Plumerias - Time to fertilize (when to start/when to finish

rcharles_gwOctober 24, 2010

We puchased a Plumeria last year and it has grown very well. It did not flower this year, but was not concerned.

I was told the flowers would come first, then the leaves if it were going to flower.

We have fertilized it all summer, fertilizer with high middle number. I have stopped now.

It started to lose it leaves when we brought it in.

Does one start applying fertilizer in the spring when new growth begins or is it prior to new growth. I have always fertilized when new growth begins.

Is it the fertilizing of the plumeria the previous year that promotes flowering for the summer following? Or is the fertilizing that is started in the spring what promotes flowering in the same year?

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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

greetings!

There are different schools of thought on fertilizers. But most agree to NOT fertilize when they are going dormant, or anytime during dormancy. I don't usually fertilize until plants are growing well. That's usually sometime in June for me.

And there doesn't seem to be any real evidence that a high middle number (P) helps with blooming. Plumerias will bloom when the branch growths are mature enough and when the plant has enough resources (good root system, beefy limbs, etc.) to expend energy on inflos.

Also, you don't really want a super-high Nitrogen fert either as the plant may grow too much soft leafy growth instead of blooming.

Now, some do advocate using a source of Magnesium (like Epsom salts) to give the plant a boost in preparation for dormancy and then again in Spring? I may have that wrong so hopefully Bill with comment.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 12:34PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

Dave, I use potassium in the fall to harden for winter and magnesium in the spring to help the plant process fertilizers. I start with a high nitrogen in the first month in March and then switch to a low nitrogen by May. I give the magnesium once a month in the spring. But, I agree that the plants flower when they are ready. Also any fertilizing in late summer or into the winter creates green growth that is easily attacked by black tip and rot. So much depends on the type of weather and climate you have- in Calif. we warm up in March but get fogs and dampness in May and June and then have a late summer with little humidity. This year I am getting many new inflos now and the weather has been very wierd (rain in October). Bill

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 2:29PM
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the_first_kms2(8/9)

I also fertilize for the first time in early March. I look at the branch tips to see if the "claws" are shiney as an indicator. They are usually unprotected and back to their sunny spots around the yard by then too.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 12:00PM
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