Over the summer last year, I posted many photos of my prized 18-year-old tree that I had grown from a cutting purchased from the Plant City Strawberry Festival in Florida when my granddaughter was just a baby.
Sadly the tree did not survive the freezing cold winter we had in Florida over the winter. This next photo was taken shortly after the first round of 39 degree temps and while many of you were confident if would come back in the Spring, it shriveled up like a raisin.
I cried for my old friend, but there is some good news. I'll tell you about that in a minute, first I want to tell you about the seedlings.
For those who weren't around last summer here are a few photos of the process.
Planted July 21, 2009
Week Two — Sprouts!
Week Three — Baby Trees
November 2009 — Seedlings at 4 months
In this photo you can see the seedlings are starting to go dormant for the winter. I wrote this in my gardening journal at the time, "They are about 6-inches tall now and just beginning to go into their dormant phase for the winter. Yes, I know it's hard to believe that it can get cold enough here to cause a plant to go dormant, many other plants bloom year round here, but plumerias are very tropical and do not cool temps. Since my trees are still so young and tender, I've decided to keep them inside to protect them from any freezes that will eventually come through. One bit of advise I read was to try to not let them go dormant their first year and if I had a grow light I would attempt this, but alas, this is not the case. I eagerly await Spring, just to see them continue on their journey to adult trees. Since the seeds from pink plumerias yield different colors, I can't wait for them to first bloom and see the varieties I end up with. Of course, this won't be for several more years, but I can wait.
My big tree produced more seed pods, so I'm going to try harvesting them earlier to see if I get better results when I attempt to sprout them."
Unfortunately, the seed pods didn't survive, but look at my trees now!
These are two that I potted the other day and they are healthy and beautiful. You can't see it too well in this photo, but the one in front and another waiting to be planted, each sent up another little tree from their roots. I bought these pots at Ace Hardware the other day; they are eco-friendly and I think they are very pretty. Nice and light, so when I need to bring them in for the winter, I won't break my back!
Now back to the original tree and the exciting news. Before the freeze came through, I got about a dozen 2-foot cuttings, stuck them in a big plastic storage container and kept them in the dining room. I brought them with me to Georgia (my granddaughter's best friend wanted to know why I was moving sticks) and I'm starting to plant them. Here is a pot with two of them.
Because they have no roots, they have to be supported. I'm happy to report they are all just starting to sprout leaves, but look at this next photo:
Yep, that's a little flower bud shooting up out of the middle! I am thrilled, normally when you plant a cutting, you don't get flowers for several years. I guess because I took cuttings with multiple branches, this is not the case. This pot is also extremely lightweight. Plumerias, as we've learned, will not survive freezing temps, so I have to keep them in pots. That's okay, I've brought more tropics to South Georgia and I look forward to enjoying my plumerias until the next freeze and for many more years to come!
I have one more photo to share with you. In my first plumeria post, I told you I had bought that cutting and left it on my kitchen counter for months, almost forgetting about it. Then one day I looked down and it was sprouting leaves right there on the counter. Well, this is a cutting from a yellow plumeria tree I got from a neighbor in Florida before the freeze:
Yep, sprouting right there in the window under the watchful eye of The Painted Cat. Guess I better get over to Ace and buy more pots!
Have a wonderful Outdoor Wednesday and be sure to drop in over at Susan's @ A Southern Daydreamer to see what everyone else is sharing today.