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Please Help Me 'Ready' my Plumerias for Fall / Winter...

Posted by suegrew zone 9/St. Pete, FL (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 23, 07 at 19:59

I live in Central FL. and my plumerias have had the time of their life all summer long. My question is when would be the best time to cut them back and when I do, how should I go about it? Is it necessary to take the cuttings, allow them to dry and simply put them somewhere dark? Is refrigeration necessary as one would do for bulbs? I hate to even take any length off my plumerias (some are about 20 ' tall and still flowering) , but I know that soon they will all be but "sticks" in the ground and I want to deal with the cutting back at the right time. Any recommendations will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Please Help Me 'Ready' my Plumerias for Fall / Winter...

Why do you want to cut your plumies back? Are they planted in the ground? They'll naturally go dormant and drop their foliage but I'm not sure when that will be in your zone. You should stop fertilizing about a month before they go dormant. Just protect them from freezing temps which I doubt you have to contend with anyway. Take a look in the plumeria forum. You'll be able to get all the info you need to keep your plumie happy over the winter.

RE: Please Help Me 'Ready' my Plumerias for Fall / Winter...

Hi Sue,

There is no need to prune plumeria unless you wish to take cuttings for propagation or you wish to reduce the size of a potted plumeria that needs to be dragged indoors for the winter. The best time to take cuttings is in the spring. If you need to reduce the size of the plant, you should do it in stages over several years so that you will have blooms every year. If you do a radical prune job, the plant will not bloom for at least a year and possibly longer.

If you wish to produce a bushier plant, take a few cuttings in spring 6 or more inches above a joint. The branch stumps will each put out several new branches. Repeat each spring for several years until you have trimmed back all the lanky growth. Fertilize during the growing season with a high phosphorus fertilizer to encourage blooms on the branches you didnt cut. If the plant is young, give it high phosphorus (middle number) fertilizer to encourage frequent blooming. Blooming will cause it to produce many branches and eliminate the need to prune it later to fix a sparse gangly shape.

One final note, cutting the plant back is not part of the standard treatment for preparing it for dormancy. We have a very active Plumeria Forum, please stop in and join our discussions.


Here is a link that might be useful: Plumeria Forum

RE: Please Help Me 'Ready' my Plumerias for Fall / Winter...

I just put my pots in the garage and stop watering them... we had a freaky winter last winter and it got down into the 20's and it self pruned one of my big'uns. :o) but it didn't bloom this year, too busy growing back.

RE: Please Help Me 'Ready' my Plumerias for Fall / Winter...

  • Posted by suegrew zone9/St. Pete, FL (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 24, 07 at 12:02

Thanks everyone for all the feedback. I realize that right now I'm not about to cut back my plummies. I was just curious at what time of year is best (which I now know) and the best way to preserve the cuttings.
I'm also active in the plumeria forum here on this site. There's a lot of discussion there and it's always nice to read everyone's comments. Not sure why I even posted my question here in "tropicals". Many of you obviously read it, so it was worth it.
Thanks again all for your helpful comments!

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