'Container growing plumeria'

funinthesunincl(Z9 TX Gulf Coast)August 22, 2008

Looking for information on growing plumeria in a container.

Pros/Cons? What should we all be looking for in pursuit of the great looking plumeria plan? Are we sacrifing anything after the same plant is in a container for multiple years? Thanks in advance! MJ

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kbauman

Hi MJ

Great question.. I too would like to know the answers, intresting subject.

Karen B

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 3:14AM
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kimisdad(9A/B)

MJ,

The first and foremost con/negative and everyone should know is after a plumeria has been in the same container for several years the tree will begin to significantly slow in growth. Both roots and stems. I could write a book on this subject alone lol. As discussed prior to this thread bonsai container growing comes to mind. However, there is no reason that a plumeria cannot be a long term container grown plant. Before the freeze of 2007 we had many trees over the age of twenty years that had spent all of their lives in a container. None of these trees were of a dwarf variety. We have two older trees that survived through the freeze that are our first plumeria we obtained thirty eight years ago. If these two trees had been planted in the ground they would be in access of twenty feet tall with up to twenty feet diameter of the canopy. These same trees were never allowed to exceed twelve feet tall and approx. eight to ten ft. diameter. I would guess that we had harvested over five hundred cutting from these trees in their life time just for the sake of tree shape and size.I will post some pictures later as I have to get out and open up the place.

Jack

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 11:30AM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

Jack,

My largest container-grown plumeria was an Aztec Gold, which, as we know is a large grower. It was probably around 6-7 feet and as much wide. I had a hard time getting getting a good bloom on it its last year. The buds would get to just about open, then fall off. What might be the cause of this? I watered it every day and couldn't seem to water it enough. Not enough fert? Too much fert? I know it's probably hard to diagnose without knowing the complete history of the plant.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 2:03PM
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oorah(z10calif)

what would be nice would be to start a plumeria group up here in oceanside/North county..I currently have about 60 plumerias in various containers and ground.....I have received several notes about the san diego plumeria club but its toooooo far......anyone interested....we could meet at my garden until we establish a place in north county.....come on .....before the season is over....at least we could get it going.....no dues....no bylaws....just a friendly bunch of people sharing their knowledge.....

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 2:33PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

Jack, how do you feel about root pruning for plumerias that have been in the same containers for over 5 years then? Is that a practical solution?

Also, your mix looks VERY porous. How often do you have to water? Twice a day? Also, do you rely more on foliar feeding than root feeding? or do both?

Thanks, I know it's a lot of questions!

dave

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 3:23PM
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kimisdad(9A/B)

Dave,

Aztec Gold is one of the more drought tolerant plumeria. what was the indicators that made you suspect it needed more water? and every day?

Root Pruning:

With our system of growing we start in rooting tubes or one gallon containers up-potting until they reside in a 45 gal. container. With up-potting there is no need to root prune just to score the root bound plants. When in what we call the final destination (45 gal.)after four or five years we re-pot. The method is most always done in spring prior to full on growth. We never remove the tree from the original container in tact but dig it out of the 45 gal. about one foot from all sides leaving ten to twelve inches of old material in the original container. We have potting mix and new container ready with new mix at the proper height for the root ball. We place the root ball in the new container and fill around all sides with new mix, then stake, tie and water and your done. Very simple however a job for two to three nurserymen. This operation prunes the root ball and completes the job very quickly. We use a VERY sharp shovel to cut the roots to lesson damage. There is no need to remove the tree and cut the roots on an individual basis, I find this a waste of time with plumeria.

Jack

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 7:12PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 8:05PM
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kimisdad(9A/B)

Dave,

I left some important info out of the last post:

Tools we use for re-potting;

Long sharp knife, a very sharp and narrow trenching shovel or equivalent, standard or square shovel-- potting or grain scoop for back-filling container, a pick handle or equivalent for firming potting mix on sides inside of container.

Supplies;

Containers, stakes and tying tape, soiless planting mix, seaweed extract and B1 for the first watering.

If we have a 15 or twenty gallon container and plant is to be re-planted in same. We always use smaller bottom than top diameter container (slanting sides) so the plant will slide out without damage. Of coarse its not a perfect world some times the ball breaks no matter how careful you are, this is not a big deal I have not lost one yet. With a very sharp knife prior to removing the plant from container between mix and container with knife vertical run it around the sides, this will cut roots attached to container. Tilt plant remove plant from container sliding out then place on ground. Using shovel or knife we trim the ball 5-6 inches on the sides and bottom (on a large plant less on smaller one), we remove about 1/3 old soil and roots. Fill container with new mix to proper height put plant in container fill sides and firm with pick handle, stake and tie if necessary water and your done.

Jack

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 2:40PM
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nixonk

Wow -- a 45 gallon container? Again, WOW. So, anyone growing in Zone 5 or in Chicago? What size containers do you go up to? I don't think a 45 gallon container would even fit through the door of my apartment. I've got 7 Plumerias in 3 gallon and 5 gallon containers that I've had for about three years now. looking for insights into how big of a container I should reaslistically go -- 10 gallon? Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 3:49PM
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slave2thefur(san diego - north coast)

oorah - I'm north county as well, and interested in get togethers or at least car pooling to the SD meetings. This topic should go in a separate thread, tho. =^,,^= diana

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 8:07PM
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lopaka_mikale(PBG, FL 10A)

Jack,

I'm dying to see the photos of your original trees.

Bob

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 8:22PM
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slave2thefur(san diego - north coast)

oorah - I'm north county as well, and interested in get togethers or at least car pooling to the SD meetings. This topic should go in a separate thread, tho. =^,,^= diana

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 12:00AM
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oorah(z10calif)

diana...I have some people who are interested....I live in oceanside.....maybe we can get together in my garden for a getogether....

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 12:01PM
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