maximizing # of tips ?

sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)March 14, 2013

I have several plumerias that are large trees now. Some are close to 10 yrs old. They are in pots and planted out in full sun most of the year with only a few months in the greenhouse.

For the size of them, it seems like they do not have as many tips as they should. It seems like the branches get pretty long before they inflo and make more tips.

Should I be cutting the branches more often? I have not really been trimming them much except for the ones that get broken off during moving them. I know some varieties branches seem to grow longer than others too but is there a certain length people like to keep the branches to get the most tips or perhaps a certain way to fertilize etc.

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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia


You could always select prune a few branches each season and leave at least 8 inches below the cut. Seal the cut on the tree and then root the cuttings or gift them to other people. This way, you can start the process of pruning without cutting all of the branches and not seeing some blooms during the season. Once you cut the branch, you will see it branching out from under the cut in a few months. This will give you what you want. Next year, do a few more...(cutting the long old stems)

Hope this helps..

Take care,


    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 11:20PM
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Laura, this question has been on my mind for years and your answer is concise and clear - thank you, Lady Bug!

Will you come and hold my hand and take me to the hospital if I have a heart attack - I don't want to cut on my babies!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 6:35PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia


You are so sweet Kay!! Thank you..

I hope this was clear for the ones that are having this problem. I also select prune each year in my container pots to keep the leggy trees from getting to large. Some i can't even get into the house.. ;)

Of course.. i would love to help you, even hold your hand!!! LOL.. but, i have this feeling that you are ready to handle this job on your own.. but we/i will always be here to help!!! "NO heart attacks though.." already saved one a few years back.. no more for a while!! ;-) please?

i am hoping you will be receiving something in a few weeks. So, i will keep you posted. You had asked about my Divine.. I love mine. Dave in Northern Va has a cutting from me and his is going crazy.. That really makes me happy!!! We will be in touch soon. ;-) Enjoyed our chats!!!

Have a good night all!!!


    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 10:41PM
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Happy St. Patty's Day!

I have a couple of Plumerias that are 7' tall with only one stalk and 3 tips - I am terrified at the thought of cutting on them. Would this help them bloom?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 7:30AM
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Some just grow lanky. Sometimes I have to cut like Laura described to force branching on some varieties. The best method is to coax a bloom which results in branching...but that is a whole other discussion.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 9:22AM
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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

Hi thank you Laura, that makes sense to just cut a few branches every year until they are all complete.
I really started plumerias for my dh and according to him they are all his LOL! We all know who takes care of them though. He just goes around smelling the flowers and saying how great they are :P
Like kayjones, he would probably have a coronary if I just went and hacked them all off at once especially since several are already putting up inflo's right now.
It does seem like Cerise is one that really likes to grow lanky even if its in full sun.

This post was edited by sultry_jasmine_night on Sun, Mar 17, 13 at 11:07

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 11:06AM
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Just pretend it`s a hurricane and you have to cut them to save them.

I myself am ruthless, I am known to take a machete to the yard and nothing is spared. My mom hates to cut things so she will mention to me that something is overgrown so I will chop it back for her lol!

Don`t be afraid, they are tough plants. Chop on my friend, chop on.
Tally HO!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 11:28AM
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