So Cal folks - which plumeria does best in the ground?

daogirlAugust 6, 2011

We're in the middle of re-landscaping our flowerbeds, and my husband has been so impressed with the plumeria growing in containers on the back patio that *he* suggested planting one or two in our back raised flower bed. So, I was wondering if you all have opinions on specific kinds that do well in the ground. I realize I might have to redo the soil in that part of the bed - I'm actually not sure what's there right now since it's buried by some sort of large but low groundcover plant.

Like I said, the flower bed is raised, and is backed by a concrete wall. It's probably 5 feet wide and is really long (the whole length of our yard), and is plenty big enough for trees. In that flower bed there's already a mature Meyer lemon, a mature grapefruit tree, 2 mandarin orange trees, a banana tree, a monster fig tree, a 7 foot tall hibiscus, a couple of NOID trees, and various other smaller plants (and there's still a big "blank" space in the center!!). It is west facing, but the peak of the house casts a shadow that hits that part of the bed relatively early in the afternoon, so it doesn't get baked all the way until sundown. We live in the Inland Empire, so it's hot here in the the summer (90-100+). The winter is also usually pretty mild (anywhere from the low 60s to mid-70s during the day), although it can get cool at night. I don't think it usually drops below 40, though.

Ideally, I'd like to not have to sink a container in the bed, but instead to just put the plumeria in the ground. If the temps happened to get too cold on one or two nights, I'm fine with covering or protecting the plant in place.

Suggestions, advice, words of wisdom are all welcome! :)

Hollis

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tdogdad(Zone 9)

Guillot's Sunset, Celadine, white with red stripe (psycho), Thornton Lemon drop, Penang peach, Daisy wilcox, or Calif.Sally.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 12:00AM
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daogirl

Thanks, Bill! I'll start looking around.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 6:56PM
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freak4plumeria(So CA zone 10)

Domistic Plumies that do well in ground in So Cal:
ACW, SCP, Emmersons Pink Nova, Samoan Fluff, Lani, Slaughters Pink, University Hawaii Orange, Kimo, California Sally, Hong Kong, Dwarf Singapore Pink, etc.
Thai: California Sunset, Thai Splash, Jackie, Taj Mahal, Sherbert Town, Domino, Purple Jack, Gina, Divine, Mona Lisa.

Ozzie Plumies: Heart of Gold, Gold Coast Cotton Candy, Ruby Gold, Musk Rainbow, Australia, Chupa Chup, etc.

General White's, Yellows, Pinks do well planted in ground in So cal, plus ones that do like water. Generally Reds are pickier, and do not like colder temps.

Good Luck

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 7:22PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

James- my list was from those who have over 20 inflos per plant. A number of your list for me have only had a few inflos but it may be due to location. What of your list have been heavy bloomers for you? Bill

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 7:34PM
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freak4plumeria(So CA zone 10)

Hey Bill
I got tired of moving my collection from property to property so after seeing how nice your plumies looked planted decided to plant some in ground about 3 seasons ago I still have the majority of my collection that is remaining in pots. I chose plumies that were were prolific bloomers and good growers with good growth habits. The ones I listed bloom on almost every tip for me.
The only ones I listed that do not flower as prolifically but grow like a weed are Taj Mahal and Jackie, but I have to say they bloom often and on short tips.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 8:00PM
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daogirl

Well, I have an update! I ended up getting a big-ish California Sally from Upland Nursery a couple of weeks ago (50% off!), and finally planted it in our raised bed a few days ago. We redid the irrigation in that section of the bed before planting, changing the regular sprinkler heads to bubblers. You can see them sticking up in the picture, but they'll be cut down to size soon.

Here's a picture of the result:

I didn't have the time to go get all the ingredients for Jack's mix (Turf n Tee, Big R, etc - plus I thought it might be way too much for what I was doing), so I did my poor-man's approximation, putting down gypsum, lava rock and gravel, steer manure (the smell reminded me of being home in Texas!!), and planting around with a mix of shredded redwood, some backfill dirt, perlite, and more lava rocks. And then I added a small prayer to the plumeria gods (LOL).

I know it's probably not the best time to plant, but that's why I wanted to get a bigger, more established plumie, and so far the tree seems to be unfazed (knock on wood). We were super careful about cutting away the nursery pot, and I didn't fuss with the roots too much ... I figure it'll realize it's no longer pot-bound sooner or later! We've been having such crazy heat the past couple of days (trial by fire, literally!), so I gave it some ProTekt, but otherwise, I've let it be.

I really wanted a Thornton's Lemon Drop, but the Upland Nursery people told me they're hard to find. They had a small one for sale, but it was too expensive for me. So, I may just end up ordering a cutting. I was glad to see all the "pro" Calif. Sally posts, though, that happened right after I bought mine!

Now I'm thinking about planting another one of our "lanai" plumies ... there's easily room for 2 or 3 more in the space we've cleared out ... (to be continued ...)

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 12:26AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Beautiful Pictures....

You did a great job landscaping your yard...

Im a big fan of "California Sally" y0u will be very happy with this selection!!!

ET Lemon Drop is a must have...so keep looking...

I love my "Lani" i think it has been one of the biggest surprises this year with the color as well as the fragrance...i have two beautiful inflos that are just gorgeous and i really love them all!!!

Good luck and congratulations on a fine job!!!

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 2:06AM
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daogirl

Laura,

Thanks for the kind words!! We've really been enjoying the backyard. Good luck with your hurricane prep - I grew up in Houston & know how energy-intensive/stressful that can be (gotta love that feeling of "impending doom" - lol).

Hollis

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 12:59PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

Cal Sal is a good choice. Bill

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    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 1:32PM
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jandey1(TX8)

Hollis, looking good! CS and LD sound like great choices for that bed. Florida Colors has grafted LD for very reasonable prices. I just saw a photo of Bud Guillot's mature specimen and it is a beauty, very full and dense at over 6ft. tall and covered in blooms. Your hibiscus looks gorgeous, too.

Bill, your CS pictures are great. Looks like she won't get very tall? Probably should've asked that question before I bought it!

Jen

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 2:22PM
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daogirl

Great pictures, Bill ... I'm excited for when this tree really settles in and starts to grow. I was afraid that moving/replanting would cause it to drop its inflos, but so far so good - the inflos look like they're about to put out new sets of big blooms. I just hope they open!

Jen - I wish I could take credit for the hibiscus, but it was planted by our house's previous owners. It's a monster, though, and has grown a ton since we've had it. It actually has only about half the blooms on it that it did a month ago. The flowers are a deep hot pink - really pretty.

I'm looking at the Lemon Drop grafted plants available at FC, but do you think it's too late in the year to get a plant at such an early stage?

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 3:35PM
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jandey1(TX8)

No, I think a cutting this time of year would not be good, too green to root, but a graft will have a full root system already, so there should be no worries as far as I know.

Someone else may have a different opinion but I did get several plants, including grafts from Florida Colors, late last summer and the only thing that gave me trouble was the one unrooted cutting I won on ebay. All the others did fine and I ended up having the cutting grafted by FC this summer anyway after waiting nine months for it to root. I'm tempted to get a LD from them myself, like I need another plumeria, LOL! They were available at the PSA show, but for about $40 each so I passed.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 4:44PM
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labland(Inland Valley CA9)

Great planter daogirl! I have to say that mine in my planter built last year are doing spectacular! Mine has all plumerias. I only wish I had room for another one. My planter facing the east I feel doesn't get as much early morning sun as I think my plumerias would like.

I just today put in the ground my noid cutting that I rooted in March. It as a big cutting, and I was thrilled to see the bottom of my large pot FILLED with roots! I put that one in my front yard, which is facing west, corner lot. Hope it will do well.

It is the one ithe brown pot. This is an older pictured taken at last a month ago, since then, the tree has filled out with branches as blossoms. It is a cutting from a tree I'm Glendora that was planted in the ground, so I figured it should also do well in the ground.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 7:07PM
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daogirl

Beautiful NOID! I hope it does well in the front yard. My planter is west-facing, but the house is inbetween it and the sun, so the it's in the shade by about 6pm in summer. I planted the plumeria away from the wall, too, so hopefully it won't be as affected by any radiant heat. Of course, it has to shoot above 100 the week I decide to do all this - LOL!

When you plant your plumies in the ground in La Verne, what soil mix do you use? Is your native soil super-rocky like it is here?

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 7:41PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

Hollis- The California Sally is about 7 feet tall now and quite bushy. The picture was from 06. Your "lipstick" hibiscus on the other hand will grow quite tall. I have three tall ones.

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    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 8:17PM
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labland(Inland Valley CA9)

Bill, I love your hibiscus!

Daogirl, my husband had the soil put in the planter while I was away at a Hunt Test with my dogs for a week, so I don't know what soil he used. My soil here is beautiful La Verne is clay. The property before the house was built was an old orange grove( we bought it new 30+ years ago), like a lot of this area, used to be, one huge orange grove. When I replaced my Singapores in the planter this last spring, I made sure to dig a big hole where each plant went in, and put a lot of cactus planter mix in it,

I check it every other day with a meter, and am amazed at how dry the plants stay. The planter dries out at least twice as fast as mynpots do! I was amazed!

Jennifer

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 2:18PM
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chimaan

Daogirl where in the IE are you? The furthest east that I have seen plumeria in the ground is probably in Redlands, I have an aunt that has them in the ground even in Highland, she has them right up against the house.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 1:20PM
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qaguy

Familiar looking flowers, Jennifer. Glad to hear that
it rooted well(the cutting was from my tree). That
plant has always been one tough plant. It went through
a lot of neglect for a while, but it has always bounced
back well.

Daogirl. Don't know the exact composition of LaVerne's
soil, but right next door here in Glendora, it is rocky,
but not super rocky. My plants got no special planter
mix in their soils. Just planted the soil from the pots
in a hole and they are all doing great.

Here's a shot from 2008.

And a shot taken today

The plant on the far left is a replacement. That's why
it hasn't grown as much as the others. It just went
in this spring. That ficus tree in the 2008 picture was
shading both the plumeria and tomatoes on the other side
of the fence. Now that it's gone, the left side of the
plumerias will grow better with more sun.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 4:17PM
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labland(Inland Valley CA9)

Gaguy, Yes, it is your big cutting that you gave me! Mahalo again! As I mentioned earlier, I couldn't believe the root system that had already developed on it. The roots were all the way down through the bottom of the pot it was in. The flowers are beautiful!

I still have the other two cuttings for my sister in law's. I can now definitely confirm that they are well rooted. Now I have to get them to my sisters in laws! I will be watching mine to monitor the water, that area gets sprinkers to it, but I can turn off the one sprinkler if I need to, and plan on needing to do.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 11:04AM
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daogirl

Bill - Your hibiscus look amazing! Did you prune them into trees?

Jennifer - Thanks for the info!

chimaan - I'm in Claremont, so really, barely the IE, I guess.

qaguy - Thanks for the info + pictures - your plants look great! What direction/exposure do they get? I'm in Claremont, so you're not all that far away - it sounds like our soils are probably pretty similar. When I say "super-rocky," that was not only having every shovelful of dirt full of tiny- to medium-sized rocks, but also having to stop every five minutes to pry out rocks the size of a small watermelon. The up side was being able to reuse the small rocks at the bottom of the hole for drainage!

Hollis

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 1:10PM
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qaguy

Hollis - your dirt sounds pretty much like my dirt. Lots
of small rocks and the occasional big one. Not watermelon
size, but fist size.

That wall runs east-west and faces south. Gets great sun
all day. Only problem with that is that the plants tend
to lean south over the lawn.

I noticed in your Friday post that you have room for
2 or 3 more. I'll be taking cuttings this winter and
would be happy to give you some. Most cuttings will
be from the NOID that Jennifer posted, but will have
a few from the others in the yard too (reds, pinks
mostly). LMK.

Anyone else in So Cal interested?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 1:35PM
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chimaan

qaguy I am definitely interested in some cuttings.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 2:51PM
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sunseeker53(10a CA USA)

qaguy, I would love to have a cutting from that beautiful NoID tree! Please put me on your list! Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 3:35PM
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daogirl

qaguy - I am definitely interested, thanks for the offer!!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 6:25PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

The hibiscus just grew that way and the other two also. I did not touch them except to cut some low branches. Lipstick and the single white are two of the biggest growing hibiscus around. All my others are 6' at best, except one double yellow that is about 7'.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 9:08PM
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chimaan

Hollis I wasn't able to email you but I have a big Guillot Sunset that I was thinking about selling, let me know if you're interested.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 9:54PM
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erika79(Zone 9)

qaguy I'm interested in some cuttings please put me on the list. Thanks

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 12:18AM
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springpaintings

Hi Daogirl,
Do you recommend Upland nursery? Do they still have lots on sale? I'm taking a trip to LA in a few days. I'll definitely visit some of the plumeria nurseries. Where should I go? Thanks

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 1:55AM
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daogirl

chimaan - I sent you an email ... let me know if you didn't get it.

springpaintings - I think Upland has beautiful plants, although as others have said, they can be pricey. However, everything's in bloom, and they have varieties that you won't see elsewhere. They only sell rooted plants on site (from small ones all the way up to huge trees!) - if you want cuttings, you have to order them online, or you can call in advance and pay over the phone, and then pick up in person the next day. I definitely think it's worth a trip to see so many plumeria in bloom, and to see some of their crazy grafts that have up to 5 different blooms on a single plant (!!), even if you don't buy anything. I don't know if they're still having a sale - you should probably call them.

Other people here can probably recommend other nurseries in the LA area to you. I know that C-stars has a nursery in Gardena that's open to the public, although I haven't been there. Some of the other ones are open by appointment only, I think. Unfortunately, I'm not really an expert on all the local nurseries ... yet. (LOL)

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 4:16PM
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springpaintings

Hi Daogirl, thanks for the info. I'll definitely visit Upland and C-stars. I also like the Thai hybrid euphorbia and Upland has it. Thanks for starting this thread as well. I just put down 2 of my cuttings. I hope they'll grow stronger in the ground. A few of my cuttings are unhappy being pot-bound. Well, I hope to bring home some new friends from LA soon...

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 2:25AM
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chimaan

Hollis I didn't get your email try johnseml@yahoo.com

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 10:06PM
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