NorCal Plumeria growers anywhere???

leslazz(10b)August 17, 2011

I'm just curious if I am the only NUT on this forum spending time (not to mention money and a lot of wringing of hands) trying to grow my favorite plants. The only other posting about this area was in Feb of '08!

I am in the north bay area, specifically northern Marin, Novato and GW says my zone is 10 but I think that is quite optimistic. Tdogdad (Bill) thinks so too. (That guy is my idol!)

Anyway, I'm curious if anyone up here is successful at getting blooms or even growing these and is willing to share any advice. I would love to wipe that smirky look off my husbands face!

I have three plumies that are already rooted and another four that am trying to root that I brought back from Hawaii in late June. I think I have read pretty much everything about growing Plumeria that I can get my hands on and feel well versed, but then again, this is my 4th or 5th attempt at growing Plumeria.

I plan to bring all of my tropicals inside this winter and put a heater in that room but I have several questions about this. When? Do they have to have sunlight? what temperature? Etc...

If you have any advice, I'm all ears!

Thanks in advance for your help (and for wiping that smirk off my husband's smug little face!)


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Hi Leslie, count this nut in too! I just started growing plumeria this year from cuttings. Some cuttings I bought have inflos on them so I did get a few flowers (only a few). I'm in the livermore area, not sure what zone (any one know?). I keep all my cuttings under an umbrella b/c the sun light here can burn off all the leaves. I have about 15 plants (hey you never know what will happen this winter). Right now they're in 6 inch pots. I'll try to find space for them inside this winter. They're slow growing plants so I may not see any flowers on some of my new cuttings until probably next year.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 4:44PM
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Hi there fellow nut! Is this your first time you have grown Plumeria? I'm very familiar with Livermore, I was brought up in Lodi and I think you are about the halfway point between here and Lodi.

As far as finding your zone, here is the link for GW zones: or just go to your profile and where it says zone there is a link next to that. I think that GW may be a little optimistic there tho, especially with the weird cool summer we have been having here.

I was also told that when rooting, if you get buds (inflows?) on the cutting that you were supposed to take them off so the cutting could concentrate on rooting so I did. I don't know if that was right but at least you have seen blooms!

Keep in touch and I will post a pic (fingers crossed) when I get my first blossom!


    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 11:58AM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

Leslie. The trick is to measure your new leaves or claws. If they continue to grow you can leave the flower inflo, but if they stall or stay the same, cut the inflo off. When an inflo is cut off the rooting should significantly increase. Bill

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 4:30PM
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Well, once again Bill, you have given me good advice! And actually, I may have done the right thing, cause the inflows didn't look like they were going to bloom and the leaves were going nowhere, s-l-o-w! So with my fingers crossed, I took them off. Hopefully, that will help with the rooting process. The leaves do seems to be growing a bit better now.

Thanks for keeping an eye out for me! ;)

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 11:53PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

leslie- another thing to consider is that warm bottom heat expecially at night is a key to fast rooting. This is why so many place the pots on concrete as it radiated into the night. However, where you are is quicker to cool so you might consider a heat mat or bringing your plants inside at night. Also mist the stems in the late morning so they can absorb some moisture but do not water the soil until leaves are 6" long. Let the plant look for water as it uses the water stored in its stem to generate roots. Bill

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    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 1:39PM
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OMG Bill!!! Look at all those cuttings!!! Closest think I've seen to that many cuttings is at Laura's in Va.Beach. I don't think she had that many though. Good Job!! Peg

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 7:43PM
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Ahahaha, Bill, you are once again coming to my rescue! When I bought my super thrive and FE W/kelp today at my favorite nursery, I asked how I give ST and FE if I'm not supposed to water until I see at least 4 healthy leaves. That totally threw her off! I told her to look up GW in her spare time and how nice and informative all of you are.

I did start my cuttings out on cement (during that hot TWO DAYS we had in the beginning of July) but one of my cuttings turned yellow -burn?- so I moved them to my flagstone that gets mostly morning sun and then dappled the rest of the day. All of the cuttings have little claws on them, but I just don't think there is enough heat this year here. It's usually in the high 80s by now and we are running in the low 70s/high 60s. It sucks!

As far as dragging them indoors, I think it may be about the same inside as outside. Plus I have a HUGE clodhopper of a dog with a lethal tail so keeping any cuttings at ground level is just asking for trouble! I have put all my cuttings inside larger dark pots hoping that it will keep them warm enough overnight.

In either case, I think that since the 'claws' arent growing very fast (but then again, aren't dying either ) my plants are putting all their energy into growing healthy tough roots -ever the optimist, that's what my husband calls me as he smirks behind my back, hee hee hee.

So my real question is, do I put ST and FE in small doses on the cuttings sparingly, or don't do anything till those damn leaves appear? As far as the rooted plants go, do I give them both ST and FE until they show signs of dormancy? I do have those two inflows on the Mele Matson that still haven't even cracked a bit of a bud yet, but I keep hoping!

Thanks Bill! Oh and PS: if I had THAT many cuttings, I wouldn't be able to SLEEP AT NIGHT! I'd be sooo worried about each and every one! I'd be sleeping outside with them and a giant heater to make sure they didn't get too cool! Great job! Keep those pics up, you inspire me! Every so often, I will pull up your pics and spray Plumeria perfume around me... It's ALMOST like being there, or at least in my mind it is! 

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 10:36PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

You can put a few drops of ST in a spray bottle and mist the plants but no watering. When you do water put a few drops in a gallon before watering. It is not a fertilizer so it can be used into the fall and stop when the plant is ready to be put inside (gone dormant or leaves cut off to force dormancy). I don't know what FE is as I use seaweed extract. Laura took a box load of cuttings from me when she was out last spring, so many of hers are from me. Also, if you have stem burn you can take a paper towel roll, split it lengthwise and snap it around the branch to protect it from the sun. Bill

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 1:47AM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

You can put a few drops of ST in a spray bottle and mist the plants but no watering. When you do water put a few drops in a gallon before watering. It is not a fertilizer so it can be used into the fall and stop when the plant is ready to be put inside (gone dormant or leaves cut off to force dormancy). I don't know what FE is as I use seaweed extract. Laura took a box load of cuttings from me when she was out last spring, so many of hers are from me. Also, if you have stem burn you can take a paper towel roll, split it lengthwise and snap it around the branch to protect it from the sun. Bill

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 1:48AM
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Tropical_Washington(8 Seattle)

You're not that crazy - I'm trying to grow plumerias in Seattle! It's nice to hear that I'm not the only crazy person trying to grow plumerias in a northern climate!

I've been experimenting over the past few years with a variety of "ecosystems", putting plants in different places in my house and outside. Just this week, one of my plumerias started growing an inflo! I am ecstatic! So that pretty much determined what was the best place in my experiments...

In the fall/winter/spring, I put the plumeria in a room that is 60-70 F, by a bright west window.

In the summer, when Seattle gets above 65 F outside, I put the plumeria outside during the day, but bring it in at night. Even when it's in the 80's during the day, I bring the plumeria back in at night, so it stays in the 70's, rather than a Seattle summer night temp of 55.

In my experiments, that is the key ingredient to continuous growth of the plumerias in Seattle - warm nights indoors. And now, I am totally excited to see one of my plumerias actually growing an inflo! It is a 3 year old cutting, from a yellow plumeria in Florida. I'll put a separate posting with pics!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 2:24AM
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haha I'm dizzy from looking at Bill's bunches and bunches of cuttings. Always great photos and a joy to look at. Yes this is my first year growing plumeria. I bought my first two cuttings in March. The seller didn't tell me that the plants were not rooted. The plants were flowering so I thought they were just like any other plants you buy at nurseries. I should have research more. Anyways, I repot them and discovered that they had no roots haha. I repot them anyways and took them indoors next to a window. They were so unhappy. Some flowers on the inflos bloomed really fast and faded really fast. Also the trunks began to shrivel. I took them back outside. At this point they were dead...almost dead =) the trunks felt like old bananas. I pulled them up again to check for roots. No roots!! I gave up and left them alone. I didn't cut off the inflos. Just gave it water here and there and just pray "come on little guys you can do it" haha

It's been 6 months. Plumerias are strong plants stronger than I expected (trust me I've killed many plants) My plants are back to life. 1 of the original inflo is even starting to flower again. I'll take picture tomorrow and show you. So it may be true that you should cut off the inflos when the cutting is trying to root but I'm glad I didn't because now I have more flowers from the original inflo.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 2:46AM
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tdogdad: FE = fish Emulsion and the one I bought has kelp extract (I thought it was the same as what you used?) OK, no watering till I get leaves or until I see signs of wrinkling, then I use just a bit of ST (and FE w/kelp extract?) on all the cuttings. The one that got a little burnt still has claws on it, so it seems it healed itself but good to know the paper towel trick in case it happens again. (See? Ever the optimist!) Temps only dropped down to 54 last night -woo hoo!- so moving inside is pretty useless and dangerous anyway with that tail of Major's! I have been giving the rooted plants some Miracle Grow twice but my nursery gal says to go easy on it, that stuff is like giving sugar to kids, so I think I'll just keep that going on the thyme I planted between the flagstone. I'm not sure what to use on the rooted now tho, diluted ST and my FE? Bill'S Fertilizer (or the equivalent up here)? Vitamin B1? I know to stop fertilizing a few weeks before dormancy, but it sure would be nice to get at least ONE bloom even if it isn't from one of the cuttings or grown from seed, I would still consider it an accomplishment! I notice that some people only consider a blooming plant a true accomplishment when they have been raised from seed, but I'm pretty sure that level of Plumeria raising is far, far down the road for me so as far as I'm concerned, I paid for it either rooted or not and if I get one crummy bloom my husband - and I - will be so proud!

Hey Seattle! Well thank goodness that you are further north and still raise Plumeria! Even tho I live on about a quarter of an acre, I only have really two types of sunlight to work with, early morning with dappled afternoon or no morning with scorching afternoon (either way, not ideal for tropicals)! And my only western exposure inside is my kitchen window, and if I put all my tropicals in there, we would have to eat our 3 squares out each day! I'm afraid my husband would have to put his foot down there since he has a huge veggie garden and we have squash (all kinds) coming out of our ears right now! I think trimming back a few of my existing trees (camphor, maple and my volunteer Silver Dollar eucalyptus) is the ticket! I know my roses would appreciate that too! Congrats on your new inflow! Keep up the vigilance apparently it paid off!

Springpaintings: Well you have much more patience than I, if I had found squishiness at the bottom of the cutting my first year, it would have been tossed and I would have been searching for someone that was going to Hawaii within that week. Don't feel bad about not knowing about no roots, for the first 2 years I kept throwing my plants out when they lost all their leaves thinking I was killing them each year! (There is a dump with some beautiful trees around here somewhere!) the trees in Hawaii never go dormant, why would I think they went dormant??? That is when I stumbled across this website, boy, did I feel stupid! but I have read and read and I am at least a little more knowledgeable now. Your temps are probably a bit closer to Tdogdads as you don't get the early morning/afternoon fog there. (Livermore, right?)Keep an eye out for his advice, I can't say enough good things about him and pretty much everyone else on this forum! They may have different opinions about several things, but we all hate to see people give up on Plumeria! I try a little of everything I read and then adapt it to what I think may work for me here. Plus, I have made lots of friends at local nurseries and get their opinions too! Sounds like you are on a great learning curve, what with those flowers again, so keep up the good work! :))

Have fun all, I'm off to work in the flower shop, but my heart will be home with my Plumies! :)


    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 9:02AM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

springpaintings- You have a hardy survivor. Most plumerias when they get like yours just rot. a plant may flower while the stem is rotting so if your stem is still like an old banana you may be in trouble. If the stem has gone hard the plant is a tough one. Your three errors are 1 watering while rooting causes the stem below the ground to rot- the plant has water inside to root. 2 Not cutting off leaves and inflo causes the plant to give up water (causing shrivel) used for rooting to leaves that are going to need more but no roots to supply. 3 that roots form as claws of new leaves form and when the new leaves reach 6" the roots are ready to supply water so photosynthesis can continue and the plant grow. We all learn by killing cuttings. Hope your plant is the exception.
Leslie- no fish emulsion until spring. It has too much nitrogen and this is not good in the fall as it causes green growth that is weak to cold and gets black tip. Only ST this fall and no wet soil until leaves are grown. It is hard to resist. My policy is plant them, water once, mist often, and forget about them. Messing with them is trouble. Also you stop fertilizing in August, or in So. Cal in Sept. but you need time to harden up the plant. if you have a 0-0-30 (high K) or Protekt, you can give that to strengthen the plant for winter. This is also good for high temp. sunburn prevention and plant stress. Be patient. Bill

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 11:49AM
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Hi Leslie,

I live in Novato too and have plumeria. I find the hardest thing to do is getting them growing in the spring. As you know, our springs can be very cool and not the best environment for plumeria. That being said, my plumeria are at an age now that I get blooms most years, so it is definitely possible, even though it may happen in August. Here is my advice:

1. Put them in a place where they get as much sun as possible. Reflected heat from hard surfaces is particularly helpful.

2. Give them lots of water in the summer and virtually no water in the winter.

3. Don't give them bloom promoting fertilizers. Given them a balanced fertilizer relatively high in nitrogen. I believe that plumeria are programmed to grow a certain length before they bloom. If you restrict their growth, they will bloom less frequently. At least that has been my experience.

I look forward to seeing pictures of you plumeria blooming in the near future.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 1:49PM
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Tdogdad: Ok, so no water till 4 good 6" leaves; only mist with a mild ST and water solution maybe once a week; I haven't really fertilized them at all so no problem there; and unless Protekt (0-0-30) can be sprayed on my cuttings in a diluted form don't do that either. Basically, just ignore the slow growing pain in the you-know-where's! So far so good. Now how about the rooted ones, shall I give them Protekt and can I give them ST in diluted water form since I can water those (all 2 1/2 of them!) The 1/2 one is the one plant that was rooted I had shipped back from Hawaii, and when it arrived the nursery had pulled off every leaf before shipping (California is tough on shipping in plants apparently) I now have about 3 leaves on that one! And of course, I discovered I still have spider mites so I am spraying them with a mild insect soap once a week. I think I'm going to concentrate on my ginger plants and Hibiscus I bought at the ABC in Hawaii. They have all rooted and are growing pretty well! Who'da thunk it right? Thanks again Bill, you are a gentleman and a scholar!

OMG BRETT! Do you live in north or south Novato? I know my sis in law lives in San Marin and she is definitely hotter there but she gets a wind whipping thru her yard about 3:00 pm very day in the summer . It kinda chills you when you get out of the pool! So many little microclimates here too! Thanks for all the advice, I am trying hard to keep these little beauties alive (despite my husband's Glum imitation 'it'll never grow...)

Armstrong had tropicals on sale a couple of weeks ago for half price, but I discovered they are the ones with the spider mites! Thank goodness I only bought two! I knew it was too good to be true! But I'm staying vigilant and cleaning the bottoms and tops of the leaves and spraying them when I can. Nasty little critters!

Glad to hear that it is possible to grow Plumies here, do you take them indoors or how do you winter them? I have been sparing with the water on my rooted ones because of the mite thing, maybe that's why that one bloom hasn't blossomed yet, hmmmm. I thought it was because have been unusually cool this summer. Did you get any blooms or inflows yet? It'll be interesting to see how you do it. I have two friends that grow them but they are indoor and one of them had 5 at one point but is down to one. I think they gotta get fresh air to thrive. Anyway, thanks for the advice and I look forward to hearing about how you have found a way to do this.

Waiting with baited breath, Leslie. >>>"crossing her fingers and silently praying that you don't say you have a greenhouse, I just can't afford one of those this year!> :)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 9:34PM
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I took this photo in March. See, Bill and Leslie, how would a beginner know that there were no roots?

Any idea what is the name of this white one? didn't have a tag.

This is another photo of another pink variety (no name) the original inflo is flowering right now. The left side of the inflo is flowering and the right side is dead.

I think I have some strong plants indeed.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 12:08AM
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Geez Spring! I wouldn't even care if my plant were dead if it bloomed like that before it totally died! That is gorgeous, unfortunately I can't help with identification (probably specifically cause I've never had bloom myself Ahaha!) the one below looks quite hardy too! Are they bright or light pink? Maybe wait till you get a pic of a bloom and then post it, lots of people will try to help.

How did you post those pics? I have a couple I want to post but am clueless as to how. And I just don't think I can tolerate the eye rolling and the voice dripping with sarcasm and explaining in words no bigger than two syllables from my 17 year old. I am on an iPad if that makes any difference. :)

Keep up the good work! Is the squishy one still squishy? If so, you may want to let it finish blooming and then cut off the bottom squishy part and try to reroot it. I read somewhere (don't ask me where) that if a plant is about to die, it will put out flowers with it's last bits of energy to try to propagate. With the looks of those flowers tho, I find that hard to believe!

The white one is the troubled one right now, correct? And you said it has new inflow? Well if it is squishy, I might do what I said above or wait till Tdog comes back, he may be more helpful. Little Miss Patience over here, would have given up or cut it off long ago! See? Patience is a virtue and I seem to be lacking in that virtue! (I even planted the thyme between the flagstones 2" apart rather than the recommended 4-5" apart because I can't stand the idea of waiting a whole year for the cracks in the flagstone to fill in! ;)


    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 6:51AM
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I live in north Novato in the San Marin area. Don't believe your husband, they definitely grow here. I keep them outside in a very sunny location in the summer and bring them in the garage in the winter where they go dormant. I have about 4 inflos developing right now, so I should get some blooms before it gets too cold. Good luck with your. Be sure to post pictures.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 1:08PM
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Hi Leslie, to add images:
1) sign up for free account at
2) click on "media upload" tab and upload your images.
3) click on "my images" tab and click on the image you want, click on the little "i" button next to the image, another page will pop up.
4) locate "site" box and copy and paste that code into your message
5) preview your message before posting to see if the images loads

let me know if that works

My white one is still recovering, the trunk is hard but it's not back 100% yet (maybe 80%)

The pink one is back 100%. That's the one with the inflo. It's definitely slow growing, the buds haven't open yet (few days now) When it does, it lasts a long time so it's worth the wait.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 4:23PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hello Everyone,

Great to see all of you Northern California growers here!!!

You all will do fine growing these beauties!!!!

I bet you will have great results soon...

Please post pics when you have some blooms...we love pics here!!!

Welcome all of you!!!

Ask questions away...we all have learned from each if you need anything, just ask!!!!

Take care everyone!!! Welcome to the forum!!!!!

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 11:38PM
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Hi Everyone,

I'm so glad I found this site, and Nor cal growers :) I am new here. I live in San Jose. I have 3 plumierias that I got cuttings 2 summers ago. Last year, all three bloomed for me. I'm guessing that the inflos were already there from the originals because from what I've read, they do not produce inflos intil after a couple of years. I do not know much about plumies, but am learning. When I got the inflos last year, I transplanted my plumies to bigger terra cotta, and ceramic pots. Thay all did fine. Now this year, they all have leaves, no inflos, and about a month ago have stopped growing. I had them in an area, that was part sun, but on concret. When they stopped growing, I decided to move them to full sun, but the pots are in the garden on soil areas.

I also got some new cuttings about 3 weeks ago. They are two different variety( I don't know names...sorry) One of them though, the stem looks wrinkled. I don't know if that is normal or not.

I would love any advice/feedback you all have.

Thank you,


    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 1:30AM
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Hi Tarryn, I'm in Livermore so I'm closest to you =) When the "squishy" happened to my older cuttings six months ago, I left them alone and they were better. I bought some new cuttings last month from Home Depot. Two of my pacific pearls are getting squishy too. Maybe they were already sick when I bought them b/c I water them just as much as the other ones. If these two don't get better in a month I have no choice but return them to Home Depot.

Do you bring your other cuttings inside for the winter? How do you protect them in the winter? Do you have pictures of these? If your cuttings survive here in the bay area I'm hopeful mine too. I really want to grow them all over my yard =)

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 4:17PM
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Hi Springpaintings,

Sorry to hear about your squishy's. I did not bring my plumies in during the winter. They were outside, but underneath our patio. I'm bummed that they have stopped growth. Now that i have moved them, i think where they are is too much sun. On one of them, the leaves are starting to have brown spot and yellowing. The other two still no growth. I will have to find another spot to
put them. It's too late for it to bloom, but i would like the leaves to still grow. My cutting from last Oct finally rooted. I even have an inflo. Will try to post pic when i get a chance.


    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 1:39AM
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Hi Springpaintings,

Sorry to hear about your squishy's. I did not bring my plumies in during the winter. They were outside, but underneath our patio. I'm bummed that they have stopped growth. Now that i have moved them, i think where they are is too much sun. On one of them, the leaves are starting to have brown spot and yellowing. The other two still no growth. I will have to find another spot to
put them. It's too late for it to bloom, but i would like the leaves to still grow. My cutting from last Oct finally rooted. I even have an inflo. Will try to post pic when i get a chance.


    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 2:47AM
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I think plumeria doesn't like new soil. It's very different than my other succulents. My other succulents are easier. I can pull them up from anywhere and put them down anywhere and they'll root and grow just fine. Not with plumerias. A few months ago, I tried to repot my cutting, gave it new "fancy" soil. It didn't like it at all and started to get squishy.

If your cutting survive in the ground then I'll try to put 1 cutting down. I don't remember if it ever freeze/frost here in the bay area. This is the first year that I really pay attention to the weather. Most of my other plants are weather-proof. Please post some pictures when you have time. I would love to see how nice your plant grows in the ground. Also it's normal for the lower leaves to turn yellow. Some of mine are turning yellow too so I just pluck them off. Some of my cuttings sort of stop growing too even though the weather is still warm. Don't know.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 3:08AM
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T: I have to chime in here, I looked up yellow leaves Plumeria here and there are several reasons for it. Dormancy, overwatering, sickness etc.. If you could post some pictures, it would be helpful. As I explained to Spring, I'm no expert, but someone else like Laura in VB may know. She's growing them very successfully in Virginia Beach, much colder there! Anyway, burning (the brown places) looks like a true burn mark, not really splotches, I think... Pictures I guess, would be your best bet.

spring: Thanks for the step by steps for posting pics. I haven't tried it yet, but I think I'm gonna try it now just so when that one blossom finally decides to open, I'll be able to run out and get a pic! It's teasing me! It's so close to blooming that I can almost smell it! (Jim even said "did you see that bloom on your tree?" in an almost proud kind of way.) Haha! As if I haven't been watching it as closely as my first born child!

Have fun all, I'm going to play on imageshack for a while!
(as I glance up and position myself so I am in a direct sight line to my bloom, just in case today is the day! Fingers crossed) :)

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 10:52AM
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Ok Spring, I got the image and I'm stuck on copying and pasting from the site box. My iPad won't give me my little 'copy' prompt! Matter of fact, I just tried to copy your step 4 above and it wouldn't give me the option either. (of course, that could be a whole other reason.)

If you have any suggestions, I'm all ears! And Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 11:36AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hello everyone,

You all are so excited...nice to see such enthusiam in the Plumie world!!! You all have it !!! LOL Just like we did and still do!

As far as leaves turning yellow, that is a normal process that the trees go through all summer, as they grow they shed their old leaves when they grow larger branches. some even say that they can go through a type of dormancy sometimes. I just pull them off (pop) them or you can cut them off. Its nothing to worry about if its a few at a time. It they are all turning yellow at the same time, then thats a different story.

Stem burn can happen to us all. I have had it from the very first plumeria. Even this spring i had a problem with someone...COugh , cough leaving the door closed on my greenhouse and the temps reached way over 110 in the greenouse.. i had some fried stems and some burned stems.

Bill taught me this trick, you take a toilet paper holder cut it down the center and wrap it around where the burn is to protect it from further sunburn. ( tape it to gether) They should stay out in the direct sun unless you are trying to acclimate them from either receiving them fromm a grower or from a rooted cutting being potted up for the first time. Paper towel holders work just as well.

Your soil is a very importnt to the health of your Plumeria. You want as fast draining mix that will allow the water to drain fast and not keep the feet wet on the trees. They really dont like wet feet. If u need the recipe from Jack Morgan from Kimis Plumeria, especially you all on the west coast that is the best combo for you all. We here on the east coast cant fine all of the ingredients that you can find in CA. So we have to substitute our ingredients. I like the gritty mix and the fast draining mix for my trees.

You can find the recipe for Jacks mix if u do a search for it on the forum..if u cant find it i will look it up for you or someone will chime in and give it to you all.

Good luck you guys...i love to see how excited you all are...Growing these beauties is a wonderful experience and it does take be ready to wait for a year or two for blooms. SOmetimes you get lucky and have them early, so enjoy. Dont forget to fertilize too!

Have fun!!!

Take care,

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 12:19AM
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Hi Leslie,
...posting you're at step 4, have you upload your images? Log in to imageshack, there are 4 tabs (Media upload, upgrade, tools, my images) on top. Click on "my images". The images you uploaded should show up as small picture icons. Next to those picture icons there are some smaller icons that looks like "i", "X", "G", etc. Click on the "i" icon of the image that you want. Another page will pop up that has "link", "forum", "sites", "direct", "forums, "sites", "tag".

Inside the first "sites" box it should say: img src="
Copy this whole line into your message box. Copy everything including the "" after the last letter.

Preview it to see if it the picture shows up. Hope that helps

Laura, thanks for all the advice, one of my pacific pearl cutting didn't make it. I think I did everything right. Glad I bought more than 1 cuttings. Do you grow any of yours in the ground. I'm thinking of putting 1 down.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 1:17AM
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AHAHAHA! the only way I can copy in that window is to copy from the word 'Sites' and as you can see it just pastes the word 'Sites:' and then nothing after. LOL!

Apparently imageshack isn't iPad friendly! I'll go over to the iPad forums and see what I can find about copying and pasting pics in forums. I can't be the only person on GW that uses an iPad!

Thanks Spring for the help. On the bright side tho, there is now two blossoms on my tree ready to pop! We've had a couple of warmer days here the last couple of days and Jim and I are going out this morning to take a few unnecessary branches off some of the surrounding trees. More sun for my babies, YAY! Now if that darn fog would just burn off earlier... >:~\

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 10:36AM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

Leslazz- you can copy by holding down the command key and pushing the C key. To paste hold the command and push V. Before you browse, set your image size (320=small, 640=medium, or 800=large image.) Then select your picture. After you upload, click on the HTML code and then command/C. Go to garden web and command/V. Hope that works for you. Bill

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 1:00PM
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ericthehurdler(NOR CAL 9a)

I have 4 plumerias in Healdsburg. The weather here is not the best for plumerias but none the less i got my first bloom today :D

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 2:29PM
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Ok first, thanks Bill for the info, but I don't have a 'Control' button on this damned thing! LOL! I have posted the two strings of info thT Imageshack for the iPad says to post. The first is SUPPOSED to work...

but obviously, it doesn't. So I cut and pasted the second 'if the first one doesn't work'...


That's not working either! I'm just gonna bite the bullet and have my 17 year old roll her eyes And with a big sigh, talk to me like I'm in 3rd grade!
Trimmed surrounding trees and expecting to smell Plumeria soon :D

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 4:10PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

Leslie- use command which should be below the x- my error. It is command C and command V. see if that works. Bill

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 11:10PM
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Bill: if you have an iPhone, take a look at the keyboard, there is no command key. To copy, you just double 'touch' on the screen itself and then double touch wherever you want to paste, and it will paste it. The problem with imageshack is for some reason, it won't let me copy inside the site box. It LOOKS like I am copying the command but it doesn't paste it. This is just too funny!

Jess got home from the baseball game late last night and I'm going to work, I'll show her everyone's instructions and see if she has better luck. You know kids, they grew up learning on computers. It'll take her maybe 5 minutes to figure it out

Thanks, though Bill, worst comes to worst, I can use her laptop, I have plenty of I striations for that! :)

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 9:34AM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

My techy wife says"
1. download the photobucked app to your iphone.
2. get photobucket account.
3. click on photobucket app
4. click choose camera
5. take picture
6. either click retake or use
7. choose existing
8. choose camera roll
9. find picture you want and touch it.
10 click upload
11. click my albums
12. touch the picture you want to share.
13. touch the "i" in the bottom right corner which will give you a window of url link codes.
14. tap the HTML code (third down)
15. Tap the round circle on your phone and go to the gardenweb.
16. paste it into the browser window. continue as you would with written info."

Just passing on her words. Bill

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 12:49PM
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OMG! I figured it out all by my lonesome! Now I have to go take another pic! This is the first bloom I have ever seen in my yard! EVER! I also don't know how big that picture is on a regular laptop, if it is as small as it shows on my iPad, I'm gonna have to figure out how to reconfigure the size (EEEYUK!)

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 11:10AM
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labland(Inland Valley CA9)


I am writing you from an iPad. Photobucket has a free iPad app.
Which is what I use. You can then also access Photobucket from a non iPad (the old Flash issue) to label your photos. I download my camera directly to the iPad and update it occasionally to my computer, and IPod. You cn check to see if ImageShack has an app, a lot more programs are coming up for the iPad.

The problem with the iPad is you can"t access the files in the same way as PC and Macs.

That being said, I LOVE MY iPAD!!

Also, welcome to the site! Jennfer

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 11:18AM
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StarrLhasa(10a NorCal East Bay)

It has been just over a year since the last post here, so I am wondering how everyone's Plumerias did over the Winter and throughout the rest of the year.

We live in the East Bay - in Pinole - and have made lots of mistakes with Plumeria cuttings and rooted plants over the years. We are starting again!


    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 10:19PM
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I received my two, 5 point cuttings from Molokai Plumerias, and am writing in hope of a step-by-step how 2 for rooting them-
Seems all agree a heating pad is needed on the bottom
Should I put them in the dark garage (or put a paper bag over the top) so the leaves don't startup before the roots start?
I'll use the bark/turface/pumice mix, but how deep should I put the rooting end, and should I wrap it in plastic bag, or, pot it like a regular plant?
I had Plumerias in fremont that were great, but lost them to mites and colder weather here in castro valley.
any/all advice is VERY welcome!!! These cutting are so nice, I don't want to cause their demise!!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 2:29PM
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Meow, first check the bottoms to see if they look hard and dried over or "callused". I assume Molokai cures them long enough to allow for the ends to dry, but best to check first.

Then, soak the cuttings' ends in warm water for a few hours with a little Superthrive, if you have it.

Then put the cuttings at least three inches deep into your bark/pumice mix and water with the soaking water. Use a clear plastic bottle with drain holes cut into it for a view into the root area. Then you won't be tempted to keep checking the cuttings' ends by digging them up :)

Place those rooting bottles onto the heating mat or a warm part of the house and forget about them. Make sure they are secured upright, and out of the way of curious children and pets, or nosy plumeria growers. ;)

I repeat, FORGET ABOUT THEM. Don't put a paper or plastic bag over them. Dark or light doesn't matter as they will root when they're ready and I've found extra light seems to make no difference at all. I even had one root over the winter for me with no bottom heat, either, and it was in a cool room all winter.

The most important things seem to be:
1. A good callus on the base of the cutting.
2. No touching, moving or poking the cutting while it roots.
3. No watering while it tries to root.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 6:51PM
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plumejunkie(9a SF Bay Area)

Hey all, I'm in Antioch & I've been growing plumerias successfully for almost 10 years. I have 2 excellent plants that were gifted to me by the professor of horticulture @ cal st. Hayward, unfortunately I forgot what they were. I recently bought a cutting from a plant sold as pops red, but actually was purple, can't wait for roots! One of my 2 from the professor just bloomed for the 1st time in 8 years......exciting times!

I've noticed that soil is one of the key elements when growing plumeria. I usually use cactus mix, but decided to switch things up this time & mix my own. I used some fox farm happy frog, ocean forest, 1/8 & 3/4 in volcanic rock, & some moss I harvested. This mix is fast draining but still holds some moisture.

Light is another vital part of growing healthy plumeria. I give my plumies all the sun they can get, & I'm rewarded with amazing color in my plants! A couple years ago I got a bad case of sunburn, down to the inner stalk, so I learned to cover my plumerias durring the really hot days. Plumeria love hot weather, I've noticed mine will gladly take heat in the hundreds. Unfortunately they don't like cold, so when the nights get below 45 degrees, it's time to bring them in the house.

Watering, in my experience can range from weekly, to almost daily, depending on conditions. It was 106 for five or six days straight right before my plants bloomed this year so I was giving them water every day. I've noticed a bit of vertical leaf curl, not sure if its from water because my cactus mix is fast draining. Anyway, the colors are absolutely breathtaking this year!

As far as rooting goes, I make a fresh cut at a 45 degree angle with a razor blade. Then I make a few verticals cuts with a potatoe peeler to provide more area for rooting. After that, I walk to the back yard & grab a fresh aloe stalk. I filet it and scoop all the gel out into a blender & add some water. I poor the mix into a bowl & add some fulvic acid, potassium silicate, & some blackstrap molasses. Then mix . Following that, I dip the fresh cut stalk into the mix. Some people like to use clonex or root tome, but I find this mix is far superior. I had some old root tone lying around so I threw it on for the heck of it. Finally I plant it in a clear plastic pot with holes drilled into the bottom. the clear plastic provides a humid enviornment for the roots, whereas the holes allow for oxygen & watering from the bottom. dont forget to add an egg under the stalk before you plant!

Regarding fertalizer, I don't buy in to all the hype that a lot of plumie guys preach about fertalizers with high npk. These things not only kill the bacterial life in your soil, but also will lock up the nutrients over time! I mix fish emulsion, Jamaican bat guano, kelp meal, fulvic acid, & some black strap molasses (to feed all the hungry bacteria in my soil). Sometimes I switch it up & throw some potassium silicate in there. The npk of the mix, without the potassium, is about 10-12-20. I give them compost tea a few times a year & some enzyme tea once in a while. I fertalize once a week. This mix has worked very well for me!

If any of you would like to get a look at my plants, check out my post, "Help with identification" on 7/9/13. The colors are really amazing this year!

Hope my experience growing plumeria in the SF Bay Area is helpful to someone!


    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 2:34AM
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Wow PlumJunkie... How exciting to get beautiful blooming colors let alone have luck! I'm in Stockton which s not far from you.
This is my first try and now that summer is gone I'm not quite sure what to do. Your regime seems too complicated for this blonde as I don't even know what most of those things are let alone where I might find them! Lol
So I brought 2 plumeria stocks back from Hawaii in April and gave one to my GF and planted the other myself. Hers got leaves and she basically kept it on the table covered by an umbrella and I tried that too but sadly because I had left on a few vacations, my watering/house watchers didn't really understand when I said "don't water this too much , if at all" lol. Sadly mine rotted from too much water and my gf's still had leaves but the pot broke and she has yet to fix it. It will probably die f not taken care of. She did move it to a more secluded area but it is outside.
I purchased 3 new stalks. 1 that is purple had roots and the others are cut. I planted the rooted one and have been trying to follow a few simple directions that Bill had posted. I have yet to plant the other 2 because they are big cuttings and not sure what to do with them. They are still in the box. Do you think the can live like that? I'm afraid if I plant and put in garage, it will still be too cold. The purple one w roots is in the hose and I spray it now and then and occasionally give it a little water. I'm just so afraid I will kill this beauty to be!!
Do you have any easy ideas for ths true newbie?? Especially so. Don't lose these stalks during this winter and can eventually learn more along the way!
I would love to see pictures of your beautful blooms you got this year!!
I'm having trouble just navigating and finding info on this sight!!
I'd appreciate ANY help you can give! Thank you, Julie. : )

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 7:38PM
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Jbags, go up two posts and see my old instructions. You can do the rooting in a clear Solo cup with a couple holes in the bottom, and skip the Superthrive if you don't have it. It's pretty simple and mostly requires you to forget your new stalks/cuttings over the winter.

Even if they don't root over winter, they should in the spring if they're healthy. Spring is the best time to try rooting so don't be discouraged if they don't leaf out until then!

Hopefully you'll end up with these in the next couple of years:

Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 8:53AM
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Reading your posting, I'm going to give it another try. I bought a cutting when I was in Hawaii a few years ago and it didn't last long. I'm in Fremont. I've gotten some cuttings from the abc store online. The only one that's lasted is a bamboo orchid. Is there a better place to buy from?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2014 at 1:11PM
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Thank you, Leslie. I appreciate your response. I will definitely do more research and read through the tread. Can't wait to try again.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2014 at 10:19PM
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Hi there,
I saw your posting and wanted to ask how your plumerias are doing. I also live in Novato and its been a challenge for me to grow plumerias too. They do well for one or two summers but then seem to give up.
If you've had success, can you recommend how to grow them here?
Thanks so much,

    Bookmark   October 16, 2014 at 8:35PM
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Hey. Live in Vacaville, Ca. My stem has finally rooted. I am quite excited about it. Winter is coming. What should I do? Do I need grow lights? Please advise. Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2014 at 10:11PM
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I lived in San Diego and they sold Plumeria cuttings for $10 bucks. When I was relocated to NorCal - Lafayette, I brought my 3 Plumerias with me. I was surprised that they seem to do better here than in SoCal.

I potted each one in a cactus mix blend with a 10% potting mix for quick drainage. I have each one in its own clay pot of 6". I do not fertilize but do use a fork to "rake" the soil around. I replace 1/4 of the soil once-a-year with new cactus soil. (I have had master gardeners suggest Miracle Grow 10-53-10 Blooms mix). Light is key. I have mine on a table with 6-10 hours of daily sunlight. They seem to do alright down to 40 degrees. If you live in the east bay, it can get colder so always good to bring them into the garage.
I also grow Hibiscus in pots and get beautiful blooms. I bring them in when temps get down to 35 or less.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2014 at 3:00PM
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