Bare Root Plumeria Help

MikeO55(9)May 14, 2014

Hello Everyone,

I just got my first plumeria, bare root from ebay and it looks good. I just put it in a pot with a mix of potting soil and perlite until I get some grit mix or something better.

Any tips on how to take care of it until I learn a bit more about it? Is it OK outside (I am in a suburb of Phoenix, AZ).
Should I use any mulch? How often should I water and fertilize? You know any info for a new bee.


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I would just keep the soil mix pretty simple as you stated with potting mix and perlite especially since you are in such a hot and dry climate. Pot it up, stake it to stabilize, water it once and place in a warm but not full sun spot. Check it and lightly water around the edge of the container in about 5 days. Good luck with it.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 10:12PM
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Thank You for the tips...sounds easy enough.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 11:27PM
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I'm in a hot and dry climate with a lot of sunshine and when there are no leaves shading the trunk yet, it's possible to get sunburn which can harm or even kill the plant. Speckled sunlight is good at this point while it's establishing itself, not full sun, and putting something to shade the bottom of the trunk like a half paper towel or TP cardboard tube will shield it. Once you get a full set of leaves in they will shade the trunk. Water once completely when you pot it up but don't soak it again until it's putting out leaves.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 1:08PM
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plumejunkie(9a SF Bay Area)

Michael, welcome to the club!

When determining what planting medium to use, it can be verry helpful to first determine which kind of farming approach you'd like to take, a more biological or more fertigated. BOTH methods are effective & it's a matter of finding the method that fits you.

When I say biological & fertigated I mean, either using living organisms to do the job of feeding the plant and keeping it healthy, or using a nutrient based feeding process to the same goal

The biological approach uses bacteria & fungus to allow the plant to take up the exact nutrients a plant needs, exactly when it needs it. The bacteria and fungus make nutrients avaliable form a complete organic soil mix that is actually "teaming with microbes," it's alive! This approach improves the quality of the soil by using amendments to the soil periodically & only gets better over time.

The fertigation approach use fertalizing schedules to feed plants according to it's stage of growth. This is due to the fact that the growing mediums used are typically free of most microbial life, thus making the plant completely dependent on the person for it's health but allows for max aeration to the plants roots.

If you decide to go the biological path, than you need a COMPLETE soil mix with LOTS of aeration! I'd say a minimum of 2 parts soil to one part aeration, I like volcanic rock. You can test to see if you have enough aeration material by spreading your fingers apart & thrusting them in the soil. If the soil doesn't cave in on itself, & the holes remain after you remove your fingers, aeration should be good. It's of the utmost importance that you innoculate your soil with the bennificial bacteria & micorizhael fungi to allow this method to work properly. Also, mulch plays an important role in this method.

If you decide to fertigate, I recomend one of the gritty mix combinations. These, I believe, are a mix of bark, turface, & pummice. This mix allows for maximum air to the roots, because the lack of organics won't compress the mix.

As I stated before, both these methods work well, decide what suits you best.

Oh yeah........I love my bamboo mulch!!!
Protects my soil from heat as well as cold, keeps microbial soil life alive, releases potassium as it decomposes, can be misted to raise humidity, & finally it protects the compost worms that live in my plumie pots. It really is wonderful stuff, I highly recomend it!

Good luck,

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 9:01PM
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Jason, do you just take the fallen bamboo leaves and use them as mulch right away or do you compost it? I bought this tiny Bambusa Oldhamii 25 years ago and now have a huge grove right on my property line (poor neighbors). I have been putting the debris in my green recycling trash since it builds up so fast.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 8:47AM
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plumejunkie(9a SF Bay Area)

I haven't mulched it in a pile, but I bet it would be a great idea. My yard is small & I don't have room for a pile, but I do feed them to my compost worms in my bin.

In containers I just throw the bamboo right on top of my pots. My plumie pot worms would probably love it if it was mulched tho.

In organic gardening, mulch is very important because it creates the "humiliation process" which is the decomposition of organic matter. During this process, nutrients, minerals, and the suns energy contained in the organic material are made available to the plant.

Pretty cool stuff!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 5:41PM
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plumejunkie(9a SF Bay Area)

Oh & I made a mistake, 2 parts aeration material to 1 part soil.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 5:50PM
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