Fall bloomer in Boston--what to do?

joy79November 15, 2009

I'm so happy that I found this forum! I've been growing a plumeria since returning from Hawaii in summer 2006. From the tiny little cutting I brought back with me I now have a nearly six foot tree with three main branches, with even more branching starting. It bloomed for the first time last fall--I had a single flower stalk. Now though with so much branching, I have several flower stalks and even branches off of those stalks.

The thing is though that it's now mid-November and my plumeria shows no signs of stopping its flowering any time soon. The buds first appeared in August but they grew very slowly; the blooms only started opening in mid-October. I always have to bring it in by September since it gets very cold here in Boston fairly quickly. It actually only moves a few feet from where it is outside--we live in an apartment in the lower level of a house and so moves from our outdoor patio to our bedroom window (which overlooks the patio). So it literally moves about 5 feet between fall/winter inside and spring/summer outside.

I have read lots of advice about allowing your plumeria to go into dormancy in the fall and winter, but that just doesn't seem appropriate given that it's still flowering. I use a liquid solution of Miracle Gro Bloom Booster once every 1-2 weeks in the summer and cut back on it by October. Should I be doing something different to encourage earlier summer blooms? Or do I just accept that it is a late fall bloomer and accept my good fortune? Certainly, it's a real treat to have the beautiful, aromatic smell of plumeria in my bedroom on a gloomy fall/winter day!

Thanks for any advice you can provide!


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tdogdad(Zone 9)

Leave it be. It will drop leaves when it is ready. I would get away from MG fertilizer as I think it is one of the worst for long range plumeria growth because of the chemical composition of it. Bill

    Bookmark   November 15, 2009 at 5:21PM
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If you treat it really well it probably wont drop its leaves at all. I would actually try to keep it out od dormancy because plumerias will not grow back leaves that have fallen and will only grow back on the tips so your plant would look very bare if you let it go dormant since it is already very tall. You might see some leaf drop though which is normal, and the worst case senario would be losing the flwoers comletely, but that hasnt happened to any of my plumies yet.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2009 at 4:31PM
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Thanks for the advice Bill. What type of fertilizer would you recommend? Do you think I should fertilize it through the winter if it still keeps flowering or just let it be until the late spring/summer?

Tropicalzone--yeah, I haven't let it go into dormancy at all since I've been growing it. In the winter it looses some leaves but still maintains many of them. I don't have the heart to push it into dormancy when it seems to so obviously love the late fall and early winter months!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2009 at 9:47PM
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