from pot to in the ground

lbinupland_zone_9(9)November 12, 2013

Last winter I thought my largest plumaria was outgrowing a 30" pot so I found a nice spot out front and planted it.

The leaves had dropped and in the spring, most everything was beginning to bud. (I have about 20 in containers)

But, the one I put in the ground was late developing and never got past the purple stage, and that's where is has stalled.

Of course the stalks became rubbery, and shriveled so I chopped it up and put it in the green bin, just the other day. The base, which was close to four inches in diameter had lost all the bark, at the base and the root system never really developed beyond the (imaginary) confines of the pot.

Sad because this was really one of my best, about five ft. tall with nice branching.

Okay, now I have another one that is just as nice that I want to plant and have the feeling that it was a mistake to transplant in the winter dormant period? Previously, I have always repotted in the middle of summer when everything is vigorous.

So, this tree is dropping leaves now, no more blooms and I wonder if I have waited too long as it is going into dormancy? Should I wait until the middle of next summer to put it in the ground, or was I just unlucky the last time? Thanks for any suggestions. BB

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I do not see any value in placing in the ground right now. I am actually moving in the opposite direction of digging up the in grounds and putting back into a container or bag for winter storage.

Your zone (9) should be just fine for planting as early as March if you wanted to IMO. I think soil conditions may be a huge factor you need to consider especially if you have clay base soil or soggy silty soil.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 3:21PM
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Yeah, I would definitely wait until the spring after the last frost before planting any in the ground.


    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 7:52PM
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YO Upland, Have you put sheets/freeze cloth over the in ground ones thru the cold? Lights around the trees? I used to be in a zone 9 and grew fuchsias in the ground and they made it thru our snow in '96. Some are a lot hardier than others BUT you do have to look out for them and help them along. roxanne

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 10:11PM
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I'm assuming you're in So Cal Upland? If so, I'm close by in Claremont. I would definitely wait to plant in the ground ... I've had a 50/50 success rate with the in-ground plants since it gets pretty cold at night (low 30s, even upper 20s last winter). I use frost cloth and Xmas lights, and I think this time around that I will try some heating cables (that are used to keep pipes from freezing) for the coldest nights. My in-ground plants are now too big to move, but if they weren't planted yet, I would definitely wait.

Also ditto what kms said about your soil ...

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 11:56PM
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Well, we had some freezing weather last winter and some of my plumarias needed to be prumed back, but the one I am talking about is a little hardier and all four were unaffected, including the one in the ground. It wasn't until spring that I noticed it was lagging behind everything else in pots.

As far as the question; I don't really have a good reason except an awareness that some plants should be put in the ground in the fall and I wondered if maybe plumaria was one of them. I won't ever plant one in the middle of winte again, but I sorta thought that being dormant, it might be a time that the plant wouldn't even notice?

Other than that I have that spot, which is begging for another tree. See, I kept hoping the other one would recover right up until 4 or 5 days ago, then I started chopping and saw that there was no milk anywhere, so I kept chopping and pulled the root ball out of the ground...and it was much easier than it should have been.

Okay, next spring. BB

PS BTW my soil is great, no adobe and I have never used freeze cloth around the base of the pots just over the top; with indifferent success, I might add. That's the price I pay here, sometimes it freezes.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 12:06AM
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Yes, Upland. We are neighbors, and football team rivals. The thing about my soil , and I didn't believe it when a buddy told me. You don't plant anything without a pickaxe. The ground is so rocky that you have to be flexible about where you want to put something. We are talking buried up to 500 pounders sometimes. Other than that, everything grows here. BB

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 12:12AM
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LOL ... we have the same soil. Luckily, my husband is more determined than I am when it comes to prying boulders out of the dirt.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 3:03PM
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I may have stumbled on to the reason why my transplanted plumaria died. Reading another thread, I came across this:

"Wet soli kills dormant plumerias."

When I planted it, it was for sure dormant. But, being in the front yard with automatic sprinklers, it accidentally got plenty of water, all winter. I bet that didn't help? BB

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 8:45PM
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Mine stay in the ground year round, I still don`t know how Emerson digs up all those huge trees of his and moves them.
I was just thinking this week I might stick more of them in the ground, a lot of mine are just starting to bloom. But if work starts on the house in the next month or so everything is going to have to be dug up.
Tally HO!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 5:03PM
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