Root Pruning A Celadine

Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, VirginiaMay 5, 2012

Hello Everyone,

I have been having trouble with my computer tonight.. But i will try one more time. ARRG!!

Decided to root prune some of my trees and thought about taking some pics for some of you that have expressed interest. So, here they are!!!

Celadine in a three gallon pot. Same container for three years. It is time!!

Container cut away from the tree...

Decided to take off 25% off first..then kept going.. : )

Then i trimmed around the perimeter of the container. I took off about 1-2 inches.

soaked off some of the soil..

Then it started to look like a bare rooted i trimmed some more... : )

Container ready... tree ready...

Gritty Mix ready...

My newly potted Celadine in the Gritty Mix.. I can already hear it telling me.."Thank you!!!" LOL...

Hope you like the prunning at the side of the pool... lol i really only just took the pics there. I used the side yard to do my trimming, but i did have some eyes watching me..LOL.. I guess he is a little nervous about the whole root ball falling into the pool. I was very careful!! ;)

Take care,


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Hi Laura, thanks for sharing these! It really helps others (like myself) see examples of this type of operation. Do you notice that this sets the plant back much initially or do they usually just keep growing like nothing happened?

BTW, those folding saws are handy aren't they? I use mine for everything from cutting sod to removing large branches from trees.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 8:18AM
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Andrew Scott

Hi Laura,
This is truly awesome to post. So many "newbies" and beginners that don't know how to do this will truly benefit from these pics.

Hi Irun,
I really think of root pruning as rejuvenating. It just seems to give the tree a fresh start and I don't think it sets the plumeria back. Here's a perfect example. I just recieved a very nice Taj Mahol with an inflo on it. It was bare rooted, which really means it was root pruned in one way or another. The tree was potted the same day I got it and now, the individual flower buds are all ready growing! The tree didn't skip a beat! Cannot wait for those blooms. I have recieved many trees this way and knock on wood(yeah even when typing I knocked on wood..LOL!) I have NEVER lost one!


    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 9:01AM
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isobea(10, San Diego)

Hi Laura,
Thank you for this excellent series of pictures! Don't they say a picture is worth a thousand words? I wish someone would put them in a plumeria book!
I'm still new enough to this 'hobby' that I haven't needed to root prune any of my babies, just read about how to do it. Now, thanks to you, I'll be very confident when the time comes.
Have a great weekend everyone,

PS: 'May Grey' has settled in along the southern California coast, and the plants are at a stand still for now.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 10:46AM
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Class is in session! Thanks, Laura, for taking the time to post this. It will indeed be helpful to me and many others. You're awesome! And I agree, the Celadine does look like it's saying "thank you"!


    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 11:40AM
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Andrew Scott

Hi Laura,
I actually just did this to Thai Super Round. Man, this variety is VERY VIGOROUS, and one of my favs! When I got this it had 3 tips and now it has practically doubled in size! Anyhow, I really neglected this plumeria. I'm surprised it pulled thru the winter in my dark basement and didn't die on me. All it was, was a rootball with a little soil. I forgot that it was like this! Anyhow, it's all settled in now, and fertilized. Cannot wait for the blooms!


    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 12:18PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Guys!!!

Thanks Brian!!!

I have root pruned some of my other smaller trees and thought i would snap a few pics of this one. Glad you liked the pics!!!

That little saw is a tool everyone should have in their tool box!! I love it!!

It does rejuvenate the tree and it does respond quite well. I actually expect to see more growth on this tree sooner than later. You can see this tree was slow to wake up and looked like it was stalled... especially compared to my other trees. Another good sign that it was rootbound and ready for a trim!!!

Hey ANdrew!!!

I agree...

It is a fresh start for the trees. I could tell that this one needed it more than the others. This is why i picked this tree. Please post some pics for us to see. I cant wait to see your Taj Mahal!!! : )

Hi Iso!!! Always nice to see you post!!!

Thank you for your kind comments!!!

I am sorry to hear that the "May Grey" is around your area.. Hopefully it won't last to long...

Hope all is well with you and your family!!!


LOL.. I want to be "in the class.." : ) This is why i am always reading these post and learning from our friends.
If is wasn't for some great people here on these forums, I would be lost... : ) I have learned so much from others here...

Thanks to all that do post and share!!!

We are all learning as we grow....

Andrew... Where are your pictures!!! I want to see your trees!!! Glad to hear that your Thai Super Round is doing well. Good Job!!!

Take care,


    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 11:46PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

here is another picture for larger pots. Cut vertically, remove center, cut off bottom and replant. I do not soak out the soil in the center area as the new roots will grow out into the new soil mix. The saw is ground sharp to pierce the soil.

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    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 12:38PM
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Laura, this is truly a fantastic post! I know most of us would be terrified to cut away as much as you did, so thank you for illustrating that it can be done without harming the plant. From what I've seen Celadine looks like it sheds completely in winter, wakes later than others in spring, but really takes off quickly when it does wake up.

Bill, do you plant most of your bigger ones directly into glazed clay pots? I put my plastic pots into clay but thought I might try a couple directly into the clay pot itself. Clearly I'll need a big saw to get them back out again!


    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 9:39AM
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What a great post! To think that we spend half our time praying for roots....LOL. Now I know how to handle all my trees that decide to grow too many! Seriously a great step by step! :).

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 9:48PM
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Bill, do you find that the plant and remaining attached root mass lifts out pretty easily after cutting with the saw? I assume you want to avoid relying on pulling the stem/trunk.

I actually have a few plants (non-plumeria) in large concrete planters that required two people to move them into place *before* they had soil. I've been wondering how I'll ever root prune and freshen up the potting mix.... This looks like the best way (if not the only realistic way?)

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 10:08PM
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I agree with Jen, "fantastic post". It's just as good as being there Laura. I guess I won't have to bug you with this one when I have to do it to mine. Thanks for taking the time to educate us. Peg

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 11:13PM
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great series of pics. Its incredible to see how root bound a plant can get in 3 years.

My Celadines are typically some of the first to bloom. Just about every one has developed inflos and two are in bloom already. Maybe its because these are 8-10+ years old and well established.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 11:36PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

irun5k- I tip over the pot supporting the branches as best I can and pull out the center using the stem. I then lay it on the ground and cut the bottom. I have no problem pulling on the stem in a well established plant

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 1:35AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Thanks guys and Gals!!!

Peg, you are always welcome to help me mess around here!!! LOL I love company when it comes to Plumeria!!!

Thanks Jen!!! : )

Thank you Nicole...i do appreciate your kind words!!!

K, it is crazy how fast one container can become so rootbound in a few seasons... I cant wait to see new growth on this Celadine... i can tell it is happier in the new mix!!! ( it told me..LMAO...)

Great pic Bill!!!!

Take care everyone!!!


    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 2:37AM
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This too deserves a bump.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 2:30PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Thank you!!


    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 5:29PM
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Thank you! I have heard of root pruning but have always been afraid to give it a try. Looking at your pictures gives me courage for next year. I'm going to bookmark this page for sure.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 12:44AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Thank you, Ellie... I must have missed you post last summer!!

Much appreciated!! ;-)



    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 12:48AM
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