My Plumeria Is Getting Too Big For Its Pot

Q: I have been growing a plumeria in a pot for six years, repotting to a larger pot when needed. It is now over five feet tall. I bring it in every winter to the garage where it loses its leaves and goes dormant. It is so top heavy now that it falls over easily. My sister says it will die if I plant it outdoors.


A: Trust your sister: freezing winter temperatures will doom the plumeria outdoors. It might tolerate one or two exposures to 32 degrees, but nothing lower. If you can find the space to overwinter it one more time, you can lower the height drastically in early April. Find a joint where two limbs meet at 12″ to 16″ above the soil and make a 45 degree cut there. Put the plumeria outdoors in a semi-shaded spot when night temperatures are consistently above 50 degrees. It will makes new sprouts from that point.

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