Question on plumeria dormancy under winter grow lights

arctictropical(Z4)March 12, 2011

For those who are growing plumerias throughout the winter under grow lights and warm temperatures, what percentage of your plants actually loose all or most of their leaves and go dormant, despite summer-like conditions? Most of my plants hung on until January or February, but the majority of my 40+ plants have lost their leaves despite bright high intensity lights and warm (70-80 degree temperatures).

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jandey1(TX8)

That's interesting about your plants going dormant even under lights. I think around 1/4 of mine kept at least one big leaf, usually they kept around 3, the entire winter. All my three dozen 5-month-old seedlings but one kept all their leaves. There were some in an east window, some in a south window, and some in an unheated garage. It didn't seem to matter at all what the conditions; they all did their own thing.

I think you're still going to see big benefits for all your trouble, in better blooming, as your plants had longer to store up water and energy for the summer. You've already had a very, very young seedling put out an inflo, right? I was amazed when I saw that, and secretly hopeful one of mine might bloom in less than three years!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 9:40AM
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amandcr

I have all of mine under a 400w MH light during the winter but the temps in my house range in the low to mid 60s. Out of my 8 rooted plants about 4 kept their leaves I also had 6 cuttings on a warming mat and 3 Adeniums of which only 2 kept their leaves (one i bought recently). I think it really depends on the types. The ones that kept their leaves were: Pink Kiss, Madame Pele, Kahuka Wilder, and a seedling. The others lost their leaves at different times. I had quite a bit of trouble with whitefly and spider mites this winter

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 4:19PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

I usually remove at least 2/3 of the leaves before I bring them in. Over winter they lose more, but most retainp at least a few on each tip. I think this is good, since the leaves allow some transpiration and cause moisture to be pulled up from the soil -- and it keeps the sap running to the tips, reduced stress on the plant and helps ward off black tip. (I water the soil enough to keep it barely moist).

You don't say how long you keep your lights on. I keep my lights on around 8 or 9 hours. I think if you were to keep lights on for 12 - 14 hours, or more, you'd probably see vegetative growth -- but it would be soft and would welcome even more spider mite activity. But even at 8 hours, I had four plants blooming over winter. This was in a warm room. In my cooler rooms and garage none of the plants bloomed, but some are forming inflos, which is a very good thing.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 9:45AM
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tropicalzone7(7b)

I dont have mine by grow lights, but I do have some by a south window (which gets very warm and very bright). One of my plumerias didnt lose a single leaf (as far as I remember) while it was indoors and actually grew a lot and made a full inflo, but my Plumeria "Divine" (which is by a similar window) lost half its leaves indoors and hasnt really grown at all while indoors.
It seems to really depend on the plumeria. I have a plumeria that was not in bright lights and it still retained about 3-5 leaves, but another one in that same condition lost every leaf as soon as it went inside and is now starting to break dormancy.
Good luck!
-Alex

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 11:39PM
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£opaka(Zone 10B South FLA)

All plumies will continue to grow,flower,and maintain their leaves if you have enough grow light power. You also have to keep it warm enough 60 degrees is not good enough. If you want healthy leaves and to continue the vegetative growth state you need lots of light and warm temps. Basically try to replicate spring and summer conditions,warm temps and light for about 10-12hrs if your GH is not getting any natural sunlight. You can also root any plumie under the lights if they are strong enough. 400w is ok but 600w or 1000w is better just depends on the size of the area you are trying to cover.I used to alternate my lights with 1 hour of HPS light in the morning to mimic sunrise and 2 hours of HPS at night to mimic sunset. The MH lights would be on during the other times.
Not enough light power will result in elongation of the plumerias..

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 3:19AM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Thanks for your comments everyone. The lights on my plummies are on for 12 hours. I have two sets of lights that trade off being on or off every 12 hours, so that my room doesn't get too hot from both sets of lights being on at the same time. I figure 80 degrees is warm enough for a basement room. It's funny. Some plants will put out a bunch of leaves, and then drop most of them, and start over putting out new leaves. Kind of like they were going through dormancy more than once.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 12:19AM
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£opaka(Zone 10B South FLA)

When the lights are off in your basement what are the temps?
The plumies should not drop their leaves..
The problem has to be not enough light or temp to cool when lights are off.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 2:07AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hey Kevin,

I have three trees that i have kept under lights this winter..Wizard...Celadine..and California Sunset (set off to the side of the lights) All of the trees are doind fine..i had blooms on the Wizard Celadine for a couples of months..now they are without blooms...but the CS that i had off to the side is thriving..with two inflos...they have lost some leaves,,but not to many that they look klike they are trying to go dormant. I have had a time with spider mites this winter...cycles on and off...i win..then they decide to fight back..LOL...My temps in that room stays the same...

Do you have any blooms right now?

Any pics?

Always love to see what you have done...you do a great job with all of your plants and trees...

Take care Kevin..hope spring comes early for you!!! : )

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 9:16AM
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arctictropical(Z4)

lopaka, I have two sets of lights on for 12 hours per day, so the temperatures never fall below 70. It's usually 70 at night and up to 80 in the daytime. Since they are under high intensity lights, I think it's because they just want to go dormant. Hi Laura. Nothing in bloom right now but I do have a "Mini-white" from Jungle Jacks that has pretty much lost it's leaves, but does have an inflo. that showed up and is still growing, but slowly. I wonder if some have lost their leaves from too much Neem oil. Man, the spider mites are relentless. Each plant behaves so differently. I've got a 2 year old seedling that is putting out the largest, most perfectly shaped healthy green leaves at the same time as others are going dormant. Spring? Yeah, it's starting to finally show up. Can't wait to take my outside palm boxes off. I'm sure the palms can't wait, either! I'm sure as in the past 2 years, my Windmill palm has produced a nice large inflo. already, under it's box.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 1:06AM
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andrew78(6)

Hi Kevin,
I have had some plumeria that went almsot all winter without losing one leaf. I had mine all under my 600 watt HPS light for 8 hours or so a day. I checked my soil temps on my 'Divine' (which is leafing out now and thriving) and it read 84 degrees.

My Penang Peach came with an inflo and a ton of buds. That was November and it bloomed straight thru to January I believe and then it dropped its leaves. Some of my plumeria went completely bare, like celadine, intense rainbow, and Axtec Gold while others like the PP held on to there leaves late.

Hi Laura,
Youve got mail!! I cannot wait for our plumeria to arrive. Sonia told me next week! I am also getting a cutting of 'Elsie'!! I am thrilled about this PP seedling. Good luck to you and I too have had problems with the darn spider mites!! My poor Axtec Gold was coming along nicely until that darn infestation about a month ago.

Seems like the more light and heat you give them, the more problems with the darn mites you have!

Take care,

Andrew

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 1:17AM
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labland(Inland Valley CA9)

Andrew,

Wow, you soil temp is in the 80's? I just checked mine last week and mine outside was just up to 65. Haven't checked this week, since we have had a longer period of warm weather... Of course now it is cooling off again. Typical So. Cal. Spring.

I happen to have a plant that had a very late inflo that developed. It never died off, and it is starting to develop flowers again! Yeah!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 2:29AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hello Everyone,

Those darn Spider Mites...i hear you Kevin and Andrew...i have had a constant battle only on those two trees...the rest are fine..but i will keep at it with spraying them down until i can get them all outside..

Temps here in VB hit 80 today..nighttime temps are in the upper 50's..im checking the forecast because with our strange weather...you can blink and have a snowstorm..LOL..
Im just a little weary about bringing them outside...but i think today is the day...

Kevin..please let us know about your boxed Windmills are doing..i will be curious to see if you have a bloom in there again...great work...you know how impressed i am with all of your protection methods...how tall is the tree now?

Andrew..i just got home from work...and my pkg has arrived...i will take a look later when it is light outside..im really excited for you about your Elsie!! Woo hoo!!!

Chat with you later...

Take care everyone...

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 3:42AM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Hi Laura. I forget. Where is VB? The outdoor palms are doing great! I peeked under one of my 8' boxes at my oldest outdoor palm, my Med. fan palm and it looks perfectly healthy and happy. I'm sure my younger Mexican Fan Palm, and 15' Windmill Palm are also just fine. I'll take the boxes off sometime next month. Regarding these spider mites - it's probably good we have something to take our frustrations out on so that we don't do it elsewhere! Die, spider mites, die! Ha ha. Take care.....

Kevin

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 6:53PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hey Kevin,

I live in Virginia Beach, Virginia...that why i shorten it up with only VB!!! Dont know why...just a habit from the beginning of signing out!!

Congratulations on the sucesss of your Palms...you always do a great job on protecting them... : ) You know how much i love palm trees...i have several here in my yard as well...

Those Spider Mites...i would like to drown them if i could!!! LOL...they are such a hassel to deal with...they dont bother anything else under the lights...just the Plumies...what is up with that?

Cant wait until you post some pics Kevin..make sure that you through in some of you palms over here..we would love to see them...especially when they find out where you live!!! Growing Palms in------------? Unbelievable!!!

Take care my friends...here's to an early spring....

CHEERS!!!

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 10:24PM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Hi again Laura. It's so nice we have a forum to chat across the many miles. I've always said that the people who love plants are the best people in the world. Growing Palms in......? I live near Logan, Utah (extreme northern Utah), in a beautiful mountain valley called Cache Valley. The early trappers in the 1800's stored their "cache" of furs here. Yes, Spring is coming! Even here in the frozen lands of the north. I'm sure here in northern Utah we will see snow in April, and most likely in even in May. That's OK. I'm not only addicted to plants, but snow boarding!

Kevin

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 10:55PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hey Kevin,

I thought it was Utah...but wasn't sure... LOL..I didnt want to post something that was wrong..i remember those beautiful pictures of the snow capped mountains with your beautiful tropical palm trees!!

Quite the site to see for us nature lovers!!!

Have fun snowboarding!! I'll stick to skiing!! The black diamonds dont bother me...but if i was a few years younger..Uuuuuhummm...i would change to snowboarding..(i did try it once....Wow..hit my head hard a few times...then wondered why i would change if i could ski anything!! LOL..) My son loves snowboarding as well...so you young guys and gals enjoy the "boarding" I'll stick to what works for me!!! LOL...

Keep us updated on all of your Plumies and other beauties!!

Take care Kevin..

Yes..it is nice to chat with all of our friends across the miles...great poeple!!!

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 11:30AM
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labland(Inland Valley CA9)

Hi Guys, I haven't got much to say about growing under lights, 'cause I don't! Kevin, I used to spend my summers as a kid ( 40 hrs. Ago) in Kanab, Utah. Back then I didn't mind the heat! But loved the country, And beautiful. I have skied in Utah, and it was awesome. Found out difference between powder and Sierra Cement- as people call the snow at Mammoth. Stopped skiing long ago. I agree with Laura, if I were younger, snowboarding looks fun!

Laura, looks like your weather back there is warming up. Soon your plants will be coming outside.

Nice to see such a diverted group of people love plumerias! Jennifer

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 12:33PM
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£opaka(Zone 10B South FLA)

As I said before plumies will not go dormant if given enough light and temps are warm enough.If these 2 conditions are met the plumies will grow and keep their leaves!!! If your plumies meet these conditions and they are still dropping their leaves then you have another problem. I see you guys are talking about spider mites. If you have a infestation of mites they will cause the plant to stress plus they will kill off the leaves faster then normal causing them to drop. The fact you said the plumies are dropping the leaves but continue to put out new ones tells me the mites are the issue. Control the mites and the plumies will recover nicely.
You may want to hang a few of those Hot Shot No-Pest Strips in your GH,just don't stay in there too long and breathe the chems.
http://www.hotshotbrand.com/ProductCategories/IndoorInsecticides/NoPestStrip/

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 2:13PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hello Everyone,

Hey Kevin...

Hey Jen...yes the weather here is staring to break..im watching the weather daily..dont trust it here...it can change on a minutes notice...so i will continue to be watchful....

(LOL...about the cement verses powder!!! ) I learned to ski here on the East coast...same thing...ice..cement!!)
The i visited Whistler/Blackcomb...and had to adjust to Knee Deep powder...had to change everything...what a great experience...had the opp to try Helisking..but the visibility was to low...that was my only chance...now..(15 years ago) now...wouldnt take the chance..LOL...ill stay on the interm.slopes!!! Maybe some BD's!!!

Sorry to go off topic...but made me think of great memories..esp..talking of "cement" LOL...

Lopaka...thanks for the info...sounds great!!!

Take care everyone!!!

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 1:54AM
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