What Is My Seedling Doing?!

elucas101(8)March 14, 2013

As I was taking my plants outside for the season (happy dance!) I noticed one of my seedlings has gotten all wild towards the top 3-4 inches of the main branch. Are these branches?!

I have only one other seedling doing anything like this and even it is not doing it to this degree. The others may have little slivers of a leaf node but nothing like this- as you can see, these growths on this seedling are fatter than just normal and have at least 2 leaves growing out, so it is more like a branch. Have any of you seen this before? Kind of cool, kind of weird! I'll let you know what happens!

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Hi elucas, I too have had 3 seedlings produce this multi looking thing from the base...mine now look like multi baseball bats....but none have bloomed yet and they are seedlings from 2005.....roxanne

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 11:02PM
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Those definitely look like they are new branches beginning. You can see the leaves beginning on some of them.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 1:38AM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

wow thats pretty cool. Its so happy to go outside it cant contain itself. it will be a 30 tip in no time at all. LOL


    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 10:29AM
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wow... That is very interesting.. Never seen that before!


    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 1:49PM
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Rox, I have seedlings that branched towards the base but never done this towards the top - I don't remember if they started out looking just like these or not?! This one is a good example - 3 branches at the base but this top thing is new to me!

Del - they do don't they? Because I've seen little leaf nodes start on others but none were fat like this with multiple leaf thingies, it's usually only 1.

Mike LOL!!! You really made me laugh!!! If these become branches this is going to be one crazy seedling!

Chuy - I haven't seen anything like this either! I'll be doing a lot of work with them this weekend, I'll let you know if I find any others like this - I really don't think so though. I have one other doing something kind of close but nothing like this.

I see they all seem to start at the exact ssame place / position at the top of an old leaf scar - does that hold some secret to branching?! LOL! I noticed there were lots of spider mites in the crooks of these things, I wonder if the mites were there before or only after?

I'm anxious to see how this develops. This is a Thai Mango Blush seedling.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 4:44PM
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sure hope it blooms...roxanne

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 5:16PM
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Many branches to be!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 10:17PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Emily,


I have never seen so many new branches coming from the old nodes.. That baby really wants to be a tree with "attitude" ;-)

I love it!!

Take care,


    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 11:22PM
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E, that's incredible! Could be a new form of plumeria that grows not only from the terminal growth.

You may have to do some selective pruning to keep just the strongest several branches, or you could just watch it and document how this one grows. Could be very interesting for future crosses!

Do you think it's safe for us to put them all out now? I haven't seen the long-range forecasts and am still putting out only a few here and there.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 9:08AM
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Thanks Rox & Plumygirl!

Hi Laura! You made me laugh - it sure DOES have an attitude, we'll see if these things develop! They look so strange, haven't seen this before.

Jen, I'll let you know if they survive or if they become lame - it will be interesting to see for sure! I'm working on putting everything outside, I didn't see any termps below 50 in the future but I'll have to check again to make sure, it really looked like it was warming up. I would say I have 90% outside, the rest out by tomorrow. I have spent the entire day working on plumies. I'm really feeling the reality of having a lot of plants! Most of mine arent even big and I'm exhausted from re-potting about 9 of them. Although I did bare root them, I'm still shocked at how long it took!!! They needed it, many were very compacted, even after only one season. They got a root trim and frsh soil, they should be very happy for the season I hope!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 12:00AM
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I`ve never seen one put out that many new branches! Awesome!
Tally HO!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 12:24PM
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Hey Emily,
I am anxious for an update - post some more pictures.


    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 11:40AM
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I must have missed this post before. Neat to see it. Let it play and see what happens!

Total shot in the dark...Do you remember any details of how you prep'ed this one for winter? Just curious to see if conditions could be replicated. It looks to me the leaf nodes which had leaves late in the season are the ones which are pushing out. So potentially a foliar application or how you did or didn't defoliate?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 7:14PM
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seedling is growing like a regular plumie tree, its just branching out.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 8:03PM
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I was moving all the plants back outside yesterday & took a quick look to give you all an update, I'll try to get a pic up tomorrow. They have been inside with no light or anything for several days so some of them look a little sad.

This one looked like the bright green has darkened on the nodes and they don't look any bigger. At this point I can't tell if they are going to grow or die off.

I didn't do anything to prepare this one for winter at all. I left all the leaves on and I put it under grow lights and only watered it, no ferts or anything. All of them got attacked by spider mites of course and all the leaves prett much fell of due to winter and mites.

Sometimes I think the branching is due to mites, but then I see other people's pictures with branching seedlings too, and also if it were due to mites wouldn't more of my seedlings be doing this?

All of my other seedlings have branched from the bottom area, not the top so I guess that's why this looks so foreign.

I'm going to give this one some Super Thrive tonight & try to snap a few pics for you all.

This post was edited by elucas101 on Thu, Mar 28, 13 at 11:02

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 10:59AM
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Ok, I finally managed to take some picutres last night but didn't have time to upload them so I apologize! So sorry, i really hope to do that asap.

It has been overcast and raining which may be contributing but I don't see much activity on those nubs - almost like they stalled- except for one of them the leaf is actually developing and growing. So it is still to be seen what they'll do, I'll keep you posted!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 10:31AM
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They're probably stalled from our cold front last week. Everything here seems to be stalled, too, except Psycho, who's decided she likes Texas :-)

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 11:36PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

I had a seedling do this too. Honestly it made so many branches that none of them got any size (thickness) to them so they could not even bloom. I think you'd have to selectively remove some branches after they develop, so that the remaining ones can get mature and fattened up. Perhaps then they might bloom.

Of course, your tree will be very big -- probably over 4 to 6 feet high before it will bloom. Maybe more!

I ended up throwing out my seedling. I don't grow seedlings any more because I just don't have the room for such speculation, but if you have the space, growing seedlings can be an interesting adventure.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 9:18AM
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I had one do this last year. Here's what it looks like now.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 5:05PM
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This reminds me of a "basel break" with roses...a big shoot comes up...NOT a sucker...and then it has like 30-50 blooms on it but not all at once.

I used to be into 250 roses, and some are more prevalent to this than others. Plumerias remind me of part cactus and part rose somehow....similar needs at certain times of the year. Let's hope yours is covered in blooms....roxanne

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 6:17PM
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WOW, Astrl, that's incredible! They all look viable and productive for the most part - what type of seedling, do you know?

Rox, that's an interesting correlation - although I've never grown roses I can see the cactus similarity in a way. They are definitely similar to my desert roses, of course!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 8:46PM
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elucas - I bought the seeds from Sun Harbor Nursery and it was labeled "IP Peach". Unless I wrote it down wrong, I've never been able to find it listed in the registered names. They like to dabble in hybrid crossings using methods similar to Moragne's, so it may be unregistered. I'll have to take the label up and ask them sometime.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 9:10AM
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Wow, that's a nice way to get a full plant! Looking forward to seeing how it looks. If it gets too crowded I would probably prune a few off. I have definitely never seen that with any of my plumerias before.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 12:30AM
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Here is the latest update on the seedling - many of the nubs are actually becoming seemingly viable branches with real leaves and everything.

And look at the two little sprouts on the top sides and in a couple places around the crown - I wonder if those are leaves or branches?

I'm surprised any of these nubs kept growing because they all seemed to stall out and I thought they would die off, but the are now growing and leafing!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 9:28PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

I think that is awesome, Emily!

She does have an " attitude" and is going to show all of us what she is capable of growing. I say let her go and then see what happens. You can always select prune later. But never replace.

I like the look of astrl's tree.. Very unique! :-)

Have a wonderful night!


    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 11:55PM
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Interesting! Thanks for the pictorial update!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 12:38AM
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Thanks Laura! I was so surprised when i saw these yesterday, i really thought they were done! It's hard to see in the pics but there might even be more little nubs starting! Full of attitude!

Thanks Disneyhorse! This is the only seedling I have doing this to this extent so it will be interesting to see if it ends up looking like Astrl's!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 10:47AM
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Emily, thanks for the update--fascinating! Reminds me of Brancher. Hope it blooms in the next few years so we can see what it does in that department, and how it branches after flowering.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 10:10AM
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