My New to Plumeria Group Intro
Hi, I just joined your club and wanted to give a brief intro. After living in apartments most of my life, I finally bought my first house with the requirement of a large yard (large by Southern California standards at least) in Simi Valley, California. The yard area has flat land and a hill, all of which were pretty barren when I moved in (there were actually plastic flowers inserted into the soil - and I'm not talking about Plastic Pink!). I've since added well over a hundred trees and bushes, including a number of tropical palms like the Flamethrower and the Teddy Bear (even a Brazilian Tower Tree or two). Late last year, I saw a plumeria and I thought, "you know, it would be nice to add one of those".
All who've been there I'm sure are laughing now. Yeah, just one. Well, 9 months later I have over thirty plumeria and am thinking of what big tree I can move to make space for more. It's an addiction and I need help, and I'm sure I'm not going to get it from this group, who probably consider 30 trees a light dabble in the plumeria world (how many of you have 100 or more?).
My first plumerias didn't do so well. I thought I'd give them some shade and lots of water. Once I learned the unexpected benefits of neglect, things have been going great. Even the pitfalls have been interesting. Once a bloom opened, I realized my Maui Beauty is likely not a Maui Beauty, but it's so gorgeous that I don't mind one bit. I bought a 12 foot Mardi Gras tree from a man an hour and a half away in Anaheim. We had it planted in my yard within 3 hours of his removing it from his. Unfortunately for me and the three other Southern Californians I know who have this "Mardi Gras", one day I saw a real Mardi Gras. I do not have a Mardi Gras. But it's gorgoeus nonetheless and it barely dropped a leaf or a flower since the transplant a month ago, and is blooming beautifully. It may be a Lani's Beauty, but I'm being more careful about telling everyone what I have this time! I also bought a cutting on eBay for a "Blue Hawai", then found out that plumerias don't come in blue (I was told that the pic on the ad is likely Photoshopped). I'll make sure to put up a photo here one day when the first flower opens. Likely it will be beautiful, too, regardless of what the heck it is. I guess it's like having kids - you never know what you're going to get exactly, but you'll love them none-the-less. Luckily with plumerias, even other people will think your "kids" are beautiful!
Here's my list (the ones with the asterisks, as in the Baseball Hall of Fame, are ones that may be or may not be legit): Jeanne Moragne (qty 2), Katie Moragne, Kauka Wilder and Teresa Wilder, Pop's Red*, Celadine (3), Lani's Beauty*, Mardi Gras (this one is real), Kaneohe Sunburst, Loretta, Mela Matson, Cerise, Hilo Beauty (2), Maui Beauty*, California Sunset, Premium Rainbow, Daisy Wilcox grafted with Yellow Rainbow, Bridal White, Grove Farm (2), Sundance, San Germaine, Blue Hawai*?*, Aztec Gold and "Hollywood Mystery" (3), which I named such because I bought them from a man in Hollywood and it was a mystery to him what they were. I've since seen a Thai variety called 4408, which looks quite a lot like Hollywood Mystery. Hmm - mystery solved? Time will tell.
I've divided my yard-in-progress into 6 themed areas (I guess one of the side effects of going to DIsneyland so much as a kid): Farmhouse Garden, The West Lawn, The High Country (High Sierra theme), The Swimmin' Hole, The Springs, and The Cliffs! (Na Pali! in Hawaiian). The last three areas are more tropical and have their share of plumerias, although plumerias have creeped in slightly to the other lands! It's sad I want to cut an angled pine tree down from the High Country to add some more sun for a future plumeria hill in Na Pali! There are 5 more pines in The High Country, I tell myself for reassurance.
I've driven to all parts of Southern California for Plumerias - from Ventura to San Diego, which proves I have a problem. From nurseries to Craigslist. Unfortunately, I didn't find this wonderful little plumeria dealer just a few minutes away from me until I have bought most of the plumeria listed here from places hours away (it's Island Plumeria in Northridge - friendly helpful service, great prices (often better than Craigslist), beautiful quality plants. Had I bought there earlier I could have afforded many more plumerias - and actually known what they really were!). I'm off to the South Coast Plumeria Society meeting this Sunday in Huntington Beach, where I will most assuredly exercise all of my discipline and not purchase any plumeria (is that a snicker I hear?).
Except, of course, for my last plumeria purchase for this, my first year with plumerias (stop laughing). I am looking for a 3.5 feet or taller Wildfire. I saw one just the other day and almost fell over. What a knockout beauty!! I have the perfect spot for it overlooking The Swimmin' Hole. If anyone has any tips on how to get one of these without going totally broke, let me know!
Thank you for all the knowledge, discussion and spectacular photos you all have shared on this site, and I've been enjoying since before I joined. Thanks!
George ( I promise to have shorter postings in the future!)