Winter Care for Plumeria Guide
Plumeria Winter Care and Storage
It is imperative to protect your plumeria from frost and from freezing.
If temperatures are forecast to dip to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or if you have a frost warning you should protect your plumeria from frost.
If temperatures are forecast to dip to 35 degrees Fahrenheit or below, you should protect your plumeria from freezing.
Your local forecast is an educated guess and vary from the actual temps in your garden. It is a good idea to check the temps in your garden and compare to local forecast to see if there is typically a difference. It also makes a big difference how long the low temp lasts. The coldest temps are typically right before daylight.
Preparing for winter
- Stop fertilizing 30-45 days before you expect cool temps. Fertilizing will cause new tender growth that's susceptible to cold damage.
- Remove as many leaves as possible by cutting the leaf leaving about 1/2" on the branches. Leaving the 1/2" of leaf stem will help prevent leaf node rot. Removing the leaves will help minimize moisture loss.
- Spray your plants with an insecticide two weeks and again a day or two for insects prior to storing.
- If Plunged, cut into the soil around the pot, then lift the pot out of the soil. Prune the roots to a manageable size and trim roots back to the same level as the pot's drainage holes. This is a good time to make sure the roots haven't stopped up the drain holes. If the roots are stopping up the drain holes, then repot in the Spring.
- For potted plants, lift pots from the ground and trim roots back to the same level as the pot's drainage holes. This is a good time to make sure the roots haven't stopped up the drain holes. If the roots are stopping up the drain holes, then repot in the Spring.
- If storing as bare rooted, do not allow the roots to touch concrete. The concrete will suck the moisture out of the roots.
- Water you plumeria a few days before you put them up for winter. You don't want to store your plumeria in soil that's saturated with water.
If your are leaving some plumeria in the ground and temperatures are forecast to dip to 35 degrees Fahrenheit you should protect your plumeria with frost cloths to store heat, incandescent spot lights or old Christmas light on branches will help to add warmth. Be sure you us lights that generate heat, LED lights will not help. You can also add additional warmth with electric or fuel heaters.
Plumeria Storage Tips
- Select a storage area that is protected from the winter cold, rain, and wind.
- You can store your plumeria in a greenhouse, garage, spare room, closet, enclosed porch or attic.
- Just be sure your plumeria stay above 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Check different spots in your storage area to be sure the coldest spot is above 40 degrees.
- You can stack plumeria and pots to save space as long as it is upright.
- Keep all the limbs and roots from contact with concrete.
- Maintain good air circulation in the storage area to discourage moisture build up and pests.
Plumeria plants don't require light while they're dormant. If stored in a sunny location they may break dormancy too early. Stored plants do not need water unless the are becoming dehydrated and look shriveled. You can mist weekly or monthly to help prevent dehydration problems. Always check your pots to make sure the soil is not wet, this can cause root rot.
If you are storing in a traditional greenhouse, you will have moisture build up on the greenhouse walls and drip down onto the soil and on your plumeria. It is a good idea to check often to make sure your plumeria are sitting in a wet pot or wet spot.
Protecting your plumeria from frost damage before you put the up for the winter and in Early Spring.
Frost can damage your plumeria tip and remaining inflorescences in the fall. But in the Spring, plumeria seem to be more susceptible to frost damage due to all the tender new tip growth and fresh inflorescences emerging.