Indoor Plumeria Care: How To Grow Plumeria Plants Indoors
Plumeria are one of the most popular indoor houseplants. They have been used in homes for centuries and they’re still being used today. Plums are rich in vitamins A, C, E and K, potassium, calcium and magnesium which make them good for your health.
They also contain chlorophyll which helps absorb sunlight energy making it easier for your body to use it’s energy.
They are easy to grow and require little care. You can easily propagate them from seeds or cuttings. They do not need any special conditions like temperature, humidity, light intensity etc.
but they will thrive best under bright light with moderate moisture level (around 60-70%). If you want to keep them indoors all year round then you’ll need at least two hours of direct sun per day during the summer months and full sun during the winter months.
If you live in a cold climate then you may need to provide artificial light. Artificial lights are available in different types such as fluorescent tubes, compact fluorescents, tungsten bulbs and halogens. These lights emit heat which causes the plant to stop photosynthesizing and eventually kills the plant.
The easiest way to get natural sunlight is through window glass. The window glass is transparent to wavelengths of light responsible for photosynthesis, however it does trap heat. The temperature around the window will be much hotter than the ambient temperature in the rest of the room.
In some cases the trapped heat can be enough to kill the plant if windows are the only light source. The greenhouse effect can also cause moisture to build up on the inside of the glass resulting in over watering of your plants. The best way to get around this is to place your plants a few feet away from the windows.
This will help to reduce the heat build up and moisture problem.
The next best light source is a set of florescent lights. These lights do not give off any appreciable amounts of heat so you can keep them close to the plants. The closer the light source is to the plant, the more even light distribution you will get.
T5 High Output Fluorescent lights provide the highest light intensity (many florescents actually rate in Watts). They also have the ability to deliver their light output in a very narrow fixture. You can easily mount these fixtures upside down allowing you to raise them up to grow your plants underneath.
They’re available in all different color temperatures from cool white, to warm white, to day-light spectrum. Different plants prefer different color temperatures so it’s best to do a little research on what type is best for your plants.
High Intensity Discharge lights are another option. They provide a high intensity light with very little heat output. These lights are more expensive and don’t last quite as long (5-8 years), however the initial cost is much lower and they take up less space (they’re thinner than florescent lights).
If you’re really strapped for space then your last option is to use a single incandescent light bulb. This is probably the worst option since these lights give off a lot of heat and don’t distribute that light energy very evenly. This can cause irregular growth patterns on your plants.
You can propagate your plum tree from seeds, however they are slow finishers. It’s best to take cuttings or propagating devices since these are faster and more reliable.
Propagating plants from cuttings is easy. All you need is a sharp knife or clippers, some rooting hormone (optional but recommended), and your cutting. Take a few inches off of a branch and trim off all of the leaves.
This will expose some fresh wood which is needed for rooting.
Next soak the cutting in water for about an hour and then dip it in the rooting hormone. Stick it in a pot of fast drying soil mix and gently firm the soil around the cutting. Keep the soil moist but not soggy and keep the pot in a sunny window.
It usually takes about two to four weeks for the cutting to root and begin putting out new leaves.
If you’re looking to get bigger trees faster then grafting is an option. Grafting takes two plants and joins them into one. The top part (crotch) of one plant is joined to the bottom part (stump) of another.
There are two common types of grafting:
In budding a small bit of a tree is removed and planted elsewhere. If successful it becomes a whole new tree.
In grafting a branch is removed from one tree and grafted onto another. This branch becomes part of the original tree.
To bud your tree you should use a sharp knife or clippers to cut off a bit of the tree about the size of your thumb. Try to get a piece of wood about the thickness of your little finger. This is going to be the top part of the new tree so you need wood that has some growth buds in it.
Next mix up some fast drying soil or buy some ahead of time from the nursery. Make a hole in the soil about the same size as the cutting and then carefully stick the cutting into the soil. Firm it around until there is no longer any green exposed and keep it moist but not soggy.
Finally place the container the new tree in a sunny window and wait. It will usually take six to twelve months for the tree to bud.
In grafting you take a cutting from one tree and join it to another tree. It’s important that you match the size of the cutting to the size of the tree it’s joining.
Make your cuttings and join together as described above for budding.
Now the hard work begins. The two trees need to be joined together so they grow as one. This is called binding and it’s accomplished by using soft strips of cloth, burlap, or plastic.
Anything that can be wrapped tightly around both trees several times will work. You need to join the two trees within a half hour of performing the operation.
After binding the trees you’ll need to keep them bound for at least a year. This requires patience but it’s an important step because it helps the trees grow together and become one. The trees can be unbound after a year but they should still be gently tied for another year or so.
Grafting is the only way to get unusual trees such as mango, peach, or avocado. These trees will never come from seeds so if you want one you’ll need to buy a grafted plant or try your hand at grafting.
Good luck and happy gardening!
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Sources & references used in this article:
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