A Fresh Approach to Growing Plumeria from Seeds

Are you ready to embark on a journey to grow your own plumeria from seeds? In this guide, we will explore the basic methods for successfully growing plumeria from seed, nurturing seedlings, and using essential products. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner with a green thumb, this guide will help you achieve your seed-growing goals.

The Magic of Plumeria Seeds

Plumeria seeds hold the promise of new and exciting cultivars, rootstock for grafting, and the joy of witnessing a one-of-a-kind flower bloom. However, it’s important to understand that plumeria Rubra seeds may not produce offspring that are identical to their parents. Each seedling is unique, with its own distinctive characteristics.

Choosing the Perfect Seeds

When selecting your plumeria seeds, consider the following factors:

  • Flower: Pay attention to color, size, fragrance, and how long the flower lasts after picking.
  • Tree: Consider the growing habit and overall size of the tree.
  • Leaves: Take note of their color and size.
  • Blooming: Evaluate the overall quality, size of the inflorescence/flower stalk, the number of flowers blooming simultaneously, and the duration of the blooming period.

To increase your chances of success, opt for seeds from trusted growers and inquire about the pod’s history. Look for seeds from healthy trees that appear plump and vibrant.

Soaking the Seeds for Viability

Before planting your plumeria seeds, it’s crucial to test their viability and give them a kick-start by softening their protective coating. Follow these steps:

  1. Assess the seeds by gently squeezing them between your fingers. If they have some thickness, they are likely viable. On the other hand, if they feel paper-thin, they may not be viable.
  2. For faster germination and rooting, create a 5% solution by diluting Vitazyme with warm water (1 oz Vitazyme to 19 oz water). Dip or mist both sides of the seed and allow them to dry before planting or soaking.
  3. For soaking, dilute Vitazyme with warm water at a rate of about 1.29% (1 oz Vitazyme to 128 oz water or 1 gallon).
  4. Place the seeds in a container, keep them in a warm area, and allow them to soak for approximately 4-6 hours. Longer soaking may damage the seeds. Seeds that float are likely not viable. To test further, plant all the seeds but mark the ones that did not sink.
  5. Check the seeds after several hours to identify which ones are absorbing enough liquid for germination. Viable seeds will sink to the bottom.
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Remember to keep the seeds moist throughout the process to prevent them from drying out.

Preparing the Plugs

Plugs are ideal for growing plumeria seedlings as they retain moisture and provide adequate aeration for new roots to thrive. Here’s how you can prepare the plugs:

  1. Soak the 2” x 3” Gro-Tech FlexiPlugs in a mixture of warm water, Root Activator, and Vitazyme for about 2 hours.
  2. This soaking solution includes 1 gal of warm water, 2 oz Root Activator, and 1 oz Vitazyme.
  3. The Vitazyme acts as a bio-stimulant, promoting the overall health of the seeds, while the Root Activator kick-starts root development.
  4. Keep the plugs moist or leave them soaking until you are ready to plant the seeds.

Planting the Seeds

Now that your seeds have been soaked and the plugs prepared, it’s time to plant your plumeria seeds. Follow these steps:

  1. Plant the seeds directly into the 2” x 3” FlexiPlugs, aiming for 14-21 days before transplanting to pots.
  2. Alternatively, if growing seeds for rootstock, consider using flat trays or 4″ pots.
  3. Water the plugs 2-3 times a day, ensuring they remain moist to the touch.
  4. Plumeria seeds thrive in full sun, but adjust watering frequency based on weather conditions.

Fertilizing and Nurturing Seedlings

To ensure healthy growth, it’s essential to provide adequate nutrition to your plumeria seedlings. Fertilize and care for them as follows:

Foliage Fertilization

  1. Once the seedlings have developed three or four true leaves, begin foliar feeding.
  2. Use BioBlast 7-7-7 NPK fertilizer and Vitazyme for this purpose.
  3. Apply a mixture of 1 tablespoon of BioBlast and 1 tablespoon of Vitazyme per gallon of water.
  4. Foliar feed early in the morning or late in the evening, avoiding hot sun to prevent leaf burn.
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Transplanting and Continued Fertilization

  1. As soon as roots start protruding from the plugs, transplant the seedlings into larger pots, such as 1-gallon or 7.5-gallon squat pots.
  2. In the pot, create a hole and transfer the contents of a 1-gallon pot, or create a hole the size of the FlexiPlug and insert it.
  3. Fill the hole with a mixture of Pro-Mix BX Mycorrhizae, Excalibur VI 11-11-13, Vitazyme, and Root Activator.
  4. Water the seedlings with a mixture of Vitazyme and Root Activator (1 oz to 1 gallon) to ensure proper hydration.
  5. Monitor moisture levels and water accordingly, being cautious not to overwater or let the root zone dry out.

Fertilizing Throughout the Growing Season

  1. Apply Excalibur VI every six months to provide a slow-release fertilizer specifically designed for plumeria.
  2. For foliar feeding, use BioBlast 7-7-7 and Vitazyme every two weeks to a month.
  3. Drench the seedlings with Vitazyme and Root Activator in early spring or during transplanting.

Remember to adjust your watering and fertilization schedule based on the needs of each seedling.

Enjoy Your Blooming Plumeria

With patience and care, you can watch your plumeria seedlings grow and bloom into beautiful flowers. Don’t let them go dormant during their first winter if possible. Treat them as mature plumeria after the first growing season and continue to provide them with the necessary care.

For more detailed information on growing plumeria seedlings for both rootstock and new cultivars, visit Ames Farm Center. Happy gardening!