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Fertilizer Question continued... (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: funinthesunincl on 10.28.2011 at 01:22 am in Plumeria Forum

@ Kimmiesplummies: I use worm castings; I put it on everything from seedlings to rooted plants. The only thing I dont put it on are my fresh cuttings (not till they root). Bonus: it wont burn your plants because it is 100 percent natural. I have attached a link to a 'Worm Castings' thread on Maui Plumeria Gardens forum that I participated in a couple years ago (Mary Jane/tuckered-out-angel) has alot of great info. regarding the subject. :))

When I repot my plumies I always throw in a handful of Dynamite fertilizer & bone meal to the Cactus mix & perlite. I water in well with water mixed w/B-12 (plant root starter) and a couple drops of Super Thrive (I water with that for the 1st couple weeks for healthy root growth...)

I recommend Dynamite, a slow release, balanced fertilizer. Unlike Osmocote, whose release is affected by temperatures and is used faster in hot weather, Dynamite is a time released product. Besides fertilzer, Dynamite contains many of the micronutrients that plants need. You can find it at Home Depot.

I supplement this with fish emulsion a couple of times.

Every other week I put 1 tablespoon of Epsom Salts per gallon of water together with a seaweed extract solution. This greens up the leaves nicely. It is also supposed to help the trees with cold hardiness.

Be careful on whatever you use so you don't end up commenting like a fellow plumie friend: "Fertilizers-A great subject, but a very touchy area of discussion for me this year. I'm totally scared to death about fertilizers. Last year I used a 'temperature induced', 15-15-15 granulated fertilizer, here in the Texas heat and damn near wiped out one third of my collection. The stuff just burned my root systems right out!"

The record breaking, triple digit temps. down here with the HOT Texas sun are brutal on the trees...I am just giving you what has worked for me w/Texas gardening for over 30 years.... There are MANY different opinions on fertilizers...but most importantly, find a good balance for what will work for you!

@ Al---thanks for the good soil science info!

~Mary Jane

Here is a link that might be useful: Worm castings thread on MPG


clipped on: 04.07.2012 at 12:21 pm    last updated on: 04.07.2012 at 12:21 pm

RE: Supplies by State/Region: Al's Gritty Mix (Follow-Up #36)

posted by: ragtimegal on 04.29.2009 at 01:51 am in Container Gardening Forum

I've been on a wild goose chase for pine fines for the 5:1:1 in San Diego for a few months now. Came across this manufacturer, which makes products suitable for both the gritty AND the 5:1:1. The products are sold by John Deer Landscaping, which has several locations around the county. (I would imagine that they have other locations, but I have not looked out of this region.)

They were EXTREMELY helpful, and I ended up buying the Turf-n-Tee for the 5:1:1. It's $9.99 for a 3 cubic foot bag. The Orchid Bark (fir) that is 1/8-1/4" is $7.95 for a 2 cubic foot bag.

Had I not already bought peat, I would have purchased it from them just to give them more of my business. I didn't ask about the other ingredients, as I am not making the gritty mix, and I already have perlite.


Here is a link that might be useful: Sequoia Bark Products


Nitty Gritty
clipped on: 04.05.2012 at 12:17 pm    last updated on: 04.05.2012 at 12:17 pm

RE: Cutting a Plumeria (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: tdogdad on 10.26.2006 at 05:41 pm in Plumeria Forum

Wait until Wookey wakes up in March. If you cut about 6" from where the branches join the stem, new branches will grow from the end of the 6" stem, but they will not flower that season. The branches that have been cut at a 45 degree angle should be left to dry about a week, then dipped into a solution of B-1 and water or Superthrive and water, or both and then dipped into a rooting compound with a fungacide so the power dusts the cut and up three inches of the branch. Plant into a one gallon black plastic pot into fast draining soil (often cactus mix or supersoil mixed with pumice or perlite at about 50/50) water once with the B-1 or superthrive solution. Put on warm concrete or on a warm seed mat. Leave it. In two months, when it puts out leaves, begin to water with B-1/superthrive water but let it dry out (water every 5-10 days depending on how hot it is.) In two weeks give it a half dose of a high phosphorus fertilizer and in 14 days a full dose continuing full doses every 14 days (plumies need phosphorus to flower) throughout the summer. Stop about a month before your weather begins to cool down to let the plant harden up for dormancy. Also, after you cut the branches, I would wait a day and then cover the cuts on the main plant with a tan tub and tile sealant which protects the cut and looks good. Many people do nothing to the cuts, but many long time growers use paint, spackle or sealant to lower the odds of fungus or bug invasion in the area. I have used all three and like the sealant best because it stretches as the plant grows and looks better. Bill


Plumeria cutting and getting started after leafing
clipped on: 03.21.2012 at 11:22 pm    last updated on: 03.21.2012 at 11:23 pm

Seedlings and Hydrogen Peroxide

posted by: jandey on 10.07.2010 at 11:28 pm in Plumeria Forum

or, "Be careful what you wish for!"

I haven't run across any posts about hydrogen peroxide, or "Spanish water", use in germinating seeds so I thought I'd post about my initial experience with it.

During the last week of September I received a large number of seeds and, being a little, um, obsessed, I researched and found this info from Jack Morgan (who seems to have very good science behind his advice) about the benefits of hydrogen peroxide:

"Water or foliar spray early morning. 18 � 24 oz. Of 30% H2O2 - 20 gals water.

Germinating Seeds 1-5oz. 3% H2o2 into 1 pint distilled water soak seed 8 hrs.

Insecticide -16 oz. 3% H2o2 to one gal. water w/ surfactant i.e. Coco Wet. Use fine mist spray.

Watering Plants 6 -16 oz. 3% H2o2 per gal. water. Water container thoroughly.

Note: All foliar spraying add non ionic surfactant i.e. Coco Wet. "

(The link below gives you the entire text on the rot-preventing properties of H2O2.)

Anyway, the germinating bit caught my eye so I tried the paper towel method (with the seeds soaked overnight between two wet sheets) and instead of just soaking with water I used the recommended dilution of H2O2 and, of course, a drop of Superthrive, to wet the paper towels.

I filled a few large clear plastic containers (from pre-washed salad mixes or 2lb. strawberries) with the standard seed-starting bagged mix, soaked the soil thoroughly, then poked the plumeria seeds with the wings sticking up above the soil. Then I watered with the remaining H2O2/Superthrive mix and put all into a very sunny window. I misted a couple times a day as the window is very warm and, if the container came with a lid, closed the lid and let condensation build up.

Well, I'll be darned if I don't now have lots of little green heads popping up! From what I can tell it looks like maybe 100% germination rate (I can see the fattened heads beneath all the papery wings) of 20 seeds from 6 different varieties. (Yikes--gotta go find pots now!)

I don't know if this was due entirely to high-quality seeds (mostly from Brad's Buds and Blooms) or if the extra ingredients are why they seem to be doing well (fingers crossed), but for those thinking of trying out seeds this method certainly hasn't hurt in the initial germination. I'm hoping, too, that an occasional misting/watering with "Spanish water" will keep down any seedling rot (damping off?) that has plagued me before in new seedlings of other types.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) and Plumeria


clipped on: 03.21.2012 at 12:57 pm    last updated on: 03.21.2012 at 12:58 pm

RE: Addicted Newbie (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: jandey on 11.14.2011 at 03:41 pm in Plumeria Forum

I use a good splash in a pint of water, so a capful per cup is probably about right. Also good for the first few seedling waterings as the roots like the extra oxygenation. I think they used to call it "Spanish water".


Peroxide in SEED (peroxide)
clipped on: 03.19.2012 at 04:38 pm    last updated on: 03.21.2012 at 12:35 pm

RE: How often do I feed my plumeria FE and Sea Weed Extract? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: tdogdad on 05.06.2011 at 06:49 pm in Plumeria Forum

superthrive has b-1 in it but b-1 does not have all the micronutrients that are in ST. They are basically the same if you are transplanting or soaking before starting cuttings, but I like ST as a soil tonic.
If you google spray-n-grow they have kits of sng, cocowet, and bill's (not me) perfect fertilizer. A small kit is plenty. You mix as directed in warm water in a 1-2 gallon pump sprayer, and then foliar feed (spray your leaves)
Dr earth is an organic fertilizer. It does contain m. fungus which is uaually destroyed by high phosphorus fertilizers. The fungus is essential to good soil health, but it is not a fertilizer. I generally start the year with this good organic fertilizer to enrich soil and get the plant going and then when leaves come I go to foliar feeding but I add superthrive and seaweed extract to my weekly water for the roots.
I would wait until all flowering is done before repotting because repotting can abort flowers. Bill


clipped on: 03.20.2012 at 11:35 pm    last updated on: 03.20.2012 at 11:35 pm

RE: How often do I feed my plumeria FE and Sea Weed Extract? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: tdogdad on 05.06.2011 at 12:12 pm in Plumeria Forum

I use a gluk of seaweed and a glock of ST. Since neither is a fertilizer technically in a gallon of water I put maybe a quarter ounce seaweed and 5 drops of ST. You need very little ST. I keep both in old cleaned out mustard plastic containers and I give a good squirt of seaweed and a small squirt of ST. I think this used in conjunction with Spray-n-grow and cocowet is outstanding.


clipped on: 03.20.2012 at 11:25 pm    last updated on: 03.20.2012 at 11:27 pm

RE: kick off begins (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: tdogdad on 03.14.2010 at 03:50 am in Plumeria Forum

Laura- I have a cart with three bags on it. I have a big spoon and a small scoop and a large scoop. Depending on the size of the pot, I spoon in the sulpo mag, then sprinkle the ground with Dr. E and then cover with a fine layer of worm castings. I always water my pots the day before (fertilizer hitting dry roots is a recipe for disaster) and then after my spooning and scooping, I dip a water can into the rain barrel (large trash can with a shot of superthrive and a glug glug of seaweed extract, maybe 6 ounces) and water three or four pots. Repeat, all afternoon. My back is killing me right now. But my plants are happy.


clipped on: 03.20.2012 at 11:04 pm    last updated on: 03.20.2012 at 11:04 pm

RE: Question about large cuttings?? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: tdogdad on 01.25.2011 at 12:08 pm in Plumeria Forum

I start large cuttings with a 1.5L or liter plastic soda bottle cut off with holes in the bottom. I put a few inches of soil in the bottle, stick in the base, fill with soil, water and tie the branch to a patio post or a stake and forget. I have had good success with 4-5 foot cuttings this way. I now do all my cuttings in plastic bottles. I can pack 5-6 normal cuttings in a five gallon empty black pot.

Uploaded with

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Great threat for cuttings, DO THIS + other (egg)
clipped on: 03.19.2012 at 11:49 pm    last updated on: 03.19.2012 at 11:50 pm

RE: Question about large cuttings?? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: andrew78 on 01.26.2011 at 01:21 am in Plumeria Forum

Hello Iso,
I am doing this right now with the raw egg in the bottom of the plastic bottle. My cutting is no where near as big. Under a foot tall probobly. I put about an inch of soil into the bottom of the plastic bottle. I then put them egg into the bottom of the bottle, filled with to abou two inches from top, then added cutting, and filled with remaining soil.
The cutting all ready has leaves growing. The problem with removing the cutting shouldn't be that hard to get around. My plan is to slice the plastic. I will only cut it until I can rip the rest of the pastic enough to get the rootball out. I would think that root damage would be minimal. I recently repotted a celadine that was rootbound. I knocked it out of the pot but still broke off about a quarter of the root system. I want to say that was around December. I grow mine under a 600 watt HPS light so mine had come out of a short dormancy. I think it was about 3 weeks before I had new leaves growing. The new leaves were a little limp for about 2 or 3 weeks, but I fed with vitamin B-1 and now it is doing fine, like it was never disturbed. Good luck and keep us posted!


Do this-cuttings
clipped on: 03.19.2012 at 11:18 pm    last updated on: 03.19.2012 at 11:18 pm

RE: good size inflos (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: tdogdad on 07.10.2009 at 11:25 am in Plumeria Forum

the water soluable fertilizer and Maxi Cal are both made by Growmore. Coco wet is a wetting solution that makes foliar sprays stick to the leaves and this with Bill's perfect are both sold by spray-n-grow. I recommend their small perfect blend kit @ $29 which has SNG+coco wet=bills perfect, enough for more than a year (2tbsp, 1tsp, 1tbsp. in warm water in a gallon spray bottle from HD) Maxi Cal I get from Orange County Farm Supply for $8.70 for 12 oz. (several years supply)

Here is a link that might be useful: spray-n-grow


Maintenence Option (Bill)
clipped on: 03.19.2012 at 10:52 pm    last updated on: 03.19.2012 at 10:52 pm

RE: kick off begins (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: tdogdad on 03.22.2010 at 02:17 am in Plumeria Forum

No. That is an opening blend that gets the micronutrients replenished. I water weekly with superthrive and seaweed extract until I see several inch long leaves at which time I go to a water soluable by Grow More that is 15-5-15 plus magnesium and calcium every 10 days until totally leafed out when I switch to foliar feeding with Spray n grow, Bill's perfect fertilizer and coco wet. I flush my pots monthly to remove salts and follow up with superthrive and seaweed water. In September I go to a 0-0-30 to harden up the plants for winter. Sometimes I use Protek. sdIf you just use Dr. Earth I would fertilize every 6 weeks but read the directions on the bag as I do not use it regularly. I once made 30 gallons of the tea on the bag and it smelled soooo bad my neighbors must have thought they lived next to a dairy. My plants loved it but I couldn't stand being in my own yard. You can use another dose of worm castings and sulpo mag in about two months but I get my mag in my water soluable. Superthrive, seaweed extract and worm castings are products that you can use any time as they are not really fertilizers but nutrients. Hope this helps. Bill (my psyco flowered until march 1)


Season Maintenence
clipped on: 03.19.2012 at 10:43 pm    last updated on: 03.19.2012 at 10:44 pm

RE: Foliage Pro (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: irun5k on 02.03.2012 at 03:24 pm in Plumeria Forum

Hi guys, thanks for the info. My bottle came this week. 8 bucks and change for an 8oz bottle from ebay w/free shipping. This will make 48 Josh-strength gallons (thanks for the tip Josh!) which will easily get me though the year.

I do think this will be an easy system- 1 tsp per gallon and water it in... how hard is that? I am going to discontinue by spray-n-grow routine for this year. I may pick it up again at a later date but for this year my approach is gritty mix + foliage pro and basically trying not to be a mother hen. If I've found out anything about these plants it is that they really don't need me. lol


Fertilizer Routine
clipped on: 03.17.2012 at 11:04 pm    last updated on: 03.17.2012 at 11:05 pm

Starting Plumeria seeds in Styrofoam boats in water!

posted by: kasha77 on 02.06.2012 at 08:06 pm in Plumeria Forum

Well I've read that you can speed the germination of Plumeria seeds by floating them in little boats made out of packing peanuts. (Finally, there's another use for those annoying little devils!) I added a drop of Super Thrive to the water, and labeled each peanut with name and date. (Laura, if you look closely, your name is on the little boats in the last pic) Ive heard that they can germinate in 4 days using this method. I'll keep you posted on their progress! :)




clipped on: 03.17.2012 at 01:32 pm    last updated on: 03.17.2012 at 01:32 pm

RE: How to Germinate Plumeria Seeds (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: kevabear on 07.03.2007 at 04:22 pm in Plumeria Forum

I have rooted them in clear plastic cups also and I like being able to see the roots. On planting the seeds...
What I have learned is to first soak them overnight in a wet paper towel, I put mine in a tupperware container so it doesn't dry out. Then plant wing sticking up out of the soil, in a very well draining mix. Don't use ceramic pots. Some use cactus soil, perlite is good, or just potting soil with a good mix of perlite. Bottom heat is important. Keep them moist but don't go nuts drenching them every day. I tend to mist regularly after the first watering. Once they start growing you can VERY CAREFULLY pull off the seed coating around the little leaves. Plumerias like a lot of sun and they don't like a lot of water. And always a plastic pot with good drainage. is a good web site for information, and this forum is awesome.
Good luck with your plummies!


clipped on: 03.16.2012 at 10:57 pm    last updated on: 03.16.2012 at 10:57 pm

RE: Addicted Newbie (Follow-Up #22)

posted by: loveplants2 on 11.25.2011 at 12:38 pm in Plumeria Forum

Hey Joshua,

I was wondering if you were using the 5-1-1 mix and replacing some of the ingredients..

The original recipe for the 5-1-1- is..

5 parts Fine Bark Fines
1 part Sphagnum peat
1-2 parts perlite

i see that you used 5 parts Napa oil dry # 8822 and yes that is a good substitute for Turface, but i wanted to see what you were trying to duplicate..

5-1-1 or the Gritty 1-1-1 the gritty uses the turface..I was just wondering if i may have not understood you using 5 parts of the napa oil dry?

If that is what you are using to sprout the seedling and it is working..Thats great, but i do wonder how it will work on your cuttings..

Wanted to ask you and be sure that i was reading correctly!!!

Your cuttings look great and if this works for you im very happy..they look great!!!

I didnt want you to be confusing the two different types of mixes. The Gritty Mix is...

1 part Screened Pine Bark Fines..or Fir Bark (1/8 to 1/4 in)
1 part screened Turface ( 0r some use Napa Oil dry #8822)

1 part crushed granigrit or Cherrystone #2

1 tbsp gypsum per gallon of soil

CRF ( Osomocote)

Sometimes when i just make a fast draining mix for some, i will add a scoop full of this and that. But if you were trying to follow the 5-1-1 recipe.. i think the 5 parts of Napa may be to much.

Hope this helps...

Laura in VB


SEED starting
clipped on: 03.15.2012 at 11:08 pm    last updated on: 03.15.2012 at 11:09 pm

RE: Plumeria shopping in Hawaii (Follow-Up #28)

posted by: slave2thefur on 06.07.2011 at 09:57 pm in Plumeria Forum

The plumeria sold at the Aloha swap meet are already bagged and certified. Just tell the ag security at the airport and they'll give it a stern, official once-over and you're done. Any other cuttings must be cleaned and deleafed, and you can get the ag inspection at the airport or any time before you leave.

from my notes...
The two sellers at the Aloha Swap meet are Clarence Nishikata and Andrew Shigao. They will package your cuttings with the agriculture certificate and you will not need to have them certified at the airport. You can also pick up Jim Little cuttings at the Waimea Plantation store, the Polynesian Culture Center (main store) and at the Dole Plantation. They will be packaged and certified as well.


clipped on: 03.15.2012 at 09:41 pm    last updated on: 03.15.2012 at 09:42 pm

RE: Plumeria shopping in Hawaii (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: slave2thefur on 04.07.2011 at 07:15 pm in Plumeria Forum

Also try the Farmer's Market at the Kapiolani Community College every Saturday morning in Honolulu.


HI trip
clipped on: 03.15.2012 at 09:33 pm    last updated on: 03.15.2012 at 09:33 pm

RE: Plumeria shopping in Hawaii (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: tdogdad on 04.05.2011 at 11:45 pm in Plumeria Forum

I contacted Jim Little and he told me that there are two stores on the north shore of Oahu(country side) that carry his plants. One is the Dole Plantation store (take H2 toward Haleiwa and just at Schofield Barracks go right on 99 and Dole is a mile or two up the road) and the other is the Waimea Valley Country store. Both of these carry an excellent selection of JL cuttings which I consider to be some of the best varieties you can find in the islands. Hope this helps. Bill


clipped on: 03.15.2012 at 09:27 pm    last updated on: 03.15.2012 at 09:27 pm

RE: Two blooms (Follow-Up #20)

posted by: tdogdad on 06.09.2009 at 02:38 pm in Plumeria Forum

I do not usually water root, Nikki, I soak for a day or two and then dip in rooting compound and put into a cut off water bottle with the top cut off and holes in the bottom and filled with my soil mix. When roots show, I transfer to a pot. Last year I waited until the end of the season to transplant. While rooting I put 5 bottles in one five gallon black pot to hold them upright and keep them warm. So far this works well. Cutting he bottles open is a bit of a challenge and removing the soil but I split both sides the recycle the bottle.
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clipped on: 03.14.2012 at 10:11 pm    last updated on: 03.14.2012 at 10:11 pm

RE: Fertilizer Question (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: tapla on 10.26.2011 at 04:24 pm in Plumeria Forum

Do you want the long answer or the short version? ;-) The short:

Foliage-Pro (FP) 9-3-6 provides nutrients in the same ratio as the average of what all plants use. It has all nutrients essential to normal growth, including calcium and magnesium, which are missing from most soluble synthetic fertilizers. It (and similar ratio [3:1:2] fertilizers) allow you to fertilize at the lowest fertility levels possible w/o nutritional deficiencies, a decided advantage because the lower the fertility level (EC/TDS), the easier it is for plants to take up water and the nutrients dissolved in water.

There is a technical difference between a fertilizer (Miracle-Gro) and a soil amendment (feather meal), but even that point eventually becomes moot from a strictly nutritional perspective. Plants take up elements that are dissolved in the soil solution and in ionic form. What they take up are salts. The large molecules that make up hydrocarbon chains in organic fertilizers/soil amendments cannot be taken up by the plant unless the hydrocarbon chains are broken down into elemental, soluble form by soil organisms. At that point, the elements from soluble fertilizers are exactly the same as the elements from organic sources, which is why the plant could care less. At the point in time where nutrients are assimilated, they are ALL soluble and in elemental form, regardless if they came from a dead fish, compost or a hose-end sprayer.

The problem with organic nutrient sources for container culture is, the populations of soil organisms required to break down the organic molecules mentioned aren't stable. They are greatly affected by temperature, moisture/air levels in the soil, pH, fertility, and other factors, so their populations tend to follow boom-bust cycles depending on how favorable conditions are. Delivery of nutrients is as unreliable as the populations required to make them available, which is why soluble synthetic fertilizers are much more reliable, easier, and take most of the guesswork out of fertilizing - you know exactly how much of what and when your plants are getting it.

I would use any brand of granular soluble fertilizer in 24-8-16. Several manufacturers package that particular NPK %, Miracle-Gro, Peter's, Jack's ...... Miracle-Gro also has a 12-4-8 liquid that works well - same formulation as the 24-8-16, except it's half as concentrated. Foliage-Pro makes the best I've found so far. All 3 NPK %s (24-8-16, 12-4-8, 9-3-6) are 3:1:2 ratios and excellent for containerized plants, but Foliage-Pro has ALL the nutrients; plus, it gets about 1/3 of its N from ammoniacal sources and 2/3 from nitrate sources. This tends to produce bushier plants with stronger stems/branches and shorter internodes.

For plants growing in the ground, there is no one BEST fertilizer. The BEST fertilizer program would depend on what is already in the soil and the most appropriate way of adding whatever is required to eliminate any deficiencies w/o creating excesses of other elements, because an excess can be as limiting as a deficiency. To determine or to be able to define what is truly best for plants growing in the ground, a soil test is required.



clipped on: 03.14.2012 at 09:35 pm    last updated on: 03.14.2012 at 09:35 pm