Plumeria Flowers In Chicago

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pros & Cons Of Starting Plumeria Plants From Seeds

Welcome All Plumeria and Tropical Plant Lovers Worldwide,
After several cloudy days the sun is finally shining in Chicago
again as the following picture of my happy Plumeria 'Samoan
Fluff' shows.

Plumeria 'Samoan Fluff'
Starting plumeria plants from seeds is a fun and rather
inexpensive way to increase your plumeria collection.
But what are the advantages and disadvantages of starting
plumeria plants from seeds?
New plumeria cultivars can only be created by starting them
from seeds. If you plant seeds of parents with superior
qualities, you may raise some superior new cultivars.
When you order seeds from a reputable nursery or retailer,
you usually will be given a list of named seeds under the name 
of the mother plant. If ordering a mixed package of plumeria 
seeds, it will usually not list the names of the mother plants.
(unidentified or "unnamed").
The price for the seeds varies based on the named or mixed
(unidentified or "unnamed") varieties of plumerias. I have seen
packages for sale for as low as 99 cents for 10 mixed seeds. 
Note that shipping and handling is always an additional charge,
which varies widely.
You can start a large number of seeds (10 - 15) in a small space
with good spacing between each planted seed  In my plumeria
pages 87 and 88, I explain in detail how to plant the seeds.
This is a way to start your plumeria garden at a relatively
low cost depending on the parent plants of the seeds.
Depending on the origin of the seeds (known or unknown)
fresh plumeria seeds germinate in a short time (5-7 days)
or a longer period of time (10-14 days). Plumeria seeds, much
like plumeria plants, have their own unique characteristics and 
growth patterns. 
Once the first pair of true leaves has developed, it can now 
be called a "Seedling".  Plumeria seedlings show wide
variations in flower color, size, growth habit and fragrances.
It may take anywhere from two to four years or longer to
see any flowers. In rare occasions blooms can appear in
a much shorter period of time. I know of one gentlemen
in Great Britain whose plumeria seedling flowered in less
than one year and of one lady in Thailand whose seedling
flowered six months after the seeds were planted.
On the other end of the time line there are reports of
seedlings taking almost twenty years to flower. But this
is very rare. Personally, I had one seedling, pictured 
below, which flowered seven months after the seeds
were planted.
From seed to flower in seven months
Seedlings may produce flowers as big as small plates or
as small as finger nails.
Seedling's growth may be as thin as a pencil.
Seedlings may grow so tall before showing their first
flowers that you need a step ladder to see and smell the

Plumeria flowers are known for their exquisite fragrances.
But in very rare cases, a couple of seedlings have been 
reported to smell like spoiled meat.
ONLY a few seedlings may be worth keeping from a group
of 100 seeds planted.
Reasons for poor results can be traced back to improper
growing conditions. For proper growing conditions
refer to pages 87 - 91 in
In conclusion, I would like to share with you two of several 
plumerias that are blooming currently in Chicago, zone 5.
Like all my plumerias and other tropical plants they were 
planted using the Egg Method.
Plumeria 'Kimo'
Plumeria 'Mimi's Home Pride'
Happy Growing my Gardening Friends,
Bob Walsh
Bob Walsh