Plumerias losing leaves in warmer areas??

ohiojay(z6 OH)November 29, 2006

I was curious to see if anyone's plumerias have started shedding their leaves yet? I've read where there is really only one variety that does not lose it's leaves and I'm pretty sure mine isn't it. Mine is in the greenhouse and still going strong...pushing new growth and flowering. My wife said the only plumerias that lose their leaves in Thailand are the ones up north where it gets much cooler. Just wondering if the greenhouse is slowing or stopping the shedding. Thanks, J

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plumeria dont loose their leaves in mexico, Hi and other tropical climates I was just in Matzalan and saw 5 plumeria 40 ft tall and had trunks 3 ft in diameter full of if they never get chilled I suspect they will keep growing if the light holds up

    Bookmark   November 29, 2006 at 10:24PM
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yellowthumb(5a Ontario)

From my experience, the plumeria only shred its leaves if the temperature and/or light level drops too much.
I have been growing a plumeria for two years, it has been actively growing the whole summer and has two big flower spikes this year. Now it's in my sun room and lost most of its leaves started from the middle of Novermber, I think it's because of the shorter days and unusual amount of cloudy days we got this year(56 days out of 70 days). Interestly last winter, I grew the same plumeria under a 400W MH growth light, it has been continuously growing and pushing out lots of new leaves, it just lost some very old leaves. Plumeria would be more than happy to grow than being forced into dormant.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2006 at 11:12PM
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I have to put mine in the garage, or they get root rot, and they don't lose all their leaves... one is inches away from blooming.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2006 at 1:17AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

I grow them as a yard plant in 10 Florida.We had a low of 42 and they reacted by looking sickly lol. They usually shed in Dec and start vigorous growth in Feb for me.
i suspect that even with enough warmth there still wouldn't be enough sunlight during winter.
IMO they do better when chilled,makes them start over.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2006 at 7:05AM
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yellowthumb(5a Ontario)

I agree with Gary, the growth during winter months is weaker and usually will use up the stored energy for the spring growth. Let them rest until enough sun and warmth, then they can take off fast. The same thing happens to my other tropical or sub-tropical plants like Jasmine, sometimes I have to cut back the ugly winter growth, and usually the dormant plants will outgrow and looks better during the summer months.
But if you can supplement with 12-16 hours of artifical light, that's a total different story, my Plummeria looks really nice after the winter growth, but it took the prime location though.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2006 at 5:05PM
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Last winter my plummies were potted up and all lost every leaf! This year I have them in the ground, and they have dropped more than half their leaves but a few are holding on. Probably to give the awesome flowers someplace to rest their pretty little heads! The shorter days and the decreased temps are definitely causing a major slow down.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2006 at 6:50PM
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ifraser25(z11 Brazil)

You have got real probs growing Frangipani in Zone 6. They need very high light all year round + high humidity most of the year. The leaf loss is probably due to lack of one or the other. The prob is in high latitudes if you heat humidity plummets. Try cactus !!!!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2006 at 10:37PM
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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

I disagree with the above statement. Although it would be optimal for plumeria to be grown in the upper zones, a
lot of northerners here in the US do quite a good job of growing plumeria. Anyone remember wildcat_IN_Z5? He was in like a zone 5b and grew his to 8 ft tall with 59 tips! He dug in up every year and let it go dormant, and planted it back out in the spring. That is what many people do and they do just fine. There is a good book titled, The Handbook On Plumeria Culture by Richard and Mary Helen Eggenberger. They are experts on growing/breeding pulmeria and give good advice on growing pulmeria with a dormancy period. It also say, that all species that they have studied have a dormancy period. The exceptions are P. Obtusa and some if its varieties. Also seedlings may not go dormant their first few years.
Plumeria also do great in Arizona where yeah its hot but there is no humidity. It is amazing what you can grow out of optimal conditions-you should visit the tropical fruit forum and you will be surprized see what tropical fruit trees the zone 6'ers etc. are growing ;P It is more work but worth it to most.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2006 at 10:18AM
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stressbaby(z6 MO)

I agree with SJN. There are lots of people growing Plumerias in zones 5-6. There is a chap in Kansas City with many large plumeria. I think the most common plumeria to retain leaves is P. obtusa 'Singapore' which has a slightly different leave shape than all my others.

I'm not sure dormancy is a bad thing for we plumeria growers in zones 5 and 6. Black tip can be a problem if you try to get plumerias through the winter actively growing. I have mine on a heat mat under 400w MH lamp. They are putting on new leaves, but it is a lot of work.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 12:16AM
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rayandgwenn(z11 Puerto Rico)

Our Plumerias lose their leaves on and off through-out the year due to drought or butterfly larvae eating the leaves. They always quickly re-leaf.
But sometimes in the dry season (Jan-March) , they can be bare of leaves even with temps always above 60.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 4:50PM
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ohiojay(z6 OH)

I agree wholeheartedly with SJN & Stress. I'm in Ohio, zone 5-6. I obtained my plumeria from a neighbor and it is nearly 25 years old. They have no greenhouse or anything like that. It is now in a greenhouse and obviously enjoying the conditions.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2006 at 6:58AM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

I've also seen Plumerias in tropical places like higher elevations in Bali go completely dormant, and in places that do have some winter cold, like Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, only P. obtusa would stay evergreen. The Plumerias native to Mexico often grow in areas that are quite hot and dry, so one can't generalize that they all prefer year round humidity. I can say that they aren't easy to grow here in coastal northern California, as our lack of heat year round never really gets them growing well. I have them growing both indoors in sun porches and outside, and all they seem to do is halfheartedly grow foliage, set flower buds that never fully open, and get spider mites and mealy bug. I chalk it up to never getting temps into the 80's and 90's like they prefer...

    Bookmark   December 7, 2006 at 1:49AM
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ohiojay(z6 OH)

Here's a current shot of my plant. Still going strong.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2006 at 8:10PM
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yellowthumb(5a Ontario)

That's an amazing looking plumeria, obviously it's enjoying its happy life. I can tell that's a very healthy plumeria by looking at the branching and trunck size. Mine is much taller and has bigger leaves, but not nearly as compact.
My plumeria flowers look exactly likes yours, but it lost most of its leaves, we had all cloudy days since November.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2006 at 10:57PM
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I just purchased some pulmeria cuttings from a lady in Hawaii. The instructions say that they will go dormant in the winter, being I'm in the midwest & that it will be the second year before they will bloom.

Is there anything special you do to get them to bloom? I have a lemon tree indoors in the winter, it puts out a ton of blooms in Jan. & then again in the spring before I put it outside & the ones in Jan. fall off and produce no fruit.
Oh, also wanted to say, my lemon tree loses all it's leaves when I bring it indoors in the fall, but they come back after it adusts to being inside for the winter.

The ones in the spring produce small lemons, I had 19 last spring, but all the fruit fell off within a week.
Just hoping my pulmeria do bloom. My hairdresser has one in her home & it wasn't even near a window & it had gorgeous blooms on it last week & is about 6 foot tall. After seeing that, I had to have one.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 2:45AM
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ohiojay(z6 OH)

Mine just recently shed nearly every leaf. But it is still flowering. I had a recent bought of spider mites so I'm not quite convinced that losing the leaves is environmental. Could be due to the battle with the mites or even a bit of a fungus issue. I'll see if I start getting some new growth soon.

The citrus will shed older leaves occassionally...especially when brought inside to a warmer and drier environment. Dropping blooms/fruit I believe is caused by either having more than the plant can support or by not getting pollinated. Try using a Q-tip and hand pollinating the flowers. I think more will stay put. My two cents.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 5:05AM
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We have had an exceptionally warm winter, and every single plummie is either bare or just holding on with a couple of leaves & flowers. I've got about 10 or 15, in the ground & very healthy. I can see claws forming on some so I guess they are starting to come out of their semi-dormancy (as long as the weather holds!)

    Bookmark   January 20, 2007 at 4:53PM
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One plumeria that comes to mind that doesn't
lose it's leaves is P. Pudica.
If it doesn't get too cold,
they will still produce flowers
all winter long. The down side to them
is they are not fragrant.

The regular plumerias drop their leaves
in the fall here, sometimes brought
on by a fungal disease called "rust".
Rust spots on the leaves start apearing
when the fall winds come - turning the leaf yellow and
droping off.

Personaly, in the spring, I remove all the old, remaining leaves.
New leaves will appear as the plant grows in the spring......cheryl

    Bookmark   January 21, 2007 at 3:01PM
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ohiojay(z6 OH)

Cheryl, you hit the nail on the head concerning the rust spots! That's exactly what I was noticing when all but two leaves dropped. I sprayed a fungicide but obviously it's like closing the barn door after the horse done bolted!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2007 at 7:06AM
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