Please help! :-(

Andrea781March 14, 2013

I have a beautiful 2 yr old yellow Plumie that bloomed for the first time last summer. Also, it started branching out last summer too so now as it lays dormant it has 3 numbs on top, with tips on all 3. So, the last few days I've been meaning to go to Home Depot to get a new pot for it beause it needs a bigger one, and I noticed that its all wrinkly from the bottom all the way to the top of the branches.. It's potted with cactus mix and extra perlite and I also have some lava rocks under for better drainage. I am very scared that something's wrong and am praying that it just needs some water and that its not rot.. I am posting a picture here maybe you guys can help me. :-(. This is my honeymoon Plumie and I will be devastated if it can't be saved..

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Andrea, I've had the same problem some time ago and what I was advised was to give it a good drink of water... The problem was the roots were not getting any water and I dug my finger in the soil and it seemed to be compact... Not enough drainage... So try giving it a good gulp and hope it plumps back up! Best of luck..


    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 12:31AM
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Like Chuy said, water it really well and watch it for about 2-3 days. If it's just thristy that should plump it back up - if that doesn't do anything it could possibly be rot. Was it exposed to cold temps (below 45?) for any amount of time?

After you see if it plumps up you should proceed with your re-pot, root pruning & refreshing the soil.

I had one I thought was rotting and it really did just need some water so keep your hopes up! Please let us know what happens!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 9:14AM
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Thank you so much! The thing is.. I'm in Staten Island NY and the temperatures here are 30 at night.. So, if I water, is there anythig specific I should do? I will water tonight, (is 1 liter ok??) should I put a heating pad under?? Should I leave it in my basement or should I bring it upstairs where it can get some light by a window?? Elucas it was never exposed to under 45 because I brought it inside in the fall once the temps dropped, and I would take it back out during the day so it could get some sun. THANK U :)

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 12:44PM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

Just give it a couple cups of room temperature water to start. Straight cold water out of the tap can be chilly. Something I will do is take a stick or poker or something of the sort and poke a few holes into the soil. I dont if if help but I feel like it does help get some water into the middle of the roots better. Especially after sitting dry for awhile.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 1:13PM
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Andrea, that looks like severe dehydration. Unfortunately, being that you're in NY you're forcing the plumeria into a much longer hibernation period than it can take with no water.

My advice would be to give it some supplemental lighting and warmth to let it wake up a bit earlier in the spring, or to extend its fall growing season. From your photo it looks like the tips were trying to wake up, which means it needs moisture through the roots to support the new cellular growth.

Like everyone above said, give it a good thorough drink of lukewarm water and watch to see if it plumps up a bit. It may take a few soakings over the next few weeks to get rid of the worst wrinkling. A heat pad is a good idea if it's trying to wake up. Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 8:52AM
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This looks like dehydration. I would also like to mention a badly rootbound plant will have a similar appearance.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 5:18PM
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@ kms2, when u say badly rooted plant you mean- you think I should repot??

Thank you everyone who responded. I gave water and brought upstairs for some light. I am going to also repot next week... Good idea or
bad?? I plan on keeping it got indoors while it revives and eventually once leaves come ill use SuperThrive and fert. Thoughts?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 7:10AM
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You've red'd good advice on watering, but I wanted to mention that while my plants are resting in the basement for the winter, I still give them a sip of water every couple of weeks. Last year, I was too lean on water. They shriveled badly and, while they recovered, it took a month or two to fully plump up.

I don't think I'd repot right now. The plant is already stressed. Water well (but not too much) and reevaluate in a couple of months.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 9:31AM
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It's been my experience a root bound plant will exhibit similar characteristics to what you describe. I would recommend you to transplant it into the biggest, widest container you can carry. Use super thrive now and ferts next month. I would leave it out if temps are above the upper 30's at night. Find a nice sunny southern exposure and enjoy.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 9:36AM
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K, out of curiosity, are you starting to fertilize yet? I'm repotting most of mine that are awake now and am adding slow-release and epsom to every pot as I go. Too early?

And if I just rooted your Jeannie cutting last summer, should that go into a bigger size pot now? It's in a 1-gallon. Figured you would know that variety pretty well by now!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 9:07AM
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I would put the Jeannie in a two gallon right now and give it some leg room for this upcoming growing season. two gallons at the start of two years is a good rule of thumb. 5 gallons at the start of three years. then they can get pretty big after that. I have 2011 plants bought at Clear Lake as newly rooted 1 gallon that I just put into those new 15 gallon squat pots.

I have not started fertilzing but thats mostly due to schedule. I did do a good watering with superthrive and a light solution of epsom salt yesterday. I'll start some granular ferts in the next 2 weeks and Spray-n-grow soon after. I think slow release will be just fine to start right now for our weather conditions. Its a fantastic 90 degrees right now.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 5:11PM
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Minderella(9 Lake County FL)

What kind of slow release do you use?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 8:29PM
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I use Osmocote...can get at home depot and good all around slow release...roxanne

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 10:14PM
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Minderella, I use Osmocote 14-14-14 or an organic slow release 8-2-4 formula by Lady Bug--whichever is closer when I'm filling a pot--both of which fill in the time for me between when I can use a foliar spray like Spray-n-Gro.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 9:23AM
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Ok back to my plumeria ----- so, sOme said to repot- others said to not to repot... What should I do???? So far I've just watered and it feels harder already.. I will postpone super thrive and fert until next month as per advice but don't want to repot it if its going to damage now..

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 11:40AM
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Sorry about that, Andrea. How big is the plant, and how big is the pot it's in?

I'm not sure you need to repot unless the roots are filling the pot already. If the soil is not compacted or more than two years old, you should be fine for one more season.

Thanks, K, for the advice!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 3:21PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

I agree with Jen.. Let it get back to being a healthy tree with proper watering.. it is ok to leave it in its container..(if the roots are not circling the pot.. or in other words, pot bound) if you want to "pot up" then i would do this once the weather warms up. (meaning just go up in size) It will enjoy that as well!!! It will be fine!! ;-)

I also give my dormant trees a littlle water every other month. We have a longer dormancy period and they do need some moisture. It looks like you caught it just in time . Lucky!!! I think if you feel it hardening up you are on the right track. Don't over water right now.. give it water when it is dry. If you are unsure of its moisture needs, you can use a bamboo skewer and insert it into the center of the container. If it is moist to the touch or wet, don't water. Wait until it comes out dry and then give water. I like the idea of lukewarm water too! Once it starts to leaf out then you can start a reduced fertigation schedule and then once summer has arrived, go full strenght!!

Have fun and congratulations on saving your tree!

i like Foliage Pro 9-3-6 By Dyna Gro

Good job!!

Take Care,


    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 11:49PM
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Hi all, so it's been almost a week since I posted about my wrinkly Plumie-- on Friday night the 15th I gave 4 cups of lukewarm water and its plumped up significantly, I'm attaching a picture to show you guys its progress. Now that it looks like we are out of danger zone- should I repot???
Jandey- last year why it bloomed, I had so much foliage I was afraid it was going to topple over-- it definitely needs a bigger pot- the thing is, should I wait til temps go up?? We are still frosting here.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 9:08AM
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