Trimming a Plumeria in Orlando - Will give cuttings for help

lily19780(9 Florida)March 13, 2010

Hi! I have a large plumeria in front of my porch I would like to trim very soon. I want to do a DRASTIC trim as it is quite large. But I am uncertain how to do this because I am very new to the garden thing. The plumeria came with the house we bought late 2009. If you are in the area and would like some cuttings, I would be happy to exchange your help for the cuttings. I don't know how to post pics on here, but The plumeria is well over 7 ft tall. healthy per our lawn guy that I asked. The plumeria has beautiful white flowers. I didn't know what the name of this was until the lawn guy told me. Thanks for any help!

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tdogdad(Zone 9)

pruning is very simple. Get a pair of clippers and a small saw if pruning larger branches, and some alcohol. Wipe the blades of the cutters and saw. If you want no new branches, you cut where the branch Y's off from the stem or other branch. If you want new branches to grow you need to cut from 6-8" beyond the y. I cut at an angle to keep water from sitting on the cut and I wait an hour and put DAP ceder colored Alex Plus (sealant plus silicone) on the plant cut. The branch cuttings that are removed are not sealed. These can be dried for a week and then planted or can be put in a box or document tube and mailed off. Oh, I forgot, it is good to wipe the blades with alcohol between each cut to keep them clean.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 12:26PM
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lily19780(9 Florida)

THanks! Would using a chainsaw or recip saw be too dramatic for the plumeria?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 4:00PM
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mikeod(Z9 FL)

The risk with that type of saw is the vibration could cause the branch to break off too close to the trunk. Although plumeria branches look thick and tough, they are fairly fragile. I use a coping saw on large branches so I disturb the tissue of the remaining stub as little as possible. I also avoid anvil pruners because it seems to crush the tissue more than bypass pruners. (I may be a little anal about that part, though. I like to disturb the plant as little as possible during pruning.) However, some people reported that they had better luck rooting cuttings if they broke the cutting off the tree, rather than cutting it off.


    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 8:16PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

I agree with Mike. Unless the trunk is larger than about eight inches in diameter, hand saws cut easily. A coping saw will cut through just about any size branch that the back will fit. I use very sharp pruners (not bypass) up to about an inch in diameter and then grab the saw.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 10:14PM
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dpolson37(7a VA)

Hello Orlando plumeria lover. I would be more than willing to stop by and help you cut back your tree. My wife and I will be in Orlando March 20-27th for a conference at the Orange County Convention Center. If that works out for you, email the details to me offline and hopefully I can help out. I'm always up for adding new cuttings to my collection and I love seeing native growing plumeria trees.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 11:27PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia


What a great experience for you !!! Take plenty of pictures of the tree before you all start to trim. I'm sure others will be interested like me to see before and after. Also could you take a couple pics for those of us who have not trimmed up trees? Like how Bill was talking in and around the joint...I would like to learn from those pictures...Loved the other pictures from Tampa? I will have to fill you in on my plants...They are doing great...but it looks like I have an alien space ship ready for take off in my back yard!!! LOL...I'll email you with the other funny things!!!

Take care Dave!!!

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 11:53PM
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dpolson37(7a VA)

One last call for Lily 19780. I'm leaving for Orlando on Saturday and was hoping to meet up with you and do some tree trimming. If this doesn't work out, no biggie. I'm plenty busy with waking up my potted plumerias. Such a tease watching the tips slowly green up and claws unfold. I'm planning a visit to Sun Harbor Nursery near Melbourne Beach. I talked to them and even their plumies are still sleeping in the hot house. Guess we did have a cooler than usual winter.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 9:26AM
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lily19780(9 Florida)

I am so sorry I missed your posts! I would have loved to take advantage of your visit to Orlando! :)
I thought I would be emailed when there was a response to my post, but I never received any emails. :(
Just wanted to let you know I wasn't ignoring you.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 1:15AM
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Lily, I'm not in Florida but I would very happily pay postage plus something for your trouble for a large plumeria cutting! I had to leave my plumeria in Bangkok (couldn't bring plants into the US) and I loved it.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 2:34PM
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michaelz9(Central FL)

Lily, did you ever find anyone to help you out? I'm in Apopka, if that's close to you and could give you a hand. Let me know.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 9:23PM
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dpolson37(7a VA)

No worries Lily, I ended up pruning my inlaws plumeria tree so I still had fun. It's really easy to do it yourself though. I used a hacksaw. The only problem I had to overcome was cutting off a healthy branch. Once I got over that hump and realized that a properly pruned branch is better than having the lawn service break it off randomly, it was a no brainer and I pruned away. The final tree looks much better and now it won't grow into the house or into the path of lawnmovers.
Here is the tree before pruning. When all was said and done, I completely took off only 2 branches. I ended up with 4 cuttings; two mid-stem cuttings and two ends with multiple growing tips. They are showing some signs of rooting as they warm themselves on a heatmat under growlights for 19 hours a day.
From Garden 2010

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 5:54AM
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So how did you do with your pruning? I am kind of jealous, I am on the outskirts of orland and I had a few of mine pruned by mother nature, it has been a few years now since I have even had to worry about pruning back on purpose!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 3:05PM
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