Can Other Tropicals Be Stored Like Plumerias?

jtwgNovember 9, 2012

What makes a plumeria so special that it can be stored in the dark with no water over the Winter? Are there other deciduous tropicals that can be stored the same way? I'm curious about a potted sugar apple tree, in particular. (Already posted on 'Tropical Fruit' forum - no help yet.)

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That is a tough question to answer. I think most of us here consider the summertime performances special and the hibernation is just something that happens before the next summer bloom show.

I don't know about other tropicals with the same characteristics. Perhaps you could look into the plant family for relatives. Off the top of my head there is Oleander, Vinca, and Star Jasmine. All are frost hardy or perennial in my zone so I never thought twice about them.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 11:53AM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

jtwg: plumeria are blessed with a unique set of characteristics aren't they?

They go deciduous and take dryness in winter, so can be sort of stored away like patio furniture, as long as they're kept frost free.

I can't think of many other tropicals that are so exotic looking in summer, yet drop leaves in winter and can be stored away dark. Perhaps some adeniums, pereskias, and other succulents such as cacti, but I think even they need at least some light in winter. Maybe Laura can comment about how much light adeniums need.

Other than that, there are certainly some bulbs which can go dry in winter such as dahlias (actually tubers), amaryllis, some elephant ears, tuberoses, etc.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 5:26PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Guys!!!

Plumeria are in a different class.

Some say they are so easy, some say they have so many problems during the winter. Just remember to keep the roots on the dry side and not wet and cold.. They should do fine during their rest period.

They are really tolerant to the dry dormant period in the winter, but i also think that giving a little water over the winter for people that experience 5-6 months of dormancy something neccessary for some of us in the east and mid atlantic and points north.

As far as the other tropicals mention by the Original Poster.. i would check with the tropical fruit tree forum. i am not sure of the needs of your tree.

As far as Desert Roses (Adeniums), they do drop their leaves in the winter unless i keep them under grow lights. I did keep them all active last winter, but it really isnt neccessary . This year they are around the sunroom and will be just relaxing.. i will give them a little water once a month as i will to all of my Plumeira. They will drop all leaves.. My (DR's) are all in a Gritty Mix and still need some moisture even while dormant. This is my opinion and what i do for my trees.

Everyone has their own way of taking care of their Plumeria during the winter. I just like the break when you have this time to regroup and see what WE NEED for next year!! HAAAA!!! ;-)

Take care everyone..

Good luck with your trees jtwg!!!


    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 12:24AM
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Jt, I know many fruit trees are shipped and sold bare-root, so there must be some potential for the tree you have to be stored the same way. I'm not sure if it can be done in the dark but I imagine bare-root doesn't require much water.

Perhaps a nursery could tell you how long it would tolerate bare-rooting. I assume you want to know because space is an issue over winter.

Plumeria will go months without water because they store it in their branches. I personally don't put them in the dark but some people do and they wake up just fine in the spring for them.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 10:20AM
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plumeria and desert rose can be stored bare root here in texas. you can only do this with mature plants, plants under 2 yrs old will have to be stored in pots indoors. i do not water, just spray the stem with water from a spray bottle once a month. Desert rose you just clean off dirt from roots, dry out, then wrap in newspaper and store in a box. I lost 2 plants year before last, but had just purchased them a few months before I put them up. this year half will be stored in pots and half in newspaper. that is how i am planning to store my plumeria. all my brugmansia, iochroma, and tropical plants go inside pots and get regular waterings thruout the winter. barbra

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 7:25AM
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I do not know of any other tropicals, with the exception of aden. that can be stored the same way. Most tropicals do not have a true dormancy period, in Hawaii plumeria are green year round.

Sugar Apple should not go dormant being a tropical tree, it will have a period of slower growth but not true dormancy like plants in colder climates.

I grow only tropicals living on a sub-tropical island paradise (yeah, right, it's 49 today). Prior to Ike I grew a lot of tropical fruit trees-Jack fruit, sugar apple, etc. They all kept their leaves year round. However, I do not grow any of my fruit trees in pots with the exception of a lychee purchased this past spring. The avocado, over 30' tall and a victim of Rita, lost leaves in spring like the magnolia but never lost all of it's leaves. Bare root is a TEMPORARY measure, most trees need to be planted asap when shipped bare root.
Tally HO!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 10:29PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

Oh, I wanted to add that any of the gingers - the rhizomatous varieties -- can be cut and stored away fairly dry in a cool, dark place. These are more sub-tropical than tropical though. Some will winter over in the ground up here in zone 7 in a good microclimate.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 9:09AM
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well, you are storing the rhizome not the actual plant so that is more like storing bulbs really.
Tally Ho!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 5:24PM
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Bananas (Musa and Ensete) can be stored bare root. Pretty much any aloe or agave will work. Many cactus will be fine bare root.

If you are willing to keep the plant in a pot, then the list of options grows. Any cycad will be more than happy in a cold and dark garage all winter long. Any non-epiphytic cactus (except Melocactus) will be fine too. Almost any succulent will easily survive, except some cold sensitive Pachypodium or Adenium. Even bromeliads will tolerate an extended cold/ dark period. So will citrus. Alocasia/ Colocasia. So many, I must be missing some.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 9:19PM
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