How are the crystals cleaned?
Some crystals come clean with soap and water, If the
crystal is encrusted in Iron Oxide I soak them in a solution of water and "Iron Out". Works great. I use the powder kind that I buy for about $5.00 at Kroger.
How do you grow Plumerias?
Plumeria are a true tropical flowering tree. They are well suited to Texas and the Gulf Coast climates from April through October, but usually must be protected from November through March. Since plumeria have a natural dormant period, this can correspond very conveniently to an indoor storage period during the winter months.
Plumeria can be grown in containers, in the ground, or in containers sunk in the ground. During the months of active growth, ample sun, food and water are essential. Healthy plumeria will bloom regularly and profusely when they receive at least 6 hours of full sun per day. Plumeria are heavy feeders and will bloom and grow vigorously with an ample amount of the proper foods. Plumeria love lots of water, but cannot tolerate wet feet, so they must be planted in fast draining soil or in beds with adequate drainage.
IN THE SPRING
When the night time temperatures begin to remain above 50F, plumeria can be brought out of winter storage and "encouraged" out of dormancy. Due to conditions of storage, some root loss and desiccation of branches can be expected, but is not cause for alarm.
This is the time to feed, water, top-dress, and/or repot. Since the plant is dormant, it will be minimally disturbed by repoting or root pruning if necessary.
Repoting and root pruning are optional and are performed as with any other container grown plant.
Top-dress by scraping off the loose soil and dried up roots from the first inch of soil in the pot. Replace the removed soil with a mixture of compost and well composted cow manure, but do not pack it in.
Then feed and water thoroughly with a fertilizer such as "Super Bloom" or "Carl Pool's BR-61". If desired, there are specialty plumeria foods that can be used as well.
Place the plant in a warm and sunny location. Some people like to sink the container in the ground. This promotes more vigorous growth, provides support, and prevents it from blowing over. Plumeria tips are fragile and easily snapped off when the plant blows over.
IN THE SUMMER
For plumeria, summer has arrived once a lush growth of leaves has developed. Many will bloom before developing leaves, others will not. Once the leaf growth has developed, the summer regimen of care can be followed.
As mentioned before, plumeria are heavy feeders. However, in order to discourage excessive stem elongation and to promote flowering, fertilizers low in nitrogen and high in phosphorous are recommended. Once again, "Super Bloom" or "BR-61" are excellent choices. Keep a plumeria healthy by feeding every other week, and by watering as necessary.
During exceptionally hot periods, plants in above-ground containers may need thorough watering as often as twice a week. Drooping leaves can indicate a thirsty plant. As with all plants, check the soil before watering. If it's dry for the first couple of inches, water it thoroughly.
Certain varieties of plumeria do find heat a bit much for nominal blossom production. If this appears to be a problem, move the plant into a "shifting shade" location for better flower production and lasting quality.
As the days begin to grow shorter during August and September, some lower leaf yellowing and drop is normal.
Some varieties will attempt a fall bloom cycle if we are lucky and the weather cooperates. Plumeria can still be blooming into November and December! But watch out, an early frost can damage or kill the plant.
IN THE FALL
For plumeria, Fall begins the first of October. Stop feeding and reduce water to encourage the plant to go into its natural dormant period.
It is difficult to predict the weather, and, therefore, it's difficult to give a date by which your plumeria should be safely stored for the winter. By all means, if temperatures are expected to fall into the 30s, the plant should be protected. Many varieties can be damaged or killed by temperatures in the low 30s or upper 20s, even for a few hours.
IN THE WINTER
During the winter, plumeria require very little care. In fact, "winter care" could be considered "winter storage" rather than care.
Before storage, the plumeria should be defoliated. To date, the best technique for this is to cut each and every leaf off the plant at a point about one inch out from the stem. If you do not defoliate, the leaves will yellow and fall off during storage, and provide a good environment for pests and fungus as well as make a mess.
Store the plumeria in a cool, dry, dark, and ventilated area such as a garage or storage shed. Temperatures should not be allowed to fall below freezing in the storage area. During exceptionally cold periods (i.e., below 25F outside), a small supplemental heater may be required. A cool greenhouse is not recommended for plumeria storage.
Some people suggest not watering them at all for the entire winter, but a small monthly drink probably does more good than harm, especially if the branches are getting desiccated.
Since a defoliated plumeria takes up considerably less space than one in full leaf, they can frequently be stacked two and three high in the storage area.