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shriveled plumies.

Posted by mksmth oklahoma 7a (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 17, 14 at 19:37

Well I got a problem I need some advice on. In previous years I stored my plants in a greenhouse. I haven't built one at my new place yet so my winter storage was out in the barn. I had a heater there to keep things above 40. I didn't water them at all. OK well maybe a couple of them got a small drink. All my bigger plants seem fine but a lot of the smaller ones are shriveled and looking not so great. I brought the worst ones into the house by a window and gave them some water hoping they would re-hydrate. Its north facing but that is all I have. Do think these tips will recover
Mike
Thumbalina


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: shriveled plumies.

  • Posted by mksmth oklahoma 7a (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 17, 14 at 19:39

And Scott pratt. Others are similar to this one in size
Thanks all!


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RE: shriveled plumies.

Aloha Mike, Did you mist a bit at all during the winter? Try now? I am new to this kind of, but maybe they will snap back? roxanne


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RE: shriveled plumies.

Mike, honestly in my opionion some tips look like they might make it & some don't but you never know. I will say that I had a few (3 seedlings) plants that were literally soft & squishy but not 'black' and after a really good watering they were back to normal. Try it, you have nothing to lose.

If you see them decay further after watering & waiting about 3 days or so I would do something, otherwise they may come back. Dehydration doesn't seem to decimate the plant like rot- so I think they have a better chance of recovering from dehydration than rot from cold for sure.

Hard to tell which your plants are affected by the most right now.

Good luck Mike, please let us know what happens.


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RE: shriveled plumies.

  • Posted by mksmth oklahoma 7a (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 18, 14 at 9:23

Thanks Rox, Emily. I have been misting the tips and the surface of the soil to see if that helps. I also pricked the tip and had white sap come out so I dont think that it is rot. I dont think that I had any cold damage. There was only one day that we lost power and it was only for a few hours. The part of the barn they were in is pretty well insulated and the temp never dipped below 40. A few do look as if they had some freeze damage but IDK.

I really dont want to lose the scott pratt. I bought what I thought was S. Pratt a couple years ago only to find out it wasnt. after talking with Allen at Exotic plumeria he sent me that one already rooted.

I have been thinking about something that Emerson does. Some of his larger plants are hung from the rafters upside down. I think its more for convenience for him than what im thinking but the principle makes sense but may not be always practical.

I assume that the tips shrivel as the sap goes down the trunk. Makes sense, right? so if one was able to store the plants upside down would gravity assist in keeping the sap at the tip or would the plant still draw that sap into the lower parts of the plant? I may experiment with this idea and see what happens.

mike


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RE: shriveled plumies.

Hi Mike,

I'm no expert, but there is only one tip that looks like it probably won't make it to me. Everything else looks like it has a good chance. In my first year growing plumerias, I had one plant get so shriveled that I could easily squeeze the plant and touch the inside walls together. It felt very hollow inside. But it was green, so I didn't cut it. It took a while to firm up and grow back in the spring, but when it did, it even threw an inflow. Again, I'm no expert, but aside from the shorter tip in the bottom picture, the rest look like they have a decent chance.


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RE: shriveled plumies.

Hi Mike,

I also would give them a little water and keep a close eye on the tips. If they continue to get soft, then I might think about trimming to prevent further rot down the branch. Like Spiroan mentioned, I also think that the one picture of the dark tipped tree could continue to be fine. ( except for the little bottom tip) One of mine is doing that and it is greening up at the tip. ( it has firmed back up and showing signs of growth)

It is so frustrating to see things like this happen to our beautiful trees. One of mine in the back room also has a soft branch that was against the back of the wall that probably had cooler temperatures. It is soft and spreading down the branch, so I have to cut that part off and I will seal.

This winter has been brutal.. We had sleet and freezing temps yesterday and I'm sitting here looking at a few palms that I think are history. The one in my front yard has died and I'm watching two Butias ( Pindos) in the back that have burn and I am hoping it didn't kill the hearts. Time will tell...

Please keep us posted on how they do...

I hope that spring will be here soon for all of us! ;-)

Take good care, Mike!!,

Laura


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RE: shriveled plumies.

  • Posted by mksmth oklahoma 7a (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 18, 14 at 12:48

Thanks spiro, laura.

Im gonna keep babying these and see what I can do.

laura, I hate to hear that about your palms. Are you talking about those big suckers you have out back. I hope they are ok. The 2 pindo's I planted years ago at the house were my kids and their mother live both froze this winter and i dont think will survive. The needle and sabal palms did just fine. i may dig them up and plant them around my pool.

Mike


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RE: shriveled plumies.

Hey Mike, are these plants grown in gritty mix? I have a good reason for asking.

George


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RE: shriveled plumies.

Hi Mike,

I'm sorry to see your babies so sad looking. I don't know about the Scott Pratt but Thumbalina should rebound for you. She's a sturdy girl. I sure hope all will recover soon.

I did something totally different this winter than last. I did not cover any of them w/ the frost blankets and I gave them all a drink once a month. Not enough to soak through but some water nevertheless. Granted our winter night temps were in the mid to low 40s with a handful of nights dipping down to around 37-38. Yet this winter I did not lose one single plant! I have no idea why either!

Please keep us posted.

George - funny that you should ask about the Gritty Mix. They did not do well for me! All my plants in the Gritty Mix hardly grew in over a year. I have no idea why but I'm going to take them out soon.


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RE: shriveled plumies.

  • Posted by mksmth oklahoma 7a (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 22, 14 at 7:55

Thanks all. The small S.Pratt tip is gone. It was actually rotting. It broke off clean and the rot had not gotten to the trunk. The others look to be firming up a little.

George. No its not. Actually I really Dont care for the gritty. I had my citrus in it for one summer and it did not work for me at all. In august when it was 110 I was watering the trees 2-3 times per day. And for some reason it got very hydrophobic if it got too dry. So bad that I had to let the container sit in water for awhile. So no I Dont have anything in that mix.
These and everything else is are in a custom 5.1.1 mix that is doing well for me here.

Mike


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RE: shriveled plumies.

So sorry to hear that Mike. But I'm happy to hear the others are recovering nicely. At least you caught it in time and only lost one tip on the S Pratt. Hopefully the plant will be fine now.

Take care,
Lynn


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RE: shriveled plumies.

Hi Mike,
sorry for the delayed response, I was real busy. Here is what I think is happening to your plants. I experienced the same thing trying to overwinter plumerias in Stuewe tubes that were rooted in the fall of 2013. I lost half of them. The tubes did not have much soil mass and they were drying out. The plants started dying from the tips. This is Scott Pratt.
2014_2a-1010132

This is the base of the cutting. It was not even shriveled.

2014_2a-1010131

Here is another example of Irma Bryan.

2014_2a-1010129

Here is the bottom part. Not shriveled.

2014_2a-1010128

The plants died completely with time. So I figured I better water these some. I did. Then they started rotting. All in all I lost half of them. A small disaster.

Note that black tip is different and your plants are not black tipped. This is black tip. Your tips have dried out.

2014_2a-1010422

I did some experiments with other winter storage methods this year. Here is what happens to plants stored with no soil.

This is a 6-months old VCR rooted cutting. The roots were still actively growing when I bare rooted it (white tips on roots).

6 m-2013-12a-1010009
This is what it looked like after 3.5 months of winter storage. Most of the root system had died and the plant shriveled badly.

2014_3a-1010862_14 wks (4)
I cut off the dead roots piece by piece until I found live roots. This is what I ended up with. Not much. The plant will most likely recovered but it sustained severed damage to the root system.

6 m-2014_3a-1010862_14 wks (9)

This is what happens to mature plants (5 year old in this case). This is what I started with.

5 yr-2013-11b-1017022

After winter storage and trimming off the dead roots this is what I ended up with. Most of the root system survived. Any roots over 3/32" in diameter were alive, anything smaller died. This is why most of the root system in the younger plant died. This is why experts recommend not to store with no soil 2 year old and younger plants.

5 yr-2014_3a-1010878_14 wks (14)

Now, the interesting thing is that the tips of the plants stored with no soil did not shriveled! Here is an example.

5 yr-2014_3a-1010878_14 wks (7)
What had shriveled was most of the 1-2 year old branches, like below.

5 yr-2014_3a-1010878_14 wks (5)
So, coming to your plants they are young plants and your soil mix did not retain much moisture. As a result, the plants started dying from the tips, just like my young plants in Stuewe tubes. Older plants do not do that (the tips do not die), even if you store them with no soil. The younger plants need a different soil mix than mature plants. It must contain more perlite and pumice or Oil Dri. I use 30% perlite and 30% Oil Dri for my younger plants and the do fine in winter storage. Here is a plant that was rooted in October and put to storage the end of November. This what the roots looked like after 3.5 months of winter storage without ever being watered. The young roots are not only alive they are still growing. Look at the soil mix. It is relatively dry but it does have some moisture. This is what you need to do. Increase the perlite and Oil Dri in your mix for young plants.

2013-3a-3061045

I hope this helps. Take care.
George


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RE: shriveled plumies.

  • Posted by mksmth oklahoma 7a (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 23, 14 at 8:12

Thanks George!! That is some great info not just for me but for everyone. None of my 3+ year old plants are showing any signs of drying out but on the other hand I have a couple of large 1 year old plants that also show no signs of drying. Could it also be the size of the plant in addition to the age that gives it a better chance to not dry out?

Also do you think we should be giving smaller plants water during the winter even though most say to never give them because of rot?

mike


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RE: shriveled plumies.

Hi Mike,
do not water dormant plants. The roots on a lot of them will rot. There are better ways to handle it. Also, variety is a big factor how young plants do in storage. Reds, like Scott Pratt, Irma Bryan, Hilo Beauty, Kauka Wilder, they do not develop a lot of roots when rooted and young plants get stressed out in storage more than other varieties and tend to get dry tips.

As I said I did a lot of experiments with different winter storage methods. One thing that really worked great is to dig the plumerias out of the pots with dirt around the root ball. Then wrap the root ball with 4-mil plastic and tie the plastic to the trunk with twine, like in the picture below.
1b-2012-12a-297392

This is what the roots looked like after 3.5 months of winter storage. There was no moisture loss from the soil and the roots, small and large, are all alive.
1c-2013-3a-3081097

You can do a similar thing with young plants in pots. You can wrap the pots in 4-mil plastic and tie it to the trunk. It should maintain the moisture in the soil over the winter and keep all the roots alive. Try it, I think it will work great.

The only problem will be if the soil is too wet. Then the roots will most likely rot. In that case you can you the 'controlled moisture method'. You can bare root the young plants and shake off all the soil. Then make a soil mix with the right amount of moisture. Put the plant on a 4-mil plastic and put an ice cube scoop of soil mix over the roots. Then tie the plastic to the trunk. Plants do great and no roots die. I have a lot of examples of this.
2b-2013-11a-1016830
2c-2013-11a-1016832
2d-2013-11a-1016833

Even young seedlings 3-4 months old do great with the 'controlled moisture method'. Note that experts recommend not to let young seedlings go dormant! Here are some young field grown seedlings that were dag up and bundled together. They were planted in the soil mix.
4f-2013-10h-1016769

Here is what the seedlings looked like after 3.5 months of winter storage with no water. They did great. Not only the young roots are alive but they are also growing (white tips).
4b-2014_3a-1011043
4c-2014_3a-1011045

As you see you have some good options in keeping the roots system of young plants alive during the winter. Whatever you do I would not water dormant plants.

George


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RE: shriveled plumies.

  • Posted by mksmth oklahoma 7a (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 24, 14 at 9:20

George

thank you so much for sharing all this information. Because of you and all the others here who openly share what they have learned our hobby will continue to grow and get easier for new people to learn and enjoy these awesome plants.

thanks again
Mike


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RE: shriveled plumies.

GREAT INFO.....Mahalos, roxanne


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RE: shriveled plumies.

Wonderful of you to share all this, George! We're all now dealing with the problems of storing over a long winter.

Just to add my limited experience: I had most of my established plants, including 3+ year-old seedlings, in the garage. Most were in 2-5 gallon pots, but I put 7 of them into a black plastic trash bag. These were plants that had grown in the ground last year and I just pulled them up and shook off most of the soil and tied them together in the bag, along with one grafted Gladys O'Neal. The plastic bag was put in a trash can with some rags at the bottom to keep them off the cold concrete floor. All these plants had lots of green tip growth and not one of them showed the dried out tips as in the photos.

Several other of my plants that were stored in pots right next to that bag of seedlings got moderate to severe tip shriveling--just like George's photos!--and some have to be cut back a foot or more. All were in the same mix I use through the year--not gritty--which has compost, minerals, shredded wood, etc.

Those bagged seedlings are now outside but still in the bag waiting for frost danger to be over and I checked them all this morning. The few that had some wrinkling plumped up after watering them (yes, I poured water right into the bag twice over the winter, just enough to give them a drink). I have no doubt they'll bounce right back and start growing once we get some warmer days and nights. I can't say the same for all the ones that were stored in pots. Many of those look great, but a few look terrible.

This is only a small sampling, but I'll be sure to store more in plastic bags next year. It seems to have worked very well for my seedlings, though I'm not sure about the tender reds yet.


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RE: shriveled plumies.

Great info George, thank you for sharing that and your photos, always very interesting!

Could you tell us what you recommend as an alternative to watering a dormant plant if it is suffering from dehydration? (You mentioned not to water and that there were other ways to address that problem)

I ask because I had a couple of plants that were indeed suffering from dehydration (large seedlings - severe enough that the branches were SOFT.) and I did water them. They recovered nicely, although as a caveat I will say that I don't know that they were TRULY FULLY dormant (is that possible?), as I finally had to cut leaves off of mine to stop some moisture loss / hope to encourage them to sleep.

No other plants stored in pots in my garage suffered any kind of damage at all.

Does bare rooting for winter storage delay reawakening at all?

For those that bare root, what are you doing with the soil, just leaving it in the pots for use the next year?


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RE: shriveled plumies.

Hi Emily,
when you dig the plumerias up from the pots, with or without soil, you just leave the pots with the rest of the soil behind, just like in my picture below.
2014_2c-1010754

According to my tests in 2012 and 2013, bare rooting delays the plant in getting going in the spring by about three weeks. That is because bare rooting kills all the feeder roots and the plant develops new ones in the spring. On the contrary, leaving the plants in pots or balling them and storing them in plastic, preserves all the feeder roots and the plants get going earlier in the spring.

In storing plumerias over the winter in pots the object of the game is moisture preservation. Pots bigger than 5-gallon squat pots have no problem and you do not need to anything. Smaller pots tend to dry out. It all depends on the soil mix your are using and your local climate. I use 30% perlite and 30% Oil Dri in my smaller pots and they do fine in the winter. I do not need to take any measures. If you have a problem with smaller pots drying out I would put each in a small garbage bag and seal the bag around the trunk of the plant to preserve the moisture inside. I would cut all the leaves off before I put the plants to storage because they lose a lot of moisture from the leaves by evaporation. You do not need to worry about the skin of the trunk because it does not lose much moisture.

George


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RE: shriveled plumies.

Good job Jen, if you put some moist soil in the plastic bags to provide moisture and keep 100% humidity in the bags the plants will do even better.

George


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RE: shriveled plumies.

  • Posted by mksmth oklahoma 7a (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 28, 14 at 9:55

George.

What is the other 1/3 of your mix? Also which oil dry are you using.

update on mine. Not much change in the looks of them. they are a bit firmer but still wrinkled. The small S pratt tip was rotting so i removed it and it seems to have not gotten to the trunk so thats good. The thumbalina tip felt so soft I could swear it was rotting so I cut it and wouldnt ya know it wasnt. Oh well it has other tips.

Not far from moving them outside maybe another couple weeks.

mike


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RE: shriveled plumies.

WOW! Thank you all. Great info here!!


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RE: shriveled plumies.

George, thank you so much, that makes a lot of sense. The seedlings that were dehydrated were in probably 3.5 gal pots if I had to guess, definitely not in my bigger ones.

Mike - that's how my seedlings were, so soft that I swore they had rotted. One was my Kimi Moragne seedling that bloomed at a young age and before I realized it was dehydration I had whacked off at least 2 branches :( It was so soft I could almost touch the walls together.


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RE: shriveled plumies.

Mike, the other ingredients are 30% soil and 10% sharp sand for good drainage. The soil packs around the roots and fill the spaces between the coarse material and keeps the mix from drying out. The perlite and Oil Dri hold moisture and keep the roots from drying out. This is why plants in 1-gallon pots do not dry out over 3.5 months of winter storage. It is very important to have at least 40% material that hold moisture in the mix.

George


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