Do Plumerias bloom every year?

No-Clue(So Cal Zone 9)July 23, 2012

Since I am so new at this and this is my first summer... I bought many many 5 gal plants that are blooming right now. So I'm wondering if they are blooming this year will they bloom again each subsequent year or no?

I also have a lot that are in 1-2 gal that are very young but rooted... so how long before those plants will bloom? It would be soo sad if I don't have any flowers next year!

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With certain exceptions every plant has the ability to bloom every year. Specific to your questions; your 5 gallon plants should be routine bloomers for years to come provided the right care; 1-2 gallon plants will probably not bloom until next year if not maybe one more year... again if provided the right care. sorry to be the barer of bad news but...dont bet on your youngsters just yet. But keep taking care of them and your investment will pay off soon.

(care = Sunlight, water, fertilizer, observation, etc.)

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 1:40PM
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No-Clue(So Cal Zone 9)

Thank you KMS2! That helps a lot. So there is a great chance my 5 gal will bloom again. I guess that means I will be buying more of those than cuttings! :)

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 1:43PM
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None of mine bloomed after Hurricane Ike, it might have been being submerged in salt water for 24hours that did it. And then they all froze to death with our severe freezes we had-second winter after the hurricane. 50 year old trees that had survived worse freezes died. We think it was the trauma of the hurricane and the stress of that. Dang near every tree of every kind died on the island.
Tally HO!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 8:24PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

It also depends on the variety. My Kimo and my Penang Peach bloom every season. Others don't for me. A healthy root system is important. A long growing season is important. Mature growth tips are important.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 8:55AM
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No-Clue, this is a great discussion to have since most of us probably work under the assumption that once our plumerias reach maturity they will bloom every year when that's not always true.

Those of you with long growing experience could chime in and let us know which of yours are annual bloomers and which aren't. It would really help those of us still in, uh, acquisition mode to select more carefully.

We know Lemon Drop, Celadine, Penang Peach, Divine and Kimo (thanks, Dave) are reliable annual bloomers for most. Any others?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 11:12AM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

I dont have years of experience to really add any significant information but I do know my JJ's Delightful has bloomed 2 years in a row if that means anything.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 12:28PM
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Slaughter pink is a very dependable bloomer, mine bloomed from early spring to late fall. My tree bloomed every year for over 20 years and the cutting from it blooms every year. RIP Slaughter I miss you.

Unknown white blooms every year, it bloomed as a cutting laying on a shelf.
Tally HO!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 12:38PM
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My experience has been once a plant reaches bloom age (not including cuttings which were forming inflos before or during rooting) then they are reliable producers with annual blooms being the norm. "Bloom Age" of a specific plant of a specific variety at a specific elevation at a specific latitude with specific weather conditions, etc., etc., in my opinion is really the unknown. How many variables can be placed on that? thousands...I would guess.

The caveats to this post are long and broad. But in my location every plant which flowered last year is flowering again. Perhaps not the same intensity (maybe more blooms or less). I have also got very Plumeria friendly weather 9-10 months out of the year. I would agree that some plants are more prolific producers but if they are genetically programmed that way or if its because they are more adaptive to their environment is beyond my knowledge and observation.

If you are looking for names which have never missed a bloom cycle for me since being mature (2+ years old) on a shortlist: Penang Peach, Celadine, Dean Conklin, DSP, Jeannie Moragne, JL Candystripe, Sariah's Curly Pink, Pinwheel White, Royal Hawaiian, and the ubiquitous Generics (rainbows, Whites, pinks). I Hope this helps.

This Generic Pink blooms every year from around May to November. I bought it at Walmart in Lihue as a cutting maybe 10 years ago.

full view

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 3:41PM
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I forgot to add that generics can be very good bang for your buck. I bought this three tip cutting from Walmart for $3-4 at the time.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 3:50PM
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Tommyc(Mich 5-6)

In Hawaii they bloom every year. I have them bloom every other year in Michigan. They are heavy feeders. I feed them everyweek all summer with Bloom Booster fertilizer, until late August. It seems they need the longer summer. Usually in Michigan the stems grow about 4 inches. Based on that, I think it might take about 8 inches or more of growth a season to develop the flowering ability next summer. Though its been many years since I graduated from College... I did graduate with a Degree in Horticulture from the U of Hawaii school of Tropical Ag. My advice... try to duplicate its natural weather and they will reward you. Feed Feed Feed.

If you want to see some of Plumi's in Michigan just click on the link below, then on Flickr, under the search bar click on Slideshow and it will show you the photos in a large aspect. Or click on the photos in the sets to the right to see each photo by itself.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hawaiian Sea PhotoStream

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 4:30PM
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here on the Gulf Coast most bloom every year also, lots and lots and lots of heat and humidity and alkaline soil.
Just watch out for hurricanes.
When I lived in Hawaii I didn't grow a single plumeria, too big for the lanai but did I have gorgeous orchids.
Tally HO!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 4:40PM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

those blue and orange flowers under that pink plumeria make for a beautiful look!!


    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 4:53PM
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thanks. They are Cape Plumbago and some kind of Lantana. Grows like a weed and blooms until (if) frosted back. I gave them a good trimming once they finished this bloom. They are starting to form up for the next show.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 7:49AM
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Mike, you can't go wrong with those New Gold lantanas and plumbago. My plumbago throw both offshoots and seedlings that mature to blooming in one year, another great sharing plant. They'll cascade over walls nicely, too.

The lantana dies back in January and you swear it'll never come back, only to see it take over several square feet around it again come June. It's a terrific investment in color that takes almost no water at all.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 9:25AM
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That's it. New Gold Lantana.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 12:08PM
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I have been wanting to add something to this conversation and finally have a moment to do so.

As I recently mentioned on the post regarding JJ's plants, this is my third year growing plumerias, so I am by no means a veteran. Nor is the observation I'm about to offer much more than anecdotal...but here goes...

I am fortunate to live close to Florida Colors, but have patronized Carol and Luc embarrassingly little--not for any particular reason other than that I, like many others who frequent our lovely little online community, had decided that I did not wish to collect grafted plants.

I do have three grafted plants from FCN, however: Donna S, Nebel's Rainbow, and Aimhorn aka Chiang Mai Rainbow. Donna S was blooming when I bought it 2 years ago, did not bloom last summer, but is pushing an inflo right now. Aimhorn and NR both have bloomed last year and again this year.

Coincidence? It could very well be, but it did get me to thinking that, perhaps, by grafting a mature cutting (by that I mean, from a tree with some considerable age behind it, which most if not all of FCN's trees, to my eye, seem to have) onto stock that already has a substantially formed root system, the grafted cutting may then direct its energy towards flowering rather than towards developing a root system, with the result that the grafted tree produces blooms earlier in its lifespan.

Or, to approach it from the opposite direction: having rooted close to 20 cuttings now and having collected another 40-ish rooted cuttings, I think it's fair to say that an ungrafted, "baby" tree needs some amount of time to develop its new identity as separate from the tree from which it was cut (not to mention to grow a root system). But a grafted cutting never goes through that infancy stage.

I may give grafted plants another look for this reason. Just my two rambling cents.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 8:04PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

I think another reason for FC to graft is that the scions can be quite short (a few inches or less) and a cutting will need to be at least 8" to 12" or more. So from purely a plant-tissue-conservation point of view, grafting wins.

And it's gotta be faster than cuttings. Since the root system is critical, there's already one developed. Also, there are some varieties that are just very resistant to rooting -- like Bill Moragne, for example.

Also, FC is particularly adept at grafting. It's done a lot in Thailand and other tropical places and can be a very fast way to increase stock, provided one has the shade house or greenhouse for protection from full sun, winds, rain and other forces that might compromise the union.

More rambling thoughts from me.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 7:33AM
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No-Clue(So Cal Zone 9)

Thank you everyone for weighing in on this issue.

I should clarify that the ones I have that are blooming now are mostly 5 gal so am correct to assume they have pretty mature roots and SHOULD bloom again every year?

I understand the baby plants will take time unless they are grafted... but what about the 5 or 7 gal? Thank you!!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 3:46PM
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No-Clue, I think it comes down to an equation of:

(1) the likelihood of a given cultivar to bloom on an x-year old tip
(2) the number of tips

In my small collection I have not yet seen a variety that has a significant likelihood of blooming on a new tip. e.g., say you have an inflo this year and the tip branches three ways. What is the likelihood that those tips will bloom next year? In my experience, it happens but it is more often than not the exception to the rule.

And secondly, the number of tips. Once your plant has a large number of tips, the odds are truly in your favor that some of them will be ready to bloom in any given year.

Another thing I have noted is that when plants are young have have a smaller number of tips (Of course, lots of plants, or big plants will increase your chances. Lots of big plants and it is a guarantee :)

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 9:52PM
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Hi you all,
I have about 70 varieties and a lot of mature trees in 25-gallon pots. They all bloom every year. However, most plumerias bloom on about 40-50% of their tips. It appears that the tips that bloom this year do not bloom next year. Generally the tip that bloom splits into multiple tips, which on most plants will not bloom till the year after. However, there are varieties that bloom on 70-90% of the tips, like Lemon Drop. Lemon Drop blooms on very short branches, even on 1" long branches. I have not seen any other plumeria bloom like Lemon Drop.

I read somewhere that for young plants the tips need to develop a certain hormone before they will bloom. Rooted cuttings that bloom, the blooms come from the mother plant. So, it can take many years before new plants can start blooming consinstently, depending on how many tips they have. Generally, cuttings begin blooming from the second or third year on. If you prune young trees that deleys blooming. Also, remember that fertilizing the trees this year affects the blooms for next year, as the inflos for next year are made this year. I hope this helps.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 10:23PM
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George, that's an interesting point about the "offset" behavior of their tips, that even though they trade off the years in which they bloom, a larger tree with many tips will produce at least some flowers every year (under good growing conditions, which you must have).

The big Lemon Drop I got made 9 inflos this season on 14 tips. It now has 28 tips. I like those odds for next year!

Brian, I like the way you think, too: Lots of plants, or big plants will increase your chances. Lots of big plants and it is a guarantee.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 9:27AM
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I had these plumerias since 2004 that my daughter brought from Hawaii as cuttings. I planted in the small pots and then I repotted them into a bigger pots. On 2006 they bloomed a lot of beautiful flowers. But later year they only bloomed a few flowers. This year one of them bloomed a few flowers again. Hope they will bloom more. But I am afraid the transplant them into the ground. I am living in San Francisco. Should I transpant them to the ground?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 1:20PM
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Here is the picture on my plumeria bloomed this year. Not that many flowers, but it bloomed again.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 1:26PM
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Here are the plumerias bloom this summer!!!! But not as many flowers bloomed on 2006.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 6:13PM
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I have 2 large plants in pots that are very old. I have noticed that they bloom every year but that it is every other year that they bloom very heavy.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 12:15AM
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mine were skimpy bloomers until I got it thru my head to fertilize, fertilize, fertilize. Now they bloom yearly and profusely.

Since I am not expanding my plumeria collection beyond 10 plants (too big a pain to haul more than 10 in winter) I am starting to root cuttings from plants that were originally grafted. I just don't like seeing those grafts.

FC is really good at grafting, as someone here has posted, but I've had some whose graft is so ugly, I cant wait for cuttings to be mature enough so I can replace. before I do any such things, the cutting will have to bloom and the bloom will have to be as orig grafted plant.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 10:36PM
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