pruning plumeria for best result

anirafSeptember 17, 2007

Many of you are engaged in creating more plants with cuttings. Unfortunately due to limited space I find myself having to prune my 12 years old plant so I can fit it in my house for the winter. Will it resprout where it is cut? Do plumeria only branch on limbs that bloom? When is the best time to prune? I read that April is the best time to start cuttings, but is that the only time to prune? How much can I prune back my plumeria it has gotten very tall and leggy.

Wish I could keep my plants out all year. Small house, cold climate dilemma.

Thanks.

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gracieanne

What most people do is shorten the plant by taking out mid section and grafting the top back on before it really gets big. You can root all winter long with a heat mat.Keep the main stalk and cut the arms off. Root those in the spring they will be back before you know it. I cut back a 10 ft tree ended up with 18 branches some 4 ft long rooted everyone. That was last fall there all doing good and putting off inflo's If you don't have a heat mat get one.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 7:59PM
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mikeod(Z9 FL)

Plumeria will sprout more branches from the cut end if you leave a few inches of stem. If you cut the branch at the point it emerges from the main trunk, it will not grow new branches. Natural branching only occurs on mature plants when it blooms. Seedlings less than a year or two old may branch without blooming. Really you can prune at any time of year. Most people prune in the spring so they can root the cut branches using natural heat. But you can root all year round with a heat mat and grow lights. Remember that the branch you cut will not bloom for probably two years. One year to develop new branches long enough to bloom, and one year for the blooms to occur. I try to selectively prune so I have some blooms on each plant every year. Then I prune the branch that bloomed and the branches I did the year before will bloom in the next cycle. That way I control the size and shape and still enjoy blooms every year.

The method described above can allow you to shorten a branch without losing bloom potential. You are basically cutting out part of the length of the branch and maintaining the tip. It does take a while for the grafted tip to "take" and some may fail, but that simply results in a pruned branch like my method. My experience with grafting is very limited, so I don't use that method.

Is your problem that the plant is too tall or too wide, or both?

Mike

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 12:44PM
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