flowering times

tdogdad(Zone 9)October 13, 2009

I have been hearing a lot of talk about light as the major factor in flowering, but I have noticed that heat, especially at night is critical. Here, in So. Cal. we just had our first rain in over 6 months and the temperatures are in the 70's in the day and 60's at night. The days are shortening limiting the light but I still have 85 plants flowering and some heavily. I see signs of some cutting back now. Also, I have noticed that the east and Texas get going much faster due to the marine layer in Cal. My first blooms are always May to June but because of the warm fall, I always have flowers into the winter months. Here, flowering ranges from 4-8 months depending on variety. Just some observations to share. Bill

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Hi Bill, 85 plants in bloom is a lot! About what percent of your total collection would you say that amounts to?


    Bookmark   October 13, 2009 at 8:56PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

dewaine- I just did some numbers for my log so I know I have 154 varieties and somewhere around a hundred duplicate as first and second year starts and 6 year old seedlings. Thirty of my plants are in the ground and are towering over me now. I wish I had more land because these plants become trees, but they are my trees and deciding which ones stay and which must go is like giving up your children. Collectors beware- in ten years you will be in my shoes. James (freak4plumerias) had over 400 varieties and has had to cut his almost in half. I don't know how he could do it. Luckily I have pictures of about two thirds of my cultivars and hope to add another 20-30 next season.
This pic is of about 25 plants in July- they are much larger today (the pole on the left is 7' tall):

    Bookmark   October 14, 2009 at 2:32AM
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So, about a third of your collection is blooming at one time. That's fantastic. I've never been able to achieve a bloom rate that high.

I know what you mean about wishing you had more land. Our DIL's parents are from HI. They gave us our first plumeria about 11 years ago. When they visited us after we started collecting, Mama asked DIL if we knew that plumeria grew up to be big trees.

Most of our collection is in pots. We had 7 large palm trees removed this summer so that we can put more plumeria in the ground next year. Our goal is to thin out our collection of potted plants to a more reasonable number. It's very difficult to decide which ones deserve to go into the precious little ground though.

My experience has been that night time temperatures are the main factor involved with rapid rooting, growth, and flower production. Our plants slow down dramatically when night time temps drop below 60 degrees. As far as light goes, our experience here in West Covina, has been that the plants we have in filtered sun, (partial shade), do better than the ones exposed to direct sun in temps above 90 degrees. Of course this applies to the plants in pots. The ones in the ground thrive in full sun or partial shade.

Our son has allowed us to put a few trees in the ground on his property. These pictures were taken last September. His soil is mostly river bed sand with lots of pine needles.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2009 at 3:04PM
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Bill...Great observation!

Here I thought it was lack of light only that slowed flowering or stopped it all together..

As you know, up here in the north, it has been so cold that, I had to bring all mine in, all but one though.

It was starting an inflo a month ago, and I said, what the hey, I will give it a shot. It was the only one that didn't get its leaves butchered.

Well, I stuck it in my greenhouse, even with the lack of sun as in summer, and the inflo is about to flower, because it gets so warm in there. But not as fast as I wanted to see..

Then a noticed that the pot was very cold in the am, even though the trunk and leaves felt very warm in there by day. The reason? It was sitting on the ground, conducting cold at night into the potting soil slowing the growth down, I think.
Well, once I put the pot on a stand so the pot would stay warmer, off the cold ground...WHALLA!

I will post a pic tommorrow to show you how far along it has come, since taking it up off the ground, even in just 11 hours of sun, negative 5 of them from the homes that obstruct it now, at such a lower angle in the sky, along with cloudy darker days.....

    Bookmark   October 14, 2009 at 4:16PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

Mike- I am stoked for you- you have proved it can be done in the NE
Dwaine- Your plants look so healthy. My wifes mom and dad live in West Covina and I thought it got too cold in the winter. Do you cover your plants? I took a few more pictures today so you can see the flowers.
(Celadine, Guillot's sunset, Lani, and Univ. of H. Gold):

My psycho under the silk floss tree- it will bloom into the next year:

The way to the side gate:

In August I had over half of my plants blooming but the plants in the medium nursery and the starts/1 year area had quick bloom periods for many of the plants and have mostly shut down now:

My main problem is these smaller plants are some of my best not to mention a dozen or so Thai varieties scattered around. It begins to drive one crazy.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2009 at 5:56PM
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Hi Bill,

I also live in So Cal (Thousand Oaks). I have toyed with putting some Plumeria in the ground but I am afraid the Santa Ana's would destroy them. Do you do anything special to protect them from the wind?

    Bookmark   October 14, 2009 at 6:07PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

Us conduit from Home Depot painted green and cut to fit. Pound into the ground next to the plant and use plant tie to tie the limbs to the pole. This greatly cuts down on Santa Ana wind damage. Bill

    Bookmark   October 14, 2009 at 9:45PM
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Here is a picture of the plumeria I din't bring in yet..Do you think it will flower with the conditions I described..I hope so...;-) Pictures taken this morning!

Off the ground now.

One still in bloom

    Bookmark   October 15, 2009 at 11:29AM
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Thanks for the additional pictures Bill. Your garden is beautiful. You've done a great job with your landscaping. We've only got about 10 plumeria in the ground at our home. We'll be planting around a dozen more next spring.

"My main problem is these smaller plants are some of my best not to mention a dozen or so Thai varieties scattered around. It begins to drive one crazy."

I know exactly what you mean. My Brother built some shelving for me early this year and it really helps a lot. I put the Oz, Thai, etc. on these shelves. Here's what it looked like shortly after it was finished in March.

We lost a lot of plants from the freeze in January 2007. Normally it doesn't freeze here in West Covina, but when it gets too cold we do haul all the potted plants under cover. The ones in the ground (some of them) we cover with beach umbrellas or tarps.

Carole and I would love to have you guys visit us when you're out this way. The number's 626-966-6738. Just give us a call.

Dewaine and Carole Callahan

    Bookmark   October 15, 2009 at 12:53PM
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here it is fall, lot of my plants have grown over the summer and now coming fall. I have been ill, had surgery. So trying to get healthy.

Most of my plants have grown on my south east patio, but have done very well. I have fed them as I can. I have learned a lot on find the beginning of the year and end of the year are similiar in having, Had about 40 or more plants growing, will have to keep an eye on them for warmth.

so hi to all

Karen B

    Bookmark   October 16, 2009 at 2:01PM
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Hi Karen B!! I was wondering what happened to you. Hope you are feeling better!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2009 at 4:34PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

Karen B. - it is so good to see you back. Missed you much. Get well and be ready for a great next year. Bill

    Bookmark   October 16, 2009 at 5:25PM
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Hi Jo and all

I am still taking Chemo, for the brain cancer appears to be under control..feel ok.,no more radiation.. gonna be ok..

My plants have flourished with help all summer and starting of fall, it has been so hot, but had lots of blooms and my husbands help. I now am taking care of own...doing ok. Thanks missed all of you.. gonna be ok.
Karen B

    Bookmark   October 16, 2009 at 6:10PM
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Hi Karen B. I haven't been here in a while. Sorry to hear you were having a rough go of it! But glad to hear you are feeling OK now.


    Bookmark   October 16, 2009 at 6:18PM
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Karen, it is so good to see you here again...I am sorry you havn't been well...:-(. You are one of the nicest people on these forums..FYI.
Keep getting strong!

Bill and dewainem my God I am sooooo jealous! You plants are gso beatiful. Thye all have a special place in the heart right? No matter how big or small...Unbeleivably beautiful

Take care


    Bookmark   October 18, 2009 at 10:51AM
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