When to transplant Plumerias in the ground?

joellyn(CALIF)August 13, 2011

I have several Plumerias in pots, a few which are blooming, and I want to transplant all of them into the ground. I think they will do much better in the ground if I can get the right soil combination. In my area the soil is clay, but I've been dealing with that for many years, and everything in my garden is thriving. Is it better to wait until late fall when the leaves start to fall off (last year they didn't start losing leaves until after the first of the year!), or is it okay to transplant now?

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tdogdad(Zone 9)

if you transplant now it may abort flowering. Also clay is the worst soil for plumerias because it holds moisture and stays damp for a long time which can cause root rot in the winter. I generally transplant to the ground in the spring so there is ample time to establish roots before a winter. Bill

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 10:28PM
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I'm thinking about planting my cuttings in the ground too. I just want to plant them down once and leave them there without digging them up for the winter. Too lazy. Does anyone know a good way to protect them in the winter? Maybe a large plastic bag over them.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 3:47AM
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Thanks, tdogdad, I read your earlier post on how to amend the soil, and it is similar to how I amend mine for my plantings, but I will be extra diligent when I'm ready to plant the plumerias. So, you really think it's better to wait until next spring to transplant rather than in late fall after the leaves have fallen? I was hoping to get them in sooner, as some of the larger ones are in need of transplanting to either larger pots or into the ground. I mean, they're fine right now, healthy, blooming well, so I can wait until next spring if it's what you recommend. Thanks again for your input.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 2:56PM
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Springpaintings, I'm not sure you should plant your cuttings straight into the ground....at least I haven't heard of anyone doing that but I could be wrong. I guess it really depends on your soil and where you are located. Sounds from your description like you need to overwinter them, and if you live anywhere where the ground freezes or even if you get hard freezes during the winter they aren't going to survive. I'm in the temperate climate of
So Calif and a couple of winters ago we had an unusual freeze one night and I lost a couple of branches on one of the plants. It survived but it was damaged. I think you should start your cuttings in the black plastic pots first until they are established. Maybe tdogdad has some better advice for you on this.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 3:06PM
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Joellyn, you're right I should leave them in pots. I'm in S.F. area and the winter temperatures are around the 40* 50*. Maybe I'll try planting 1 down (just 1) and see what happen. I see pictures of plumeria trees on the web and they're so tall...makes me want to turn these cuttings into a trees and the only way may be to plant them in the ground.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 11:23PM
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I live in the Central Coast, California (San Luis Obispo County). I would like to transplant my plumerias on a slope in my backyard. The slope is really rock. I dug a few holes today, but hesitated to transplant them. Can someone advise about the soil, and is it a good time (November) for transplanting them? Thank you.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 11:13PM
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isobea(10, San Diego)

Hi everyone, I am in San Diego North County (3 miles from the beach) and two years ago I planted unrooted cuttings directly into the ground. They all rooted and are doing very well. BUT I did this in May when the soil was warmer. So I would listen to tdogdad's advice. He's been growing plumerias for a long time and has an awesome collection.
Good luck, Iso

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 12:46AM
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I agree with the others. Re-potting or planting in the ground this time of year, especially in clay soil is a recipe for failure. Wait until spring. They will fine root bound in pots while they are dormant. As far as cuttings directly into the ground, I always did them that way, BUT in the Florida Keys, when the soil is warm and the soil there is sandy and drains really well, and in the spring before the rains came. I have also done it in the summer rainy season and had some rot. It just depends. A week of rainy, cloudy weather, the rot rate increases dramatically so once we got into July August I then root cuttings in water bottles so I can control how much water they get.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 1:56PM
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Thanks for all advice. If so, I will wait until April.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 12:43AM
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