Plumeria update

Two springs ago I tried growing plumeria (or Frangipani) for the first time. I bought a couple of dormant cuttings (sticks), potted them up, and watched them flourish over the summer. Then I brought them into the garage for the winter and both died and rotted instead of going dormant as I was expecting. Then late last spring I decided to give it another try, bought three more less expensive cuttings (received six!), potted them again, and waited.

One of the cuttings rooted and leafed out pretty quickly, but the others just sat there. A few of them eventually rotted, but two of the cuttings remained healthy -- but wouldn't root. I left them alone though, as I didn't have enough experience to know what to do. Into our warm fall they seemed like they were finally starting to wake up.


So a few weeks ago I brought them inside and put them under my grow lights. I expected them to begin leafing out pretty quickly after moving inside, but they've only just started growing.

I moved the plant that had already leafed out inside too, as I'm going to keep it from going dormant if I can help it. I don't want to chance it in the garage again this year.

So one of the two is a little more advanced than the other, with the leaves visibly elongating:

Notice the dead black leaves on the left. That was a bit of a scare, as the first leaves that started emerging dried up soon after -- I thought the cutting was a goner. Luckily it created more leaves and appears to be in good shape now.

The second cutting is a bit behind the first in development, as the leaves are just starting to grow:

The main problem with trying to keep these growing over the whole winter is I don't really have space for all three of them under my lights. I'll have to move things around a bit I think.

(Those are some tower of jewels seedlings sharing space with the plumeria. It's important to utilize as much growing area as possible when there's limited space.)

I don't really want the established plant to grow too much over the winter, I just want it to stay alive.

I love the leaf structure:

So that's what is happening with my plumeria. If I manage to keep from losing these over the winter, will I get flowers next year or does it take a few years before it flowers? I think they flower right away, based on photos I've seen.

Of the three varieties I had originally, I have only two now I think -- the paint markings have faded on some of these so it's difficult to tell. It looks like I have two 'Lani's Beauty' and one 'Apricot'.

It doesn't matter to me which varieties I have, only that I have living plants next summer!


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Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (November 24, 2011 at 3:36 PM)  

I saw some plumerias at Home Depot a couple of weeks ago. Now I wish I'd picked one up. They were $14 in a 2-gallon pot and fully leaved out. Your post reminded me of how much I love their flowers.

Steve Lau  – (November 25, 2011 at 10:07 PM)  

This plant looks like it grows almost identically to pachira aquatica or money tree which I have, and if is closely related, giving them intense light all year long sounds like a good idea since they don't seem to need a dormancy period.

I am considering trying out some plumeria seeds for fun just to see how they grow.

Christine @ the Gardening Blog  – (November 26, 2011 at 3:04 AM)  

Look forward to seeing what they do ... and whether they flower next year, Plumeria flowers are so beautiful!

rosa complicata  – (July 31, 2012 at 9:10 AM)  

How are your Plumerias? I grow or better said try to grow them - and suceeded with two plants from seed, but after 4 years they are still a stick with a bunch of healthy leves and that's all... Quite frustrating if one expects those marvelous waxy blooms, isn't it?
Furthermore they regulrly loose all leaves during winter ( I even tried to overwinter them indoors) and than it takes them month to start again...

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