Flowers + no leaves, looking for help

woody33July 13, 2011

This plant is blooming but no leaves have shown up yet. The base of the trunk looks like the skin is coming off. The branches are firm. Its watered 3x per week and never left in standing water. The drainage is pretty decent in this bed.

I have other plumerias near it that are blooming with leaves as normal. Those ones are set up on drip lines, maybe the sick one is getting too much water?

Wife says dig it up, friend says just do nothing and watch it. I think I need more advice!! I really don't want to dig this plant up.

Thank you for reading and helping if you can.

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I am somewhat surprised ad the number of inflos! Knowing that cuttings will often form inflos and bloom though I guess it isn't entirely surprising.

The base of the trunk does not look good, it reminds me of caudex rot on an Adenium. But it isn't even soft anywhere near the base?

Worst case, you get 3 really nice, healthy cuttings out of this that you can re-root. Perhaps others will have a suggestion on whether to get started on that now or give it more time. However, it is already mid July and no formed leaves? Are you in FL or CA?

Good luck...

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 9:49PM
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labland(Inland Valley CA9)

I would leave it alone! You have claws, and they develop into leaves. I had several trees right now that look like this. I would just watch it. It looks good and healthy. I find some trees flower before the leaves develop. I think it depends in the variety. I have a cutting of Bill's Psycho White that looks the same way that is a cutting. Te inflo developed first, now the leaves are coming.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 4:16PM
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It looks like some rot to me. I've had big cuttings like this before and I've had them bloom/look great even when the stem was rotting. Big cuttings have a lot of energy and they will remain vibrant for some time, pushing flowers and new leaves, etc.

The flowers look like a celadine, but if a celadine, they are small (typical of unrooted cutting). If newly planted in the ground this year, i'd explore around it (carefully) and see if there are roots. My guess, the sprinkers in the planter are providing too much water. If no roots/rotting roots, yank it, cut it, and repot (not in a sprinkled garden bed). If you do this, cut all of the flower spikes off as well...the plant will reward by rooting faster and being stronger in the future...bigger/better flowers, etc.

Cheers, Mike

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 4:33PM
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Okay thanks for the advice.
(to irun5k) I am in California-Ventura County area.
(to uglyhair) This plant has been in the ground for approx 2.25 years. It is from a nursery in gardena, CA. The tag said "Pacific Pearl." It seems to be rooted in pretty good. I was going to attempt "careful exploration" but I have a feeling I would end up digging too much. Now if I dig it up and cut/repot---are you saying to cut off the big spike that the flowers bud from, or just the top where the flowers are.
Thanks again, Woody

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 12:42PM
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I would remove the entire inflo, or "spike", if you intend to re-root the plant. (You could take the info inside and stick it in water, no sense tossing it out in the trash and not being able to enjoy the flowers.)

Keep us posted on what you decide to do.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 10:01PM
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So I pulled the plant up. The roots looked distressed, and as you can see the trunk didn't look great either. I will let these sit out until they scab up, then start over on this one. Thank you to everyone who gave some advice.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 5:23PM
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sunseeker53(10a CA USA)

Now you will have several beautiful small well-balanced plants :-) The cuttings look very healthy.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 8:56PM
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What a shame that you had to cut up the tree, but the three branches look very healthy and should root for you. I would leave them to dry at least ten days to get a good callus started.

The main trunk looks like it just got hit too much by those sprinklers. Plumeria seem to tolerate being wet from too much rain more than from too much city water, but to be safe you may want to plunge next time to keep the root ball a little higher next time. The plastic pot would also keep some of the sprinkler water from hitting the trunk, too. Or you could just plant directly in the ground again but raised up a bit above the level of the bed. Good luck with those cuttings.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 8:56PM
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I have a similar problem; I got 2 plumeria in the same pot 2 years ago; they both bloomed beautifully that year and one branched. last year they were not leaving out; upon researching I realized they were not getting enough sun; after they were moved into more sun the branched plant leaved out but never bloomed; the other one basically looked like a stick with a couple of nodules at the top; I realized it was being shaded by the other one so I turned the pot and it finally put out very tiny leaves very late last summer. This year once again the branched one is leaving out and the other is not; when the branched one started to leaf out I started to water; i am wondering if this is causing a problem for the 2nd plant.
thoughts and/or recommendations?

This post was edited by gazel on Thu, Jul 11, 13 at 9:43

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 12:36AM
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freak4plumeria(So CA zone 10)

Sometimes when u have issues with a plant leafing out it might be root system issues. I know in So Cal some people plant there plumies in the ground, but the dirt is too heavy in clay. When a plumie blooms like the first pic with no leaves I was told that it is the survival instinct of the plant as flowers are used to reproduce to carry on the line. If a plant flower and months later still no leaves I would definitely check below the soil loin to examine the roots.

As for flowers, we all know a plumie will bloom when it wants to bloom and not before, some are leggy growers and take longer to bloom and others are compact or dwarf and bloom profusely on a short tip. .. "A watched pot never boils"...

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 12:45AM
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Double post, sorry.

This post was edited by elucas101 on Wed, Jul 10, 13 at 12:14

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 12:13PM
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so I separated the 2 plumeria rubra plants and the trunk of the one w/o leaves started to look shriveled and has now collapsed so I cut it off above the shriveled area and it is hardening off so now I am trying to find the best way to restart it... how long do I let it harden and how do I root it?
The bottom *next to the soil) of the other one with the leaves is starting to look like the one posted by woody33 so I am debating if I should follow his lead and start over with it too....

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 8:03PM
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