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How to get branch outs from a single stem?

Posted by marisa141 NJ Zone 6 (My Page) on
Tue, Oct 25, 11 at 14:24

I am new here and am looking for some help with my plumeria plants. I have 5 small plants which were started from the clippings you buy from Hawaii. Four of them are 2 years old and one is a year old. I just repotted them in 8in pots with a mixture if potting soil and sand with small rocks set in the bottom of the pot for drainage. They are all roughly the same size (12-14in with 10 or so leaves). Each winter the leave fall and grow back when I move them outside for the summer.
I would like some information on getting them to branch out. Like I said they are all one single stalk and only one flowered since I had them. Also when is a good time to fertilize and what type should I use.
Thank you in advance!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How to get branch outs from a single stem?

did the one that flowered branch out. When you get and inflo the will branch multiple times. The other way is to just cut the trunk, it will branch out from there. The rocks in the pot are a common misconception on aiding in drainage. all the smaller particles of soil will fill the voids and actually cause the water to not drain out as well.


RE: How to get branch outs from a single stem?

Thanks Mike. No the none of them have any braches. :(

RE: How to get branch outs from a single stem?


There are no guarantees there will be multiple branching either by flowering or by cutting the trunk. A couple of inches of rock in the bottom of the pot is o.k.

RE: How to get branch outs from a single stem?

Marisa, most of us water with SuperThrive and seaweed extract, which are not fertilizers but more like vitamins and minerals, weekly or so throughout the warm months. I like slow-release balanced (20-20-20 or 14-14-14) fertilizers in the soil in spring. If you check out the thread listed below you'll see thorough info on different fertilizers.

As for branching, generally they'll branch out two or three more tips when they flower but not always. If you cut the trunk you may get the same, two or three new branches sprout from below the cut, but not always.

Below is a photo of new tips at the base of a flower stalk:
3 new tips on single trunk NOID

The tree pictured was a single-trunk, three feet tall, before it flowered and branched, after three summers of being rooted from a cutting. These things do take some patience and as you're in a shorter summer area, you may find your plants take a little longer.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fertilizer question

RE: How to get branch outs from a single stem?

  • Posted by isobea 10 San Diego (My Page) on
    Wed, Oct 26, 11 at 23:56

Hi Marisa, if you want to read up on pruning plumerias I think Jim Little's book 'Growing Plumerias in Hawaii and Around the World', page 47-48, will be helpful. There is a lot of fantastic information about all different aspects of growing plumerias in that book.
Good luck,

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