerias.

andrew78(6)March 4, 2013

As most of you know, I am recovering from 2 major back surgeries that I had done lat January. I really do need to take it easy this summer. Last year one of my biggest issues was that I had quite a few trees that constantly were being blown over by the wind.

Bill, after reading your post about getting your supplies ready, it made me realize that I probobly have oh, 60+ 1 and 2 gal trees that are going to need to be potted up into larger pots. I will do this gradually so I wont kill my back.

I also am thinking that I could plant the plumeria pot and all into the ground, and come fall, all I have to do is just lift the pot out. I know I can get help to get the holes dug. It may cost me some pizza and beer... but considering how much it will save my back from being messed up, I think it is the best plan.

Going forward with this idea, as long as my pots have sufficient drainage, I wouldn't have to worry about adding more drainage holes right? I also wonder if adding fert to the bottom of the hole would be a good idea?

Just trying to get some opinions on putting my trees in the ground.

Thanks everyone!

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Andrew, I feel for you, having to plan how best to care for these plants with your back not yet 100%!

I do have a suggestion for some of them at the end of this coming season: Why not try a few directly in-ground? Some of your older, more robust ones may do well in-ground, then you can just lift them out, shake off the soil, rinse and store them bare-root ganged in a big container like George does.

I'll definitely do this myself. I experimented with one big seedling that I just stored in a paper bag hanging in my cool garage. So far it looks just fine. Next fall I'll put all the big ones together in a big trash container, with some mulch in the bottom, and leave them in the garage. They'll take up a lot less room and be much easier to pick up and move around without the pot and soil attached.

Good luck with the repotting, my friend, and I hope you feel much better soon!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 9:32AM
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Yes, it's a lot of work to do - heck, even with a "good" back it's a challenge!

I dug a hole to put my Divine in, which was great - I thought, hey! I'll do this with all my bigger plants! Then my BF pointed out that our yard would look like the moon after I was done with it. So, if you do decide to dig holes and you're fine with that, my advice is to keep all the dirt from the holes so they can be filled back in come winter. It ends up being a lot of dirt.

Since I couldn't continue to dig our yard up I resorted to buying pieces of rebar and putting a few pieces (3-4) around the pots to keep them upright. It's about $2 per piece at Home Depot. I will need to buy quite a few more this year.

Keeping them upright can definitely be tricky, I'd love to hear any ideas anyone has.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 10:56AM
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We have access to free cotton mulch - joys of living in the south "cotton country" so we made beds of cotton mulch with hardwood mulch on top of it. I left my plants in the pots and put the pots into the mulch and they did absolutely great. We also planted some of our plants directly into this mulch and they did great also. We only planted the large ones directly into this. We were worried that it would be too hot for a smaller plant. We will defintely be root prunning our pots this spring as they all grew out of the pots into the mulch but we had good growth and plenty of blooms and we didn't have to worry about them blowing over!

So you might want to try a bed of mulch with your pots planted into it but you will need to stake the big plants if you do. We used bamboo stakes and for our really big plants my husband made stakes out of rebar.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 11:04AM
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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

I love all these ideas! Thank you and please keep them coming! :)
Think I'll plant my Inca Gold directly in the ground this year just to give it a shot.
Love the rebar ideas since it can get really windy in Tulsa!


    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 11:23AM
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One thing we noticed with the rebar this past year is that it did scrap the plant so this year my husband is going to wrap some styrofoam (like the kind you wrap pipes with) on the rebar where or if it touches the plant. Otherwise it worked great.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 11:37AM
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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

Another great idea! Thank you, Joan. :)


    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 1:39PM
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Andrew I would be very leery of statement "come fall, all I have to do is just lift the pot out." A plunged Plumeria pot will fight you tooth and nail to the point of breaking as you loosen, pry and pull.

If you can...consider having holes dug and lined with a large pot or tub (see the link as an example with drain holes drilled into it) and then plunge pot into that one and backfill with soil. Then leave the large pot in ground at end of season. Cover with a piece of marine grade plywood or comparable treated wood in the off season.

You might be able to get three small Plumerias in a 25 gallon or maybe two in this 15 gallon feeder.

Here is a link that might be useful: 15 Gallon Round Feeder

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 7:57PM
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Thanks for the concern, and I do realize that there is more work than just pulling it out. I had an angel trumpet over 6ft tall that produced roots over 6ft long. I simply cut them with a shovel. I find if you dig around the pot with a shovel, you can sever the roots. With over 150+ plumeria now, it's just to hard to get my hands on all the extra pots needed to line the holes but thanks for your suggestion!


    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 4:40PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

If you haven't drilled at least 1/2" holes in the sides of the pots near the bottom, do that first.

Then plant the pot at least half way into the ground. More if you have the stamina and less if you don't. Hah! this helps keep roots cooler and allows roots to grow out of into garden soil.

Then get two long pieces of rebar. Home depot sells them in different lengths... at least two feet long. With a heavy mallet, pound the rebar through the soil of the containers near the sides, then right through the bottom of the pot and into the ground. This should keep them in place in wind storms. Soon they'll be rooted anyway.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 6:54PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Dave !

That is what I do for my trees along my fence. Works great...

The ones near the deck and the pool are placed pot in pot.

Hi Andrew...

I posted some pics on Bills thread. " ready to go". Of my containers. It's keeps the temps down as well...

Nice to see you!

How is that Divine Dave?

Take care,


    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 7:47PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

Oh my goodness Laura, that Divine has been blooming all winter under lights.

And what's more, after an inflo is done, it branches for only 3 or 4 inches and then blooms again! This plant is nuts!

I've never seen a plumeria bloom in such short intervals. It's going to be an excellent patio plant and not take up the whole corner of the garage next winter.

This one's a keeper for sure! Thanks again!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 8:31PM
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Kinda will be doing a bit of all the above before our wonderful Florida sauna begins. Planning on laying ground cloth in two areas, then putting raised bed framework enclosing both sections, putting down a thin layer of small-sized river stone, then, filling with a decent draining soil, hopefully on sale, then plunging the 1 & 2 gallon pots that are already potted up. River stone or mulch will be the top layer. I think this will help keep the pots cooler. At least, that's the plan ;))

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 1:25AM
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I agree on holes being at least 1/2 inch. I use spade bits up to 1 inch for drilling. Thicker plastic or resin works the best. A plumeria can fill up anything smaller with roots in a season. I have seen smaller size holes look like the business end of a squid.

Plumygirl, sounds like you have a fun project. Are those plants still young where you don't want to plant in ground?

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 10:31PM
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Hi Dave,
Do you have a DSP? They also tend to branch at shorter intervals..more so than any of the other plumeria I have. I also have 'Divine' but mine has not bloomed yet. Mine is on it's 3rd year now and I am hopeful for inflos. Mine has 4 tips...CMON SPRING!!!


    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 1:06PM
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Instead of groundcloth one thing you can use instead is either newspaper or cardboard. When we are building new beds I use our saved up newspaper. I lay down a thick layer and then put my dirt or mulch on top to build my beds. The newspaper will block the grass/weeds from coming thru, eventually killing it and then it will decompose in time into mulch itself.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 1:09PM
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Hey all,

Just another suggestion for those who want the benefits of plunging their trees, perhaps without all the effort/strain:

Fabric pots. These are sold under many, many brand names, some of which are more attractively priced than others. Peek around the "Interwebs" and eBay and Amazon if you're interested.

This will be my first season using them, but if they deliver the results that the makers all claim, then I can already say that I will be a convert.

Yes, the excitement is building! The tips are shiny, the inflos are beginning to pop! Have fun, y'all :)


    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 4:39PM
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