Time to start trimming....sharpening the shears!!!

Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, VirginiaOctober 21, 2010

Hello Everyone!!!

It's that sad time of the year again...today I am selecting the first of my trees that will receive their annual leaf trim!!! Most of my trees have inflos, but I'm afraid the cooler temps have caused them to stall...

This year I am going to try to keep a few of my trees from going dormant. (especially the ones with inflos). I usually have them all put to sleep around the first of November, so if any of you have any tips...please send them on!!!

I will take before and after pics of some of the trees...It really feels like I'm torturing them to some degree...Not my idea of a fun day!!!

Take care everyone...

Laura in VB

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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA


Have fun! ...and wear gloves. I was cutting down some tropicals in the back yard (EEs, plumerias, brugs, etc) without gloves and got a really weird reaction on my hands from all the sap. Like someone was sticking pins in my palms.

Please post pics.

You definately need a greenhouse. It should be relatively easy to heat down there.

Oh, and I saw this video of a guy that sprays the soil with Ortho Home Defense before he brings the plants in to his home. I think it's for ants mainly. I wonder if it would deter fungus gnats as well. Hmmm.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 1:30PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hello Again!!!

Here are some before and after pics...I also have included a pic of my seed pod on my Desert Roses and my noid plumeria!!!

You will also see my dog enjoying the sunshine near the hot tub...He is a "beach dog" LOL...

Thanks for looking!!!

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 6:03PM
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1 word... WOOOOOW LAURA.......... where you got all those plumeria from??? do u wanna ship 1 or 2 to my house ^^... thanks for sharing

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 9:50PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA


That's a lot of work.

In the second to last photo, is that a Foxtail on the left? and an Adonidia on the right? (palms)

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 1:07PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hey Dave,

My hands are so tired of cutting...I think they are still numb from all of the trimming on the plumies!!!

The gloves are definately needed with all of white sap coming from the leaves...I hope your hands are feeling better!!!

I just bought some systemic for all of my trees/plants. Sounds like that spray would work as well. Let me know how it works (if you decide to try it!!).

A greenhouse would be a big help..I have a smaller more flexible greenhouse that I used this spring. I like it, but I think that I need a more stable one for my palms as well as other tropicals.

Yes, you have a good eye!!! That is a foxtail and an Andonidia. The pic (2nd from top) also shows a bottle palm too! ( The PP cutting is doing great!!! tks )

Shorejai....Thanks alot!!! :) I bought several from JJ's and some from a nursery nearby. Most of the named variety have been from friends. They really are fun to grow and are very addicting!!!

Take care everyone!!

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 4:24PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

Oh yeah, I saw the bottle palm. I have one too. Just brought it in. We're starting to get cold at night. It's not crazy about being inside over winter though. It prefers sun, about 80 degrees, 60% humidity and a sea breeze. Hmm. that sounds pretty good about now.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 8:06PM
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Beautiful plants laura! Im going to TRY and keep my plumerias from going dormant since every one of the large ones have inflos on them. The inflos are also stalling on mine but Im hoping the 70s we will be getting later this week will be enough to push some flowers open! I probably will end up cutting all the leaves off, but they take forever to grow back in the spring so if I can manage to save at least some of the leaves, I will be happy. Maybe I will cut half the leaves off. I dug my plumeria pudica out of the ground about 2 weeks ago and its not looking too good! Its wilting a lot and just looks sad, but at least its still hanging onto its inflos. Next year Im going to sink the plumeria pots in the ground instead of directly planting them in the ground.
Beautiful palms! Im going to try to get an x mas palm next year. I was looking last year but they were a lot more expensive than usual at the local nurseries (about 200 dollars for a 9 foot tall plant).
Thanks for sharing and congrats on the seed pods! I wonder what color they will be.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 1:01PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hey Alex,

Thanks for the "congrats" on the seed pods!!! I am really excited about them!!! They are my "first" so I am very proud of them...I left the leaves on that particular tree and I hope that the pod will continue to grow. I have three trees that I will try and grow during the winter as well. They have the most active inflos. The others have inflos that are about to emerge, so I hope that with them going dormant they will have a chance to continue next spring.

I hope that your Pudica will be alright...it probably is in shock...so it will bounce back soon!!! Have you brought in all of your other tropicals? I did bring in three of my Hibiscus last night. The low here was 43* the rest of the week is calling for highs in the mid seventies and the lows in the mid fifties. So I put the hibiscus back outside today. The only thing that I worry about with keeping the plumies growing inside is the spider mites. If they infect my seedlings and my cutting that I am rooting...well, lets just say that I will be very bummmed...I have worked so hard to root this one at this time of the year. The seedlings are about 3-4 inches tall.

The plumie that has the seed pod is a noid tree. But the flowers look like a slaughter pink. If you want any let me know!! Thanks for the compliments..hope you are doing well!!

My christmas palm cost about 50 dollars. I picked them up at Lowes down in Florida!! My mother and I flew down and then we rented a van to bring back all of my potted palms!
Kind of like "Thelma and Louise"...we had a great time!! She dosen't help me with my additionss..she usually encourages me to buy!! LOL...I guess the apple did fall close to the tree!! LOL....

Take care everyone,

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 4:22PM
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Hi Laura, nice plumies! I am curious as to why you cut all your leaves off. I just let mine yellow and drop off.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 8:44PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hey Jeff,

Some of us decide to cut and others don't...It depends on how you store them. I like to cut a few weeks before I bring them in to get them prepared for the winter dormancy phase. By cutting the leaves now, the stems will fall off in a week or so and be clean and ready for storage. It also helps them by slowing down the growth rate and needing all of the water to keep the tree (leaves) green and trying to continue to grow. I have never had any problem with spider mites either when I prepare them for dormancy. They are all sprayed down with insect spray and maybe insecticidal Soap.
I also stop watering them like I normally do and then limit the water and keep them dry by the time I bring them inside to winter over. They are all kept in a back room in my house with the heat turned off in the room. The rest of the house has the normal heat, so that room will stay around 50-60 degrees for the winter.

Do you bring in your trees? I see that you live in Florida.
Must be great weather for you...My weather here in VB is starting to get to cold to leave my trees outside any longer. So I had to start the ritual of the leaf "trim". It also saves me the mess of constantly picking up the leaves that will eventually all fall off of the trees. Having 28 potted trees...it's the only way I can fit them inside and store them too! They all seem to "behave" and go to sleep when I tell them too! LOL... I am going to try and keep a few growing this winter, so we will see how that goes!!

It really is interesting to see how many people do prepare there trees for the winter...some even bare root them and just store them in their garage and then pot them up in the spring. I believe that this gentleman that does this, is located down in Texas...maybe someone will chime in and let others know his name.

Does anyone else "trim" their trees? I know that others here in Va do...and I know that Mike in Ma. does as well!!

Hope this answers your question...I know that there is probably other good reasons for this type of storage for some of us that have cold winters....

Interesting to see how others prepare...

Thanks Jeff..hope all is well with you!!!

Take care everyone,

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 9:35PM
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Great response and great pics Laura! The weather here in Jax Bch is so nice I'm just going to ride it out untill we get into the 40's at night before I start cutting and bringing them inside. Thanks, Jeff ~

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 10:08AM
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For some reason my last follow-up didnt show up so Ill write it again!!
Seed pods on a plumeria are really awesome. Ive never seen one in person Sometimes the No ID trees are the nicest ones so Im really looking forward to seeing what flowers they produce!
50 dollars is a great deal on that palm. One of the many reasons to love florida! Christmas palms are one of my favorite palms because they are usually cheap, look great, and do well in pots. I also love bottle palms but mine doesnt look half as impressive as yours (and its young and kind of sickly, but still growing well).
I saw your forecast and it looks like there will be a day in the 80s for VB! Thats going to feel really nice and I think the plants are going to love that. Maybe some of those cut plumeria will even start to grow again?
Thanks for sharing!! Good luck!!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 11:03AM
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Hi Laura,
Thanks for the pictures of your beautiful garden. Your plumerias all look very hardy, healthy, and happy.

Here in So. California I cut lower leaves on an almost continuous basis from about August thru November as necessary.

I remove the lower leaves in order to increase air flow through the tree and so that the inner growth can receive its share of sunshine. Removing the lower leaves also allows me to hit the remaining leaves undersides with the hose better which helps the trees avoid mealy bugs and white flys.

Another reason for my removing the lower leaves regularly is that in my garden, it seems to me that the new growth hardens up faster when it's not supporting leaves.

I always leave the uppermost leaves because most of our plumeria don't go entirely dormant here and our mix is so loose that we need to water most potted plants most winters.

Thanks again for the pictures. Looks like you're doing a great job with your plumerias.


    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 1:25PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

Laura- your plants look wonderful. Happy and healthy. You have a really nice sized collection. They must bring you much joy. Dewaine- I like your thoughts on hardening up with cutting and with air flow. I just cut the leaves that poke the gardener in the eye when mowing but I may do some extra now. Bill

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 2:43PM
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I like the sun dog too. Anything that take a nap on the deck in the sun is ok with me.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 11:30AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hey Dewaine,

Thanks for the interesting pointers on why you trim your bottom leaves. Makes perfect sence...and I will follow your lead next season. Usually when I have some bottom leaves during the normal growing season, I still will trim the leaves that don't look good to me... and I have noticed that they do harden up quicker when I trim...so I am kind on the same track (and now I have a better reason to do so)
Thank you for the compliments on my trees!!! I love all of my trees and I try to take care of them as best as I can!!! They really have responded well this season...which makes me very happy!!! You have some beauties yourself!!!
I love all of you beautiful pictures...you have some winners yourself!!! Congratulations!!!


Thanks for the compliment Bill!!! All of mt trees bring me great joy!!! I absolutely love each and every one!!!
They are all so different and seem to have different needs during the growing season. My celadine bloomed after rooting, them after the new branches grew a little they also have inflos...you had always said that they were fast bloomers!!! You are so right!!! They all seen to like the conditions here in VB and I also have to thank people like you for all of the help that you give to everyone...we really listen!!! Thank you Bill...

Kms2....My little weiner dog (pepper) loves it outside and the first thing he does is to look for the hottest place on the deck...he actually will turn over from side to side to take advantage of all of the different ways to heat up his whole body...never seen anything like it...he's a great dog...thanks for the compliment on my lil pepper!!!

Take care everybody!!!

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 1:03AM
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starcar98(6 A-B MA)

RE:Does anyone else 'trim' their trees?

Thanx so much Laura, for the pics and detailed account. This is my first year with Plumies and I have several, I also "trimmed" all my plants living in MA I have to bring them in, I'm going to try bare rooting in a dark closet under the stairwell in the basement, keep my fingers crossed for Feb/Mar.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 3:30PM
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I just brought one of my plumerias inside today and I didnt trim any of the leaves. It probably wont go back outside because its so huge and heavy, so we shall see how it does with its leaves attached indoors. It will be in a room with temperatures ranging from 63F at night to 77F during the day and humidity from 30% to about 60%. It will be getting lots of late afternoon light and bright light the rest of the day.
Good luck everyone!!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 12:34AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Alex,

I wanted to respond to your question on the new purchase of the T-5 lights. My local Hydroponics store sells them and many other differnent lights. They did have a smaller set for around 79.99 but it didn't have the stronger wattage and it wasn't a T-5. I remember that Artictropical mentioned that this is what he used, so I hope that he reads this and can give me some hints with mine!! The price of this set was 159.99.... If it keeps my tropicals growing and of course my plumies happy than it will be worth it!!! My hubby hung the lights earlier this evening and I will place some of my trees around it tomorrow. I'm just not sure on misting/watering etc. I guess that time will tell and I will get used to them... My seedlings and my baby Hibiscus as wwell as new cuttings will hopefully like this new addition. I wanted to put the lights here in my greatroom...but I was overruled ( I guess that it wouldn't look right hanging right in the middle of the great room!! LOL...) but I did give it a good try!!!!
He probably was right...but it still would be handy to see them everytime I walk into the room...Guess this is a true sign of a plumieholic!!!

Take care everyone!!

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 9:47PM
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Thanks! At least I know around what price range is a good one. I have pretty decent light where I have them, but if I see them suffering then I will go out and get some. I have a very small set of grow lights for seedlings, but thats about it. If I dont have room for a greenhouse, I should at least settle for some grow lights! If it works as well for you as it did for arctic tropical, it will be worth the 150 dollars! Imagine plumeria blooms all winter long!!!

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 10:10PM
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Lura..How are you???You are missed!

I did just that yesterday...They are now all bare and resting in my cellar for yet another winter already, can you beleive it?...I have to say the only good thing about this is that I never have to worry about mites or room for them once they are in..Just ignore for the most part until a bit of water in needed...
Look at yours, so big and beautiful..Makes you sad to have to see them this way though...From what I can tell, I am sure you will have the perfect way of tucking them in for the night, winter, just to see them wake up and dazzle you with such appreciation..Great job and thank you for all you taught me..They will be thinking "pool", come February...

Miss you at the citrus side..I see your trees, and the Adeniums, one plant of which I have always wanted, are superb! Thank god you don't have to treat these in the same manner...

Take care Laura..:-)


I hope you are well..The plumies you sent me are all doing so well..I have and will continue to consider these very special and take great care of them...

Hello everyone else...Hoping all is well with you all..



    Bookmark   November 3, 2010 at 6:06PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia



How have you been? I really need to come over more to the citrus side and visit...I guess that I'm so new to the forum and I'm still nervous about my trees making it this winter. All of your trees look so healthy and wonderful!!!

Send me an email about the Desert Roses...I might be able to help you!!! :)

Take care everyone!!!

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   November 4, 2010 at 6:59PM
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