plumeria inside w/ lights

Mortbella(SF Bay Area)November 6, 2005

Have put my Plumeria in the garage for winter. Would a 1000-watt light keep them growing thru the winter and early spring? All are in 15 gal tubs, 20" to 40" tall and most are flowering. Plants are from cuttings and two to three years old. Any info would help as to what work to keep them growing.

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Madchemis(z9 CA)

That wattage work perfectly, but the more important thing is to keep the garage warm between 50-80 degree. If you can provide some bottom heat that would be best.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2005 at 12:36AM
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Mortbella(SF Bay Area)

Thanks. The air temperature never gets below 50 F on the cold nights, and there is natural light inside, but no direct sunlight of any real amount. What is a good temperature to keep the containers warmed? Would 12 hrs of supplemental light be ok? Should fertilizing and watering reduced to biweekly?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2005 at 1:16AM
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mikeod(Z9 FL)

This is my first year keeping plants going indoors. Previously I let them go dormant. From all that I have read, they will need about 16 hours of light, sunlight augmented by grow lights, or all growlight. Water and fertilizer should be reduced as the plant growth will slow down anyway. I plan on keeping the soil more dry than usual, and cutting fertilizing to about 25% of normal and emphasizing a 0-10-10 supplemented with a small amount of nitrogen since I want to encourage root growth more than leaves.

I hope others with more experience than I will chime in.
Mike

    Bookmark   November 7, 2005 at 11:49AM
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lindsaymargenau

This is my first time posting, although I've gotten some great info from reading this board over the past few months! I bought a plumeria stalk in June and have it in an 8" pot. It had a fantastic summer, has put out about 12 leaves, and is altogether quite happy.

I'm in Northern Virginia and have moved it inside for the winter. But it seems to be unhappy. Leaves are getting dark spots on them, and it always feels cold. I want to buy a light and something else to heat it from the bottom - but I can't find anything by googling "plant heater" and "grow light" that provides heat - not just light - for my plumeria. I'd appreciate any recommendations of products to purchase to keep my baby warm & happy over the winter!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2005 at 7:35AM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

lindsaymargenau: Where in Northern Virg are you? I'm in Vienna. I put most of mine in a dark basement (66ºF) and they lose all their leaves (leaves get dark spots, then dry up and fall off). I water them maybe a little bit every two weeks or so. Not much. I'm keeping a few upstairs in brighter, warmer conditions. They still drop some leaves. I don't really think it's necessary to use a heating pad and encourage growth in the winter. Just cut back on watering, so the soil dries out 1 1/2 inches down before watering again. Unless you have VERY bright and long-duration lighting, the new growth will be rather weak and perhaps will only encourage longer branches, spider mites, and no blooms. I prefer the more compact growth that occurs outdoors in summer. I'm also keeping two plants under grow lights (1000-watt). They're smaller and have kept most of their leaves so far. I keep them on the dry side as well.

In my opinion, when they get larger, they're not the most attractive houseplant in the winter!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2005 at 10:26AM
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mikeod(Z9 FL)

Lindsay,
Look for a heat mat. Many hydroponic supply houses have them. I have friends who just use a human heating pad with a waterproof cover under the plumie. Plumeria like bottom heat, so a light that also generates heat may not be ideal. Grow lights range from simply using daylight and cool white fluorescent tubes in a shop light, to expensive commercial grow lights. Many sites I visited recommend keeping new seedlings and newly rooted cuttings going slowly over the winter and not letting them go dormant. But, many people I have communicated with don't notice much difference from those that are kept going and those that go dormant. The main difference is the ones under light and heat respond to warmer temps in the spring faster than those that went to sleep.

Mike

    Bookmark   November 12, 2005 at 2:13PM
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Tommyc(Mich 5-6)

After reading some of these recommendations, I have to disagree with some things about Sun Time. I lived in Hawaii and the islands never receive more that 13+ hours of sunshine a day (Thats in June)... In winter thats down to 11 hours. Plumeria thrive in those circumstances and alot of the time only certain species of Plumi drop their leaves. I try to stay as close to natural environments as possible... but its hard here in Michigan. I would try to check the schedule and try to give them as close to nature as you can if you are planning on using lights during the winter. I think if you could follow these times a little closer and change accordingly each month, you'll Plumi's will love you more.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sunrise/Sunset Hawaii

    Bookmark   November 13, 2005 at 10:43PM
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mikeod(Z9 FL)

Tommy,
The difference is that 13+ hours of real sun at that latitude is much more intense than growlights can produce. Therefore we need to give the plants more light in the form of longer time under the light, rather than more intense light. Those that use fluorescent grow lights need to keep the light very close to the plant tip to make the light as effective as possible.

Even in HI, plumeria go through a dormant period. Their growth slows, and blooming slows. They just don't shed their leaves like they do in temperate climates.
Mike

    Bookmark   November 14, 2005 at 1:11PM
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