Great start to the 2011 growing season

purdee54March 2, 2011

This morning I counted no less than seventy inflos on my collection of plumerias. Many infos are already over an inch long and have developed on plants without any leaf production. I am very excited about 2011 and I owe my success to many of the discussions I've read in this forum. There are several key items I've discovered along the way.

a. If you do a search on this forum for "tdogdad" or "kimisdad" you will find answers to 95% of your questions. And from my experience not one bit of information they've provided has been wrong. Very knowledgeable men. The other 5% of their information pertains to their unique growing zones or growing styles. It was excellent reading over the winter.

b. Spray N Grow works. It really, really does! My plumerias responded to foliar feeding extremely well. I didn't notice how much until after they lost their leaves and I was able to see how much bigger their trunks and branches had become. Last year was the first time I used Spray N Grow.

c.If you can handle delayed gratification...pruning your plumerias will set you up the following year for greater flower production. After Florida's record breaking winter in 2009, I had to prune several of my plants due to frost damage. They responded during the following year with more branches and now I'm experiencing double the amount of inflos. I'm no longer afraid to prune!

d. Plumerias do turn into trees..big ones...lol

e. You can't go wrong with rain water. My plumerias were kept outside during this winter and experienced many heavy down pours during their dormancy period with no ill affects. They loved water during their dormancy period.I am now collecting rain water for them.

d. Fertilizer...I use a combination of Super Thrive, 15-30-15 fertilizer, seaweed extract and SNG. I am very happy with the results. One note...I did not see a difference between using this formula fertilizer compared the high(50) middle numbered ones.

e. I now collect plumerias because of their scents not colors anymore. I've found that some of the very best scents come from white flowers. My favorites are the Singapores, Jeannie Moragne and Kapaluas.

f. I've purchased plumerias from different vendors including internet dealers on Ebay. The highest quality cuttings I've purchased were from 1-stop-Aloha and Jungle Jim's, the quickest flowering ones were from Florida Colors and the best customer service was from Maui Gardens.

g. Finally I've stopped checking on my plumerias several times a day. The old Jedi mind trick is not working on them :0)

For the 2011 growing season I will continue to try different combination of soils and fertilizers. I am in the process of trying the "raw egg" method and I will attempt to cross pollinated two of my favorite species. I hope everyone have a great 2011 growing season.

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purdee54

One final comment...For the last three years I have not used any insecticides on my plants. A master gardener once told me that insecticides kills the bad and beneficial insects. If I see a problem, I spray the plant with a heavy dose of concentrated water.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 3:25PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

Thanks purdee54 for the compliments but I must state that Jack Morgan (Kimisdad) is a professional and one of my mentors and I am an amateur collector. Your other comments are very useful. On your final comment, if you find a good grade worm castings and add a cup or two to your plants every other month while they have leaves, this will greatly cut down on sucking insects as the plants taste bad. Works on hibiscus for white flies too. Good luck on your inflos. Bill

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 7:04PM
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labland(Inland Valley CA9)

Excellent comments Purdee54. Bill, aren't worm castings considered a fertilizer? Nice to know it helps with bugs. I will add it to my program. Jennifer

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 10:32PM
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Andrew Scott

Hello Purdee,
I am glad to hear that your willing to try the raw egg method. I was introduced to this by Mimi on the Aloha Plumeria Group thru yahoo. Before that, I had NEVER been able to get a plumeria to root. I followed the directions by the grower and nothing both times. I now realize that there directions spelled death for my poor unsuspecting cuttings! I got the cuttings at the Erie County Fair and they swore that they had to be watered. It makes me mad to think back on it.

I also had never enjoyed the flowers and fragrance on my own plumeria and I accomplished both and besides not watering my cuttings(which I know was the worst mistake!) I really didn't do anything diffrent.

I hope you share with everyone hear the results of you using the egg method. I think some people still remain skeptical about it. I rooted 2 Lei Rainbow/Nebel's rainbow over the winter and I was told that trying to root cuttings over the winter is difficult because the plant is in it's dormancy cycle.

Andrew

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 11:30PM
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tropicalzone7(7b)

I will definitely have to try those worm castings and raw egg method. I have luck with cuttings if I root them during the summer (In partial shade and no water except when temperatures exceeded 95F), but I haven't gotten one to root indoors yet. Definitely share your results with the raw egg method!
And I definitely agree about the benefits of rainwater. My plumerias respond very well to rain water and all my plants definitely prefer rain water over the hose.
Good luck!
-Alex

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 12:21AM
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purdee54

Bill. Thank you for the worm casting tip. Great example of the sharing of information on this forum. I will give it a try. And I will let everyone know the results of my raw egg experiment. So far its two weeks in the making and no signs that its not working. Thanks.

Manuel

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 10:13AM
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jandey1(TX8)

Manuel, I love this post, and had to laugh at the "Jedi mind trick"--it's not working for me, either. I have one inflo, on my only cutting, which is my most precious variety, and which after five months still isn't rooted even with the raw egg and bottom heat. At least the new inflo tells me it's still viable!

One of our ag extension guys here says every time you kill a beneficial insect you inherit its job. I used insecticidal soap on the spider mites that appeared on my indoor plumies mid-winter. It kinda helped, but when I brought a large plumie in from my garage last month, the tiny ants that had been living on it found their way onto the mite-infested plants, and voila, no more mites! I hope they stick around for next winter.

Will try the Spray-N-Grow on your recommendation.

Jen

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 2:58PM
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iowajojo

Loved this post....thanks for sharing!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 3:15PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hello Everyone...

Just wanted to say hello and i think this post is a great one for everyone...from the beginners to the ones that have some experience...we all benefit from all of the information shared by us all. Without this type of forum, most of us would not have even tried to grow these beautiful flowers...and of course without the help of Bill , Jack, James, Dave, (Both Daves : ) ) Karen Mike...the list could go on and on... as well as to many other to mention... for all of their knowledge and encourgement..where would we all be? I remember when i started with my "first"..everyone was so helpful...

I will also be trying the "egg" method this spring...It will be a fun experiment!!!

Thank you Purdee54 for this great post...it provides great steps for us all to remember...

I also use the worm castings...good stuff as well as the spray n grow...bills fertillizer is also a good one to use.
Kmart had the worm castings in the plastic gallon size at the beginning of spring...so check your local store to see if they carry it...

For those of you having a hard time finding pumice..i have found red lava rock in the large bags at my local Lowes... this is found where they keep the large bagged rockks/pebbles...i do have to "whack" it a few times..LOL..to break down the larger pieces...but ...it's always good to give the neighbors something else to look at... : )

As far as the "Jedi mind trick"....LOL we all do this..i will confess that i do check when i get home from work late at night with a flashlight...just to see any inflos starting that i have missed the day before!!!

We all enjoy these tree so much...it's great to share what we all have experienced...

Lets keep it up...

Spring is near..the Plumies sense it...Life's good...

Take care everyone...

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 3:50PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

Labland- worm castings are so mild NPK usually about 3-1-1 that as an organic fertilizer they do not conflict with your regular fertilizing program.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 2:17AM
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labland(Inland Valley CA9)

Bill,

Thanks for the info as always. I will get some worm castings this week. I think that in general, using the worm castings would be a good idea for all my plants if it helps fight "bugs", especially since as you mention, the low NPK ratio won't conflict,

Now, if I could avoid snails!! At least they don't bother the plumerias! A bit off topic, but what can I say? Jennifer

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 1:57PM
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