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cutting leaves off in fall

Posted by brettay 9b (My Page) on
Sat, Oct 30, 10 at 13:39

When most trees go dormant in the fall they resorb many of the nutrients from the leaves (e.g. nitrogen) and store them in the trunk and roots until the next spring. This gives them a head start because they don't have to absorb all new nutrients from the ground when growing new leaves in the spring. I noticed many people cut the leaves off their plumeria in the fall when getting them ready for over-wintering. I imagine it would be better to let them fall off naturally. I wonder if any one uses this practice. Perhaps it makes a different, perhaps not. Seems like an experiment is in order.

-Brett


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: cutting leaves off in fall

I think most people who cut off the leaves are attempting to force dormancy and intend to put the plant in a dark environment. Transpiration through the leaves can dehydrate the plant.

I don't cut off the leaves, preferring to let the plant enter dormancy normally. I have the advantage of living in a zone where temps don't usually get too cold too fast.

Mike


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RE: cutting leaves off in fall

This year Im just storing them with leaves on and Im letting it do its thing after that. If it decides to drop all its leaves I wont mind as long as long as it isnt because of a bug problem. Last year I cut the leaves off of all my plumerias except my plumeria divine and my Plumeria Divine did go semi-dormant losing about half of its leaves, but it grew right away when it went outside for the summer unlike my other plumerias which took a month to get going. I think that the reason why people cut the leaves off are so they quickly enters dormancy like mike mentioned and also probably because they get so many pests indoors (like spider mites) and getting rid of the leaves will lessen the chance of seeing those pests.
Good luck!
-Alex


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RE: cutting leaves off in fall

Hello Brett,

I Do have to cut leaves to prepare my trees for dormancy. Do I really want to do this? Of course not...If I could be in a warmer climate then they would all keep their leaves and then they would naturally go into their dormancy phase.
But since the cold air could damage my trees, I have to be ready to put my trees inside. My potted trees (28) have to be brought inside and then placed in one of my back rooms. I would rather put them in a green house, but I don't have that "wish list item" yet!!! LOL... Most of us that push the limits in growing Plumerias, Palms and other tropicals have to sometimes play "Mother Nature"... I have taken this picture for you to see my 25 potted trees that have just been placed in my livingroom soon to be transfered to the back room. If the leaves were still on, I could never have had the space for these guys!! I do this for the convience of space, as well as from keeping the pest down to the mininum. It also keeps me from constantly picking up the fallen leaves. You raise an interesting point about the nutrients being lost...I am sure they are at a disadvantage when they get their haircut, but my trees have never had any problem coming out of dormancy. They are all given ES to wake them up followed by seaweed extract and then the normal fertilizers. I did keep three of my potted trees growing since they have large inflos emerging. So, I will keep everyone informed with their progress.

It would be a great experiment to see if they do have any adverse reactions to growth etc...

Pictures are my trees in the spring, summer and then trimmed for the winter. Remember that they were cut the same way last year when they were placed inside for the winter...

I find this very interesting on how we all prepare our trees for the winter. Especially those of us that grow these trees in colder climates!!!!

Take care everyone!!

Laura in VB

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Spring 2010 new cutttings

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spring/summer 2010 May

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summer 2010

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Summer 2010
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Fall trimming 2010

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Back in the house fall 2010

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This is what I really like to think of during the winter!!!

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Thanks for looking!!! Think Spring!!!


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RE: cutting leaves off in fall

Awesome pics Laura! All my plumerias are going in tonight. The only one thats nearly bare is my plumeria pudica but I didnt cut any of the leaves off, its just in shock from being pulled out of the ground. Im sure it will be fine in the spring, or at least I hope so! Thanks for sharing your pics and Im looking forward to hearing some updates!!!
-Alex


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RE: cutting leaves off in fall

Thanks Alex!!!

My potted palms are still outside as well as two lemon trees. They will probably come inside within the next two weeks. We are haveing such crazy weather...sunshine in the 70's then down into the 40's with cold rain...seems like it wants to fight the cooler weather that will eventually come!

My Hibiscus trees are thanking me with many blooms since I brought them inside...and my plumies are all in line for the annual walk to the backroom!!!

I did buy a FLourescent light for my new plants and for the other tropicals that I want to keep growing this winter. It is a T-5 4 foot fixture with 216 watts. So this will be new for me. Do you use any grow lights? After I get this up and going, then I will post pics...should be interesting...I'm excited to see how the plumies with inflos react to the lights!!

I am even going to keep one of the trimmed plumies under the lights to see how it responds...

Take care everyone!!

Happy Halloween...ooohhhhhh.......

Laura in VB


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RE: cutting leaves off in fall

Laura, in your one picture which I'm guessing is the spring of this year what are you using the tubes (paper towel or toilet paper) on the branches for?

Mike
Apopka, FL


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RE: cutting leaves off in fall

Hi Mike,

Those paper towel holders are used to protect the stems from sunburn. My weather here in VB can jump in the spring from the normal 70's 80's to 90's in a matter of days...Some of the trees and cuttings at this point have not acclimated to the high temps causing brown or burned spots on some of the limbs. This keeps them protected from the hot sun until they grow leaves which naturally protects the stems. It looks funny... but it works!!!

Laura in VB


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RE: cutting leaves off in fall

Laura, glad your giving grow lights a try! I really want to start using them, but all the ones I see for sale are pretty expensive. I thought I bought a grow light at a store recently, but it turns out that its only a grow light reflector, so I guess thats going to be a problem! Where did you get your grow lights if you dont mind sharing? Right now I have my plumerias under regular track lights at night and then direct sunlight (southwest window) during the day with a humidifier keeping the bromeliads happy and the entire room more humid (which will hopefully lessen the possibility of spider mites!).
Good luck! Hopefully it turns out that the plumerias continue to do well inside for the both of us!
-Alex


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RE: cutting leaves off in fall

Hello Everyone,

I starting thinking about some pics that I took of my trees this past winter when I put them in my starter greenhouse. These are pics of the trimmed trees right when I put them outside in March. That was probably a little to early, because even with lights placed in the greenhouse the temps reached to the mid 40's at one time. So, I had to place a heater in there to keep the temps warmer.

You can see the growth from these pics to the pics of the trees on the deck in April/May to June and then Finally Aug/Sept.

I hope this will help others that do consider trimming and that may be worried about growth.

Enjoy the pics!!!

Take care everyone!!

Laura in VB

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Happy Halloween....


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