There is a method to our madness…
It’s been a while since my last blog, but I do have a convenient excuse - for the past several months I’ve had my head down in preparation for the 2014 season. We finished planting our first batch of cuttings, with another 10,000 arriving in the middle of March. All in all, it looks to be an excellent crop this year. The cutting conditions in Thailand were the best I’ve seen in several years, and as a result we were able to get a very nice cross-section of our most popular varieties.
For those interested in something new, 2014 won’t disappoint. We have 8-10 brand new, unnamed varieties so far, and we’ll be posting photos to give you a sneak preview. Any feedback on these would be welcome.
Before the season kicks off, I’d like to address a couple subjects that keep popping up. We do read social media and forums ourselves, since we like to know what’s happening in the plumeria world and answer questions that don’t come directly to us. The first subject concerns the potting mixes we use for our plants, and the second revolves around how our plants get treated at various retail outlets.
Jungle Jack Soil Mixes
We use a very light peat moss/perlite/coco coir mix for our 1 gallon and 8” crops. In these sizes we root the cutting
directly in the container prior to sale. Our number one priority is achieving a very high rooting success rate, and we found this light mix provides superior drainage combined with adequate stability, enabling us to achieve an overall rooting rate around 98%. However, even when the cutting is fully established and leafed out, it tends to dry out fairly rapidly, particularly towards the end of the season. Therefore, by late July or August we recommend transplanting to a slightly heavier media, same as we do with our stock. If you do keep the plant in the 1 gallon or 8” container, and especially if you have it in full sun, you’ll need to water every other day during peak summer heat to avoid stress and yellowing. Our larger sizes (2 gallon and up) are planted in a bark/sand mixture that has decent drainage, but which need replanting after more than 2 seasons in the same container, as the bark will decompose and leave a very heavy sand base.
Jungle Jack Plumeria in retail stores
With regard to Jungle Jack plants in retail outlets, I first want to make one statement. We DO NOT, now or ever, ship un-rooted plants. Every single plant is checked prior to sale to ensure readiness for shipment. It is not in our best interest (or yours) to send plants without roots to the stores.
We know how carefully you handle your own plumeria, but the retail world is very different. Once the distributor drives away from our nursery with a truck-load of plumeria, we have no control over how plants are handled as they make their way into the various retail outlets. Sometimes plants get twisted, bent, dragged by the trunk, dropped or otherwise mistreated. Rough handling often breaks roots, and the plant becomes loose in the container. And yes, we visit our plants in the stores too… knocked around, over-watered, out of the sun and full of mites, tags removed by garden center staff or (my personal favorite) with cuttings taken off them. We do talk to our distributors when we see this kind of situation, but that’s about all we can do.
If your new plant is damaged, you should return it to the retail store. Considering the number of plants we ship each year, I think it actually attests to our rooting quality that the vast majority of our plants can take quite a licking and keep on ticking….
Hopefully you understand a little better how and what we do in producing these plants. We spend a lot of time and effort to produce the finest plumerias available anywhere, and we appreciate your support and confidence in our product.