1st plumeria- need help :-)

Andrea781May 1, 2011

Hello all,

My husband and I visited Hawaii on our honeymoon last month, and I fell in love with plumerias. We live in Staten Island, NY so the only times I had seen them before was on TV and magazines. When we came home, I wanted to plant one to keep the memory of our amazing honeymoon, so I ordered a rooted cutting online.

It came on Thursday and I literally realized..."Now what.."

After doing some research, I purchased a 1 gallon container and some cactus mix, and transplanted my rooted cutting into the container. Watered very lightly and placed in shade for a few days, plan on placing it in full sun on Thursday so it's not shocked. The weather forecast says highs of 62 and sunny. Would this be ok?

How often should I water it? (soil still kinda moist from Thursday's transplantation) Should I bring it indoors once it gets cooler outside? Should I place a heating pad under it (i've read in this forum) or is that only when trying to root a cutting? Should I fertilize, and if so, what should I use?? The top has some little green baby leaves (still kind of stiff).

My husband does landscaping for a living, and thinks I am completely insane for obsessing over the beginning of my plant, but I have read that plumerias can die very easily and just want to make sure i'm doing everythign right. Thanks a million in advance for your replies. :o)

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mikeod(Z9 FL)

Daytime highs are OK. Bring it inside if night temps are below 50.

Give as much sun as possible.

Water when the soil is dry, but minimize water until real leaves are present. It's best to err on the dry side with water. If the plant is too dry, you'll see the leaves start to droop from their normal position.

You'll get very divergent views on fertilizer. I use a balanced fertilizer in spring, changing to a lower nitrogen fertilizer over the summer, and change to a nitrogen-free fertilizer as winter approaches.

Good luck. Enjoy.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 8:27PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hello ANdrea...

Welcome to the forum!!

Mike has given you some great advice...

You will do just fine with your newly rooted cutting!!

Like Mike said..they like to dry out then give them water...during the growing season i fertilize once every 3-4 weeks..then stop in late September so they can slow down and get ready for the dormant season...I dont want to encorage activily when they will come inside late November eary December...i do not let them stay outside when temps reach 45-50. No chances are taken when they drop that low...some here will leave them outside with lower temps...but you will get the feel to what is good for you and your new tree..

I like to use Seaweed extract and Fish emulsion along with superthrive..B-1 is great when repotting and i will give them the Fert. (sometimes i use superbloom) i also like Bills perfect Fert. Foliage pro is great too! Everyone has their favorite...but i would wait until your rooted cutting has recovered...B-1 and Superthrive would be helpful the next time you water..let it dry out first...then water...you may want to wait until your leaves are longer to fert..then i would reduce by half..

place it in full sun now..it will love the heat...did you use a black plastic pot? This helps hold the heat from the sun...if you didnt..just leave it alone..then once it is happy you can repot into a black pot...

Hope this helps you...

Congratulations on your marriage!

Take care everyone...

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 9:06PM
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I live right near you and this is my third year with plumerias. I now have 10 plumerias 4 are large and the others are smaller. I have most of my plumerias outside now. So far they have shown no problems. They wont grow too fast unless temperatures are in the 70s or better which we havent been getting consistently yet, but in a few weeks they will really start to take off.

I havent watered mine at all since I took them outside and I dont plan to until the weather gets warm. They dont mind being dry and they actually prefer it when its cool outside. I water them every day or every other day once it starts getting hot outside. I give mine pretty much whatever fertilizer I have and I get blooms on all my adult plumerias every year now. I would probably get even better results if I used better fertilizer, which I why I plan on doing htat this summer.
My Plumeria "Divine" is already making more blooms and its still in the house!

My plumerias get as much sun as I can give them and they love it. I planted my plumeria pudica in the ground last year and it was blooming like crazy by the end of the year, but it didnt like being dug up and now its struggling a bit.

I got most of my plumerias off of ebay and a lot of them bloomed in their first year. Since yours is a rooted cutting, you might get lucky and get some blooms this summer, but if you dont, you still have a lot of really beautiful leaves to look forward to. I dont think Plumerias are that easy to kill, especially over the summer. I always baby mine, and I remember that I treated my first plant so well. I would go outside several times a day just to see how much it grew that day! I still do that with all my plumerias!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 11:02PM
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General question/comment. Year before last, 2009, had great foliage and blooms on two plants. This past year plenty of foliage but no flowers. This year foliage is coming on strong but no indication of flowers as of yet. Is there something I am missing? On a side note, I have obtained some additional cuttings from some new plants and they seem to be indicating blooms and foliage already.

Thanks and Happy Mothers Day to all the moms.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 1:51PM
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Well thank you all for your suggestions! I placed my plumeria outside and will leave it there from now on, this week it's going to be nice out day and night so it should be ok. I am worried it's not gonna make it! Anyway, purchased Superthrive and watered with it (not knowing I should let it dry 100% before I water it again--good to know) and I will look into B1.
This morning when I took it outside, I saw 2 little white mushrooms growing on it... are these harmful??

Thank you again!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 9:59AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hello Everyone...

Hello Andrea....

Dont worry about your cutting ..it will be alright...

Let it dry out in the sunshine...giving it alittle extra water..wont do any damage to it..only if you keep doing it before it drys out...no worries..

As far as the mushrooms...it natural...again no worries...just means that your soil conditions are really good right now!!! I would carefully pull them out and toss!

What type of pot did you put it in?

Make sure it gets all of the heat it can...they love it especially this time of the year...once my temps get into the 100's i have to protect the containers...but now they really enjoy all they can get..

Dont worry...you new Hawaiian baby will be fine...

Once Again welcome...

Take care everyone..

Captjack1...Congratulations on the blooms last year...hopefully they will continue to push new inflos for you this year...the season is still early..so you may still see some...dont forget to fertilize and you will see flowers again hopefully!!! Remember eaery tree has its own personality..sometimes they take years to bloom...

SOmetimes cuttings will already have a n inflo started..this has occured already before the cut...so sometimes they do push while rooting...we here on the forum watch to make sure the energy is focused on the rooting and the leaves not only on just the inflo itself...if this happens you may want to cut the inflo to send the energy elsewhere...if you have leaves and the inflo at the same time..i would leave it on and enjoy the beauty of you bloom..its a wait and see kind of struggle...

Hope this helps a little...

Hopfully someone with more experience will chime in and give you some more advice...

Post some pics if you can..we love pics here on the forum!!!

Welcome Captjack!!!!

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 10:40AM
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labland(Inland Valley CA9)

Welcome Andrea!

All the suggestions have been great ones. My only concern would be that growing mushrooms may mean too much water. You have it in the right soil. I would suggest buying a watering meter and don't water until it says "dry". They are good because you can put the probe down by the roots and truly know how wet/dry it really is. They are cheap. Just do NOT leave it in the pot. Take it out and store it somewhere out of the elements, it will last longer ( the batteries do die on them, but at least they are cheap, and no one makes one where you can replace the batteries.

Good luck, congratulations on your marriage and welcome to the forum! Jennifer in California

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 11:33AM
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Thank you for your encouragement and the welcome.

I agree with what everyone has said concerning the watering. My understanding is particularly at this early stage you do not want to over water. Better a little dry at this point. I like to turn the soil with my fingers as a way to feel the moisture in the soil. Sounds crazy but by doing that and observing the plant I get a feel for the moisture and than I water accordingly. Seems to work my for my pikakes and plumerias.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 4:45PM
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labland(Inland Valley CA9)


Welcome to the forum, I love your name. I am too am a number one fan Captain Jack. Wish I could have afforded to go to the premier of the new movie at Disneyland this last Saturday, frim the pictures, it looked awesome. But then Disneyland always does an awesome job of things ( I am also a huge Disney fan, I remember wgphen he died, I was heartbroken, but his ideas still live on)

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 11:11PM
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