plumeria still not flowering!

korryzn5aJuly 22, 2010

I have to admit, I'm very frustrated! my plumerias are 4 years old this summer. no flowers as of yet. I did get black tip this past winter (probably in March)...put them outside in May (in full sun) not sheltered...too much rain. one branch got soft. cut it off. they are branching out beautifully. leaves look nice and flowers! I tried epsom salts this spring. fertilize every other week (with bloom booster)..the other week I use spray and grow on the leaves and stem. I bought these because they said they are easy...not for me!

does anyone know what the heck I am doing wrong???

I feel like buying a new one to see if I can get that one to flower. I really don't have to room to put them in the winter. I live in upper michigan and need to keep them indoor from about Oct to the end of May. this year they did get to go out earlier because we had a very warm spring.



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I am in lower Michigan and in the same boat. My plumies have not flowered either. I read if you try to keep them on the dryer side you may get blooms. I am experimenting right now. The article I read was saying the wetter a plumie the more lush green growth. Valerie

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 8:54AM
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A lady that sells them in Hawaii told me to treat them like a cactus. so mine only get watered once a week. I am really lost at what to do. I think when I overwinter them this year I will put them in the basement. It is heated but doesn't much light. I just hope I don't forget to water them.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 9:25AM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA


If your plumerias got black tip on ALL the stems, they will not bloom this year. A branch must grow for at least 2 seasons before it is mature enough to bloom (usually)...this is not necessarily true in Florida or California or warmer locations, but it seems to be true up North. I don't think the lady in Hawaii has any idea how to grow them in the North country as they are easy, easy in Hawaii! LOL! They can be a challenge elsewhere. They really are not fond of long dormancy periods and stem rot, or black tip may result.

When mine are really growing, I need to water them every day! The pots dry out fast. If you could take a photo and show us your plants, we might be able to help you more.

I like to get mine going inside in the Spring before placing them outdoors. Once they develop leaves and the tips start growing, they seems to be able to weather the cool, wet spells better. But night temps should be above 55 or 60 ideally, before you place them out. It's gonna be a challenge in upper Mich.
I would hold back on fertilizer at this point.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 9:51AM
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To grow Plumerias and their cousins (Adenium, Pachypodium) well in the "North", you have to make an extra effort with certain things.

For example, you need 2 months of warmth from the time flower buds just begin to form until they open. Taking plants out and starting growth in late May means you won't get flowers until August. It is helpful to give them supplemental warmth and light in early Spring.

Also, they bloom when the branch reaches maturity. In the short growing season of the "North", it can take more than 1 year. If the tips rotted, then the process starts all over again like Dave said.

And although they can tolerate a cold and dark dormancy, they can suffer when this period lasts for more than about 2 months.

A Plumeria in full leaf can take all the water it can get as long as the soil is well aerated. A drought during the growing season does not promote flowering as far as I can tell. In fact, flowering is an extremely energy-demanding process and would benefit from maximum warmth, sun, water and nutrition.

A winter/ dormancy drought is a normal part of a Plumeria cycle. Typically, as plants awaken and begin growth following a dormant period, new flower buds begin to form. Some varieties are more prolific than others. Some varieties would fare better in the "North". I have never seen a list but I think it would be interesting if we came up with one based on experience.

Based on my experience growing Plumeria in NY, they will start to form an inflorescence when all the following conditions are met:
1) Healthy root system is in place
2) The previous growing season was robust so the plant has plenty of nutrients stored up in its roots and stem for a spring awakening
3) The branch must be mature, usually about 12-18" long

Then, it's a matter of sustaining the bud development with warmth, sun, the proper nutrition, etc.

When conditions are ideal, a new inflorescence can form in the middle of a growing season when branches mature, but I tend to see flowers more often beginning formation in the early spring.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 8:15PM
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thank you for all the information. I will keep them in my bedroom over winter again. I don't know what kind I have, but they sure are giving me a run for my money. I just hope that they flower. I don't think they will this year. the branches are getting quite long so maybe next year. I am not giving up. I figure I have had them this long...what is another year! the one branch I did cut off, it got soft and was afraid of killing the rest of the plant. it is about 8 inches long now. they are pretty even without flowers. so I just need patience!
Do you think I can put them in the open full sun. we have had so much rain this year, I moved them back to the front under my porch. they get at least 6 hrs of full sun. and they are on cement so it stays hot. it is much hotter where they are now but not as much sun.
thanks again for the great information!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 8:06AM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

'Open sun': well, the plants will need to acclimate to it, but yes, eventually they should be able to take 'open' sun. If they are getting a good 6 hours now, that might be OK.

If the root systems are well developed and there are lots of leaves, you should not have to worry about them getting too much rain. We've had a dry summer, so I have to water, but I cannot seem to give them enough water right now! Again, it would help for us to see a picture.

If your plants were in your bedroom when they got black tip, it could have been a result of not enough water when they wanted to start to grow, too much water, not enough light and warmth for that time of year, or possibly spider mites.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 9:31AM
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last winter I moved them to a different part of my bedroom. I think that is why they got black tip. I will put them where they use to be this winter. I can not figure out how to post pictures. My son is coming home this weekend...maybe he can help me. so check this post again on Monday...thanks!


    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 10:31AM
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