Wrapping up for the season...

kt2fl(okla z7)October 5, 2012

I can't believe we are getting an early taste of winter weather this weekend! Our temps will be in the 40s Saturday with freeze warning and frost advisory for some parts of Oklahoma Saturday night into Sunday. They say it'll be a record setting low!

With such grave news, I wasted no time moving my plumies inside. There are some developments in my patch I'd like to share.

I received this cutting from a Florida seller in June. I thought it looks a lot like Lani so I bought it. Here is the good news: I got it rooted, it pushed out an inflo, and blooms this month!

Now, for the bad news: it is infected with virus.

I'm devastated by this event. I really don't know what to do at this point. It seems the wise decision is to destroy it before the virus spreads to my entire collection...but part of me wants to let it finish blooming! What advice can you offer for my dilemma?

There are some good progresses for my rooting plumerias as well.

This is a Pop's Red cutting I got from Suki this spring. After sprouting some small leaves, losing them in the summer heat and getting sunburned, I think the cool fall weather is tricking it to think spring has returned again. Another set of leaves sprouted, I was getting ready to check on it before bringing it inside and VOILA, it has roots!!! This is after 7 months of waiting and waiting. The cutting is a bit wrinkly on the top part but I hope it'll plumped back up.

Here is the bin of newly rooted cuttings I bought this summer and haven't had the chance to pot them up yet.

Nebel's Gold from Matt

Shana's Rose - This is a cutting I bought from a Thai seller on Ebay. Its leaves started to develop recently and I spotted nice thick roots in the soil.

Hilo Beauty? This one is from Derrick on eBay. He calls it Hilo Beauty but I think it's more of a dark pink from the stock picture he uses. I was told his "rare" Hilo Beauty is the true dark red Hilo Beauty.

Mystery Cutting - this is a bonus cutting I got from Evelyn. It was baking in the mailbox in the 100s degree temp for 3 days. I'm surprise it rooted in 4 weeks, now as of 9 weeks, its root system can be seen more clearly.

Now for the rooting cuttings. I got most of these from Derrick and they've been gang-rooting for 5 weeks now

I got these from Thailand earlier this week, it'll be a surprise! I'm very excited about these cuttings.

It looks like I'll have about 2 dozens of cuttings to root over the winter. I think I'm off to an interesting season next year!


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Good stuff, Kenny

I also got several cuttings from Derrick. When I looked at them closer, I noticed I have a Hilo Beauty and a Rare Hilo Beauty. They are both rooting so I guess I may see next summer how they look.

Now, for those Thai cuttings, some of them look kind of rough. The pith core is recessed, which means they are probably pretty dried out. The last 12 I just received from Derrick had some that looked like that so for those, I am trying water rooting, just to keep an eye on them to see if they rot. One of them actually had the core a full inch or two recessed and had begun to rot. You may want to recut the ends of those that have recessed cores and re callus them, perhaps in mulch like George recommends.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 12:04AM
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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

Wow! You've got quite the collection, Kenny!
You might just have to move to San Diego or some place warmer. ;)
I've brought all mine down into the basement except for my Phet Pachara which is growing inside under lights since it's pushing up an inflo.
Can't believe it's going to be 34 Saturday and Sunday night!
Hopefully once it passes we'll be able to bring them back into the sun again. :)
Thanks for sharing all the pics and congrats!


    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 12:25AM
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Well, now would be a good time for me to ask about cuttings that had hollow ends like some of those in Kenny's pics. Is that considered acceptable? Do you contact the seller?

I'm much too easy to get along with or else my DH is too easily ruffled. He is always saying "and you paid for that???"

There is no perfection in this world! :)

Kenny - what do you mean about a virus with your Lani? Is it a color break? It sucks to hear that your weather is going downhill so soon. Freeze... frost... those are curse words!

I can spot your Derrick cuttings in the gang-rootings. :)

Del - I also have HB and rare HB.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 12:36AM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

Kenny- What makes you think your Lani has a virus. It looks normal to me. It is a variable multi-colored flower naturally. Although it often comes out red, it shows yellow, white and pinks with lines at good temperatures. In its red faze it looks like this:

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In the shade it shows more yellow:

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Under mellow weather it hits the blend of all colors:

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These pictures were all shot on the same plant in different weather. The coloration is not a product of a virus which has a more distinct blotchy look as in Princess Victoria which has sat for over a decade amongst hundreds of plants and none have shown a problem or similar coloration. People told me to destroy mine as it would infect others yet nothing has ever happened. Here is a PV

Uploaded with ImageShack.us
Thus, I would keep your plant based on my experiences. Bill

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 12:53AM
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kt2fl(okla z7)

Hi DelWH,

Thanks for letting me know about the recessed core. I haven't potted them yet so I may let those re-callus.

Hi Robert,

Thanks! I could have sworn I only had a few at the beginning of this season. Now I found myself lugging in 50+ pots. I think I may have a problem :)


It's definitely the first time for me to get cuttings like those so I don't know what to advise. Usually if your cuttings arrived squishy, wrinkly and soft, you should contact the seller immediately to get a replacement.

These are pretty firm to me except for a few with the recessed cores. I think it's worth giving them a shot. If some of them don't root, you could always contact the seller. But I have a dozen of them, so if a few ended up not rooting, I don't think I'm at a great loss.


My Lani started blooming in Oct when the temps were in the 50-70s range. So I don't think its color break is from the heat. I notice its leaves are somewhat deformed and some with spots as well.

I couldn't find a lot of info on the virus symptoms. I think I saw from Kukiat's photos that red spots or streaks on the petioles and stems of the leaves are signs of virus infection.

This is from my plant. It looks very similar to his picture. Let me know what you think.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 1:48AM
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Kenny, you could be right from the symptoms on your leaves. But I hear vastly different opinions on viruses and their desirability.

You can isolate it from all your other plants for now, let it bloom, then decide whether to cut off the stem that's showing the symptoms. If the other tip looks normal you could leave it for now or decide after blooming to get rid of it, too. I realize the virus would be in the whole plant, but it might lessen your pain to get rid of the plant in pieces if that's what you decide. Alcohol wipes work very well to clean your shears afterward.

There are many, though, who have virused or suspected virused plants that just live with them. It's a tough call.

Btw, love the look of the Shana's Rose. Definitely want to see that beauty when she blooms! Great job rooting everything.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 9:51AM
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jperilloux(8b LA)

I once thought one of my plumerias had a virus only to find out the problem was caused by dew and rain water dripping off a crepe myrtle tree onto the plumeria flowers. I don't see any evidence of a virus or color break on your plumie.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 10:17AM
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No-Clue(So Cal Zone 9)

Wow way to go w/ all that cuttings! How fun and exciting. Only wish I can root them.

As for your Lani, it's soooo beautiful are you sure you want to destroy it? Can't you isolate it it and wait and see? Good luck whatever you decide to do.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 11:32AM
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kt2fl(okla z7)

Thanks everyone for your inputs! I brought it inside today and put it in one of the bedrooms (away from the others). I think I'm going to let it finish blooming since the joy of having plumerias is getting to see them bloom. I would hate to terminate something when it's in the middle of showcasing itself. I'll be posting pictures of the inflo development.

I know what you mean but isolating a diseased plant is not really a good solution. I believe the virus can spread through insects when they feed on the problem plant and then move on to healthy ones? I'm not 100% sure if it's possible but better safe than sorry IMO. Either way, it looks like I'm in the market for a disease-free Lani :)

After this event, I'm even more cautious about my plumies. From now on I will clean the shears thoroughly after using them. I haven't had to use them on the Lani so far (thank god!). Now I have to go through my collection and look for the ones showing symptoms.

I know there are others who wouldn't mind the virus plant and find the splash desirable! I may try to find it a good home before I send it off to the burn pit.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 10:16PM
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Kenny, it's always best practice to disinfect your cutting implement with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide after each plant and before cutting another one to prevent disease spreading.

Those spots are probably anthracnose, a fungus disease. Jim Little mentions it and says to remove all infected leaves, bag them up and throw them in the trash. You can spray the rest with fungicide.

Here's a link that mentions it, not specific to plumeria.

Here is a link that might be useful: Anthracnose

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 11:12PM
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Andrew Scott

Hi Kenny,
I agree with Bill. Your Lani looks healthy, except for some leaf issues. I wouldn't worry at all about it having a virus, and I have never heard any of the long time growers say that viruses can be spread by insects. I would just leave it be, and enjoy it.

Are there any new leaves growing that you could check to see if there are any of the same signs that the "infected" leaves show?


    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 9:32AM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

Kenny- I think you are getting too over stressed. Leaf problems happen in the fall as the plant shuts down. I have seen the leaf spots, the burns, the yellowing year after year at the end of the season, especially when the damp comes in. I just pick off the leaves and toss. If what you think were true, my several hundred plants would be ravaged with problems but they look great all summer and only a few show minor problems in the fall, but the rest of the plant after picking off the leaves does great. Also a color break is pretty obvious like in the PV where a few flowers are different. Still, my PV is next to 90+ plants that are decades old and none have caught this supposed disease. I am beginning to think it is a genetic problem. Many growers start snipping off the bottom leaves in October to lighten the branches, to lessen wind damage, and to avoid dying leaf problems. I think you are ok.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 1:44PM
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Actually, perhaps not virii, but insects can transfer diseases by sucking juices from one plant and then transfer the disease to the next plant it feeds on. There is a big issue in California with a Glassy-winged Sharpshooter transferring disease between citrus trees, which cause them to die. I would imagine a virus could be transferred in the same manner. Below is a link describing the issue. Apparently they came from the South East states.

Here is a link that might be useful: Insect spreading disease from plant to plant

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 2:29PM
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kt2fl(okla z7)

Thank you DelWH for the articles! I've seen those bugs on my plumies before. According to Wikipedia, under Transmissions of plant viruses, it lists insects such as leafhoppers, are often the cause of infection.

Of course the article you found also mentions very low numbers of sharpshooters can spread Xylella bacterium to susceptible plants. So that could be similar scenario for virus?

From Dr. Kukiat's article, he cited: "According to ICTVdb, the Frangipani Mosaic Virus (FMV) transmitted by mechanical inoculation not involving a vector." It leads me to believe that the plumeria virus is rarely transmitted through insects.


The weather has been cooling off so my Lani's been growing very slowly. From close observation, I would say 1 out of 20 leaves is normal size and free of spots. The rest are either deformed, stunted in size, or splotchy with spots all over.

I'll continue to monitor my plants for any signs of infection. I don't think it's a cause for panic because my plumerias are all healthy except for this one Lani and a few others "problem child" (which I have separated).

Thank you everybody for an interesting discussion!


Here is a link that might be useful: Plant Virus

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 8:44PM
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kt2fl(okla z7)

I ordered a Lani's Beauty cutting from Aloha Plumeria last week to replace the problem plant. Everything is going well in my plumeria patch. I trimmed off most of the leaves last week. Right now I'm still trying to squeeze out the last few warm days we have before hauling them all inside.

I forgot to include a positive progress in the original message. I have my very first seedpod! It's from a Mardi Gras I got from Matt earlier this spring. It started out with 6 seedpods but after all the rain, hail, and wind, only one sole survivor remains and it's growing strong!

Yesterday I checked on my plumeria "growing bin" and saw signs of roots. Finally after 6 weeks!!

They have been left out in 50 degrees temps at night. I will bring them inside to root under the heatmat this winter.

The only disadvantage about gang rooting is from an early stage, it's hard to tell which one rooted. The roots are between the Puu Kahea and a hybrid dark pink. None of these cuttings has a full leaf yet. I'm positive the roots belong to Puu Kahea as its claws are more developed (and the roots seems to originate from the left LOL).

Other than the problem plant, my growing season seems to end on a positive note. I think it looks like a very promising start for next spring!


    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 8:00PM
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Nice seedpod.

The problem I always thought about with gang rooting is just what you have there. I guess you need to CAREFULLY dig down around the stalks to try to trace who has the roots and who doesn't. That's why I like the clear 1 liter bottle method, no mistaking who has what. LOL

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 10:00PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Kenny!!

Nice collection of cuttings... you are going to be a busy man this fall and winter!! : )

Nice looking .. Congratulations!!

Ok.. LANI...

I agree with Bill and Andrew.. looks fine to me and it doesn't look like it has any issues with a color break that would cause a red flag..

My trees have had some issues with leaves during this time of the year, but im not concerned.

Please dont send "her" to the burn pit.. I think she is ""innocent"" ;-) please give her a chance to prove she is virus free...

Please... : )

I just love Lani...

Take care,


    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 1:42AM
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kt2fl(okla z7)

Hi Laura!

Yes it looks like a busy season next year in Oklahoma ;)

I picked up a lot of really useful tips on plumeria care and rooting methods from this forum so I owe my success to everyone here. I'm very flattered by your compliments!

About Lani...the seller told me the mother tree was a cutting she bought from Maui. She doesn't know its name, so I think it may be just a Lani impersonator.

I know how you feel, I was in denial for the last couple of weeks. But the leaves and the blooms start to get deformed. Also the bloom size is very small, about 2" at most. It was actually depressing to watch.

Then I came to the realization of either replacing a $20 cutting or replacing my entire collection worth hundreds of $$$. I just can't run that risk so I have to take the high road.

I hope you're doing well, I know you've already given your plumies their haircuts. I will do that for some of mine and the others will be under the grow light! I forgot you have a new grandson recently! Major congrats on becoming a grandmother! :)


    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 6:39PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Thank you Kenny!!

You are so sweet!


That seedpod is awesome!! Wonder why some split and some form like yours.. I like the look!! It is so healthy!

Ok.. i will understnd if you decide to take that road.

We do invest alot of money and i would hate to have a problem with all of mine too. What ever your tree is, i do love the color of the blooms!!

Good Luck with all of your cuttings.. I just started two today. That is really late for me, so im crossing my fingers that they will root for me. Ill keep you posted. Please keep up updated with yours!!

Thank you also for the congrats on my new Grandson!! I am one happy "Grandma" He just started to smile at us.. melts my heart!! : ) I can't wait until he can help me pick up leaves.. LOL!!!(with gloves on of course..)

Take care,


    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 12:38AM
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kt2fl(okla z7)


Thank you for your kind words! You're a delight!

That seed pod has grown even bigger and longer, I think I should get something to support it soon.

I know you're one happy grandma! It's always exciting when the little ones learn something new...I think you should make a shirt that says "future plumie addict" or "plumie protector in-training" for him :)

I don't think it's ever too late to root new cuttings. I know yours will root without a doubt...just for luck, I'm sending happy thoughts your way!!

It's almost been 8 weeks since I started rooting those cuttings. Today I planned to transplant the few I suspect have rooted into the gritty mix. I think the excitement got the best of me so I decided to perform a root check on all of them. To my surprise, most of them have rooted! This is the results of an experiment I wanted to try from a post on this forum. I callused them in mulch before attempting to root them.

This is my rooting bin today:

Here are the rooted ones:
Thai Red Velvet (eBay)

all cleaned and ready for gritty mix

Puu Kahea

it has one of the most robust root balls in the bunch

Dark Pink Hybrid (bonus cutting)

Peachy King

NOID Pink (I got it with Thai Velvet Red above)

Guillot's Sunset

Mela Matson

Midnight Ruby

Pauahi Ali'i #1

Pauahi Ali'i #2

Jeannie Moragne #1

Only Jeannie Moragne #2 and Hilo Beauty are the ones that have not rooted. They're going back into the bin along with some of those whose roots have barely struck.

I think it was all thanks to your good luck wishes, Laura! I didn't expect most of them to root so I ran out of turface to pot them all. Gotta go get some more this weekend LOL! Please keep us posted with your new cuttings!


    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 8:44PM
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